This Profile of Effective Practice is one of fifteen stories examining how innovative, community-based initiatives are using comprehensive approaches to improve social and economic conditions on a local level.
Abbotsford, with a population of more than 130,000, is the fifth largest city in British Columbia. Located in the centre of the Fraser Valley, about 70 km from downtown Vancouver, Abbotsford is a city in the country, situated in one of the most productive agricultural areas in Canada. Nevertheless, the city has experienced most of its population growth due to its proximity to Greater Vancouver. With the completion of the TransCanada Highway in the 1960s, the community became a one-hour drive from Vancouver's downtown core. Combined with favorable house prices and an appealing rural lifestyle, Abbotsford's location has resulted in rapid population growth, which has continued to remain well above the provincial average for nine out of the last 10 years.MCC BC Employment & Community Development is a program of the Mennonite Central Committee, British Columbia (MCC BC). MCC is the relief and development agency of the Mennonite Churches in North America. As a faith-based, non-profit agency motivated by gratitude and compassion, MCC works among people suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression, natural disaster, social isolation and marginalization. MCC currently has over 14,000 workers in more than 58 countries worldwide.