City of Kenora hires Community Safety and Well-being Coordinator


The City of Kenora is taking on community wellness full force, by hiring a designated Community Safety and Well-Being Coordinator.

Kenora’s administration has announced the role will be filled by Eric Shih, effective July 17. That’s a name that may be familiar to Times readers; Shih has spent the last year as a Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Dougall Media, in Thunder Bay. In that role, he wrote articles of interest to Northern Ontario residents, with the Times publishing many of them.

Eric has an extensive educational background that features stops at Cornell University, Oxford University, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. His time as a reporter for Dougall Media has afforded him the distinct opportunity to witness firsthand the many social and societal challenges faced by municipalities in Northwestern Ontario.

Previously, Shih served as the Director of Education and Community Development for Elevate NWO, a non-profit social service agency in Thunder Bay which serves vulnerable people affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

Shih’s time with Elevate NWO culminated with his supervision of a harm reduction housing initiative through the maintenance of public housing units for the unhoused and for those experiencing precarious housing. This program was developed to support creating shelter for people living outside in encampments, many with addiction and mental health issues. Collaborating with many community partners and funders, Elevate NWO was able to provide stable transitional housing for over thirty people and secure permanent housing for eight of them under Eric’s leadership.

“I am honoured to join the City of Kenora to work on such an important issue. It is clear community safety is an urgent priority for many people, organizations, and businesses in Kenora. What I’m most looking forward to is facilitating a collaboration among all parts of the community, recognizing that many efforts are already underway, to ensure the success of local solutions in making Kenora a safe and welcoming place for everyone” states Shih.

Chief Administrative Officer Kyle Attanasio states, “Eric’s distinct experience in journalism and the social services sector gives him a strong awareness of intersectionality and the social determinants of health that influence health and wellness outcomes. He is well-researched, has a track record of developing strong relationships with diverse stakeholder groups, and brings exceptional strategic communications skills to the role. We are excited to have Eric join our team and for the City to play this critical coordinating role to support community safety and well-being in Kenora.”