Community Development

The Community Development Action Team believes in growing and promoting the resource and resiliency of the people who make up the communities of Jane and Finch.

Through various activities and services, residents are supported to develop skills and capacity, to act as advocates for their families and community, and take on the leadership of creating the change necessary to strengthen their neighbourhoods.

We work across the neighborhoods of Jane and Finch to support community-based, community-led initiatives with a focus on addressing issues related to social and economic justice. The team supports a variety of initiatives, projects and services which are driven and led by community member engagement. These initiatives are what the community knows to be needed and are supported and implemented with the community members as the designers and leaders of each activity.

Projects and initiatives have included: support to residents associations and groups; community bbqs; backpack/back to school drives; sewing programs; social housing engagement initiatives; conversation circles; education advocacy; public awareness campaigns related to issues e.g. transit, poverty and precarious employment. Residents have designed and managed projects which have had a positive and healthy impact on their communities.

We are building a Stronger Jane and Finch through:

Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC): Through the ANC, residents are engaged in the process of identifying areas for improvement, developing the related skills and plans, and shaping the growth and change of their communities. Residents mobilize around issues and opportunities to advocate for immediate community impact and their vision of a desired future.

Neighbourhood Building: Services which are offered through a number of food banks across the community as well as bridging and connecting to other programs is a way of ensuring that residents have access to the services they need.

Leadership Development: We educate residents, groups and ourselves about systems that impact communities; group dynamics; organizational structures and policies; critical thinking; developing new patterns of working together and developing resident capacity with regards to community action and mobilization.

Civic Engagement: We mobilize collectively for greater voice and influence with institutions/policy makers; organizing community gatherings to discuss, plan and take action; increasing and improving participatory democracy, e.g. increasing voter turnout, supporting residents in making deputations, written responses to issues affecting residents.

Advocacy: We learn the skills of advocacy – when, where and how to apply techniques and methods such as through JF TSNS Taskforce, writing letters, calling politicians

Capacity Building: Residents learn how to care for themselves and each other and take responsibility for what happens to their neighbourhood or group members; skills development and training; maximizing abilities and knowledge by way of support to resident groups, supporting residents to respond to issue’s affecting themselves and others