United Way Toronto’s Community Hubs
In many of Toronto’s underserved suburban neighbourhoods, the challenges of social isolation and poverty are compounded by a lack of adequate services and community space. In partnership with the province, private funders, and key agency partners, United Way Toronto is seeding development of eight Community Hubs in priority neighbourhoods. The Hubs will bring people in communities together, connect them to the services they need, foster the development of resident organizations and grassroots groups, and grow volunteer leadership.
By bringing people together and connecting them to services they themselves identified as a need, we believe the Hubs will build individual strength and empowerment, creating a sense of belonging and ownership in the community.
United Way Toronto is funding $1 million of the capital costs of each Community Hub, and our Community Fund has committed $150,000 annually toward the operating costs of each Hub, in addition to development grants that will facilitate planning and partnerships. United Way Toronto has leveraged a partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health that will realize the development of community health centre satellites in five of the eight Community Hubs.
The first of the eight Hubs, Mid-Scarborough, opened its doors to the community in December 2009 in the priority neighbourhood of Eglinton East/Kennedy Park. AccessPoint on Danforth launched in the city’s East End Crescent Town community in October 2010, and Victoria Park Hub in the Flemingdon Park-Victoria Village area in December 2010. The opening of the Jane Street Hub in Weston-Mt. Dennis happened in January 2011. Four more Hubs will open in the future.
United Way Toronto is in a unique position to mobilize and leverage a broad range of resources to facilitate the development of Community Hubs. United Way and our partners:
- Consult and engage community residents
- Create partnerships with other community organizations
- Locate affordable, accessible, appropriate space
- Create a financial feasibility plan
- Determine governance and management structure
- Design building in consultation with residents and partners
- Apply for capital funds (applying via the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is a five-stage process)
- Carry out leasehold improvements