By Jessica Lovell
The Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group is working toward establishing a community hub of social service supports and is looking for feedback from residents on what it should include.
“We have some needs that social services could help to support,” said Jen Britton, chair of the leadership team for the neighbourhood group. The Two Rivers neighbourhood, an area of the city near York Road commonly referred to as the Ward, was identified as a one of the city’s “pockets of need” in a report on the social determinants of health from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, said Britton.
Because of this, the neighbourhood group has been given the go-ahead to explore the possibilities for developing a community hub, possibly similar to the Shelldale Centre in the Onward Willow neighbourhood, Britton said.
“The first step really is this survey that we’re putting out asking what kind of services people would be interested in in the Ward,” she said.
The survey asks residents about their priorities – how high they would rate the importance of things like arts and culture, health care services, affordable housing, and the environment in the neighbourhood.
It then goes on to ask what sorts of services residents would use in a community hub, listing everything from child care services to legal services to drop-in programs and food and clothing programs.
The neighbourhood group already has a sense of what some of the neighbourhood issues are. They include mental health issues, low income and food-security issues, said Britton.
But the idea behind the survey is “to reach out to a wider group of residents and community members,” she said.
The Shelldale Centre is the closest local example of the sort of community hub the neighbourhood group is thinking of, but the model might be different for Two Rivers.
“We don’t quite know what that would look like for us in the ward,” said Britton.
The neighbourhood group, which operates primarily out of the former Tytler Public School, already offers a wide variety of programs and services. These include everything from a food cupboard to parent outreach to yoga and Zumba classes and summer camp.
But in order to find out what other services might be warranted, the neighbourhood group wants as many people to fill out the survey as possible.
The survey is available online at bit.ly/1lSE6dy or at the neighbourhood group’s office at Tytler during office hours and drop-ins – Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The deadline to complete the survey is July 11.
The neighbourhood group hopes to compile the survey results and release the information this fall.
“Then we will be discussing and firming up some next steps,” said Britton.
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By Jessica Lovell