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Hub Talks – Setting the Context

November 21, 2017 • 50 min read

Setting the Context – Why are Community Hubs Important in Ontario Now?

In this session, a moderator engaged different perspectives and experiences in rooting our Summit in the question of why community hubs matter – why they have mattered and why they matter moving forward in Ontario.

The conversation explored how community hubs (both place and approach) engage and connect communities to drive what they need while working together with agencies, government and other key partners to address challenges and maximize opportunities.

Transcript

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you Karen. I am glad, we are all at the same conference my friends. We are converted. We have all drank the community HUB cool aid, so let’s get three things straight ASAP. #1, Hubs are a means [00:00:30] and an end. As a means they have been a place historically from caves, the porticos, the piatas, the porches, the pubs, the post offices, now schools, storefronts and websites. As a means, we have called this work community development, city building [00:01:00], collective impact, insert flavor of the month word here. Number 2, Research shows that Hubs matter. First of all community attachments matters, communities with a highest rate of community attachment also have the highest rate of GDP year over year. Places [00:01:30] where residents can bump into each other, make decisions, volunteer. It takes over 15 years of sustained work to build community attachment and that includes opportunities for community development, local, informal and formal associations and opportunities for shared space and strong community attachment is proven prevention, [00:02:00] lower crime rates, higher educational achievement and health indicators and number 3, we need to spend way more time starting at this conference and with this panel on Marva’s elephant on the table. Young Daniele, my first job at the Rexdale Community Health Center my boss [00:02:30], Lorraine Dough, tells me to go to a community meeting in social housing. The room is packed with about 50 residents’ agencies and community leaders. There is no heat in the damn place, it is frigid. The 40 coffee pot percolator has been on for two days to make sure that we have all got coffee brewing [00:03:00]. All of us are standing around with our agendas and Marva, the resident stands up and she says “lets agree on the principals right away, let’s celebrate who and how, lets agree we all love each other and then lets spend most of our time on the elephant on the table.” Jeevaratnam tries to correct her and says no Marva, it’s the elephant in the room and the moose on the table [00:03:30] and she says it doesn’t matter the moose on the room, the elephant on the table, can we spend most of our time on sustainability, resources and relationship. Today’s panel is going to celebrate how and who and why and then we are going to open it up for the elephants on the table, the pinpoints and how we can solve those and let that be our guide for the rest [00:04:00] of the discussions over the next two days. To get us in gingerly, Shirley Racine, Shirley is gonna talk about as a community volunteer how she saw the need and pushed parties together to build a hub.

Shirley Racine:
Thank you very much and good morning, Bonjour, everyone. I am delighted to be here as the president of the volunteer community for the Limoges Health Hub [00:04:30]. I am from a small community 30 minutes East of Ottawa, our population is 4,700, 75% of our residents have French as their first language. We have no medical services. We don’t have a grocery store or not a lot of other services. We do have a fire hall and a case popular. Out residents travel frequently to the city to overburdened emergency rooms for medical attention [00:05:00]. Many have no access to, they can’t find a family doctor and some a lot of our seniors just do without because they don’t even have the capacity to find one. We all live life changing situations in our lives. The following example that I’m going to share with you drove my desire to bring bilingual primary health care services to our community. My mother-in-law was unilingual French and at the age of 90 [00:05:30], she went to a small clinic in one of our small communities and could not be served by a doctor, could not see a French speaking doctor. She was very ill that day and she was devastated so when she shared her story with me and she was crying, it just broke my heart and I said my first language is English by the way. I married in a French family. I said this has to change. There has to be a [00:06:00] way to change this. So I sat out with a group of seven very dedicated volunteers more than five years ago. We initially worked our plan, our vision was, was to open a small bilingual family clinic. Finding doctors is one thing, finding bilingual doctors is another thing, trust me. With time, developers demonstrated interest in building a clinic, [00:06:30] a host of health professional and pharmacist came forth but still after two and a half years, we weren’t able to even get one doctor. So then we shifted our strategy to build it and they will come approach with not a penny in the bank account. We secured a developer who is now assuming the building our health hub which is going to cost $5.5 million, we reached out [00:07:00] to the Centre De Santé Communautaire De L’Estrie two and a half years ago to seek their interest in coming to our community as they would assure bilingual services. Their base is a francophone and they were very interested. After a lot of hard work, we successfully secured the funding from the government of Ontario last October and the Centre De Santé is going to open this summer. We confirmed [00:07:30] a pharmacist and this pharmacist is investing significant funding in helping us secure additional doctors and is integrating all of our local professionals into one team.

We are now fund raising in the community to raise funds to furnish and equip the Centre De Santé which is part of our commitment and I call it our community business offering we offer to the government of Ontario in turn for their support. [00:08:00] What was a dream is becoming a reality because of the community hub concept inspiration. We evolved from a vision and our vision was a medical center. It was a clinic of 3,500 square feet. It’s evolved to 15,000 square feet, three floors and yes the first elevator in [inaudible]. [00:08:30] This is big, you should have seen when we have the first lights, traffic lights. Along the way, we learned that early engagement of all stakeholders was critical. From our local MPP Grant Crack to a number of community groups, every one played a key role in the development of an Integrated Community Health Hub. Our biggest turning point was about two years ago when I met premier Nguyen [00:09:00] in Finch, Ontario, no it’s smaller than [00:09:06] [inaudible] at the international plowing match and she pointed me in Karen Titre’s direction and I’ve got to meet Brandon and Dawn who became very good friends from the Community Hub secretariat. From that moment on, I no longer felt so alone in the big maze. They inspired me and they supported me and let me to building a true bilingual health hub which will offer [00:09:30] a one stop shop of a variety of wealth of health and community services to our community. They even facilitated and helped us to meet the minister of health last June which was another key point in our journey. I have to say that working in an unknown territory such as the health portfolio as a volunteer was sometime scary, not knowing where to go. We as a team though did not give up [00:10:00]. The seven of us, we were committed, but the Community Hub team helped me navigate what I’ve seen as a very, very complex system. Today I am proud to say that the hub is going to be fully open as of September. This hub will create at least 30 new jobs in our community. It has reinforced our communities pride [00:10:30] and it’s pulled us together. It has set the course for future economic development. It will keep our seniors in their homes longer and permit them to be more independent and will avoid our residents of all ages to have to travel to overcrowded emergency rooms and most of all, it will offer them quality health services in the language of their choice.

In support of this recently I was speaking we are fund raising, so we went to the seniors [00:11:00] groups in our community and the president of this group is 80 years old and she said to me, I will now be able to walk to see a doctor, a dentist, a foot care specialist and go to the pharmacy. This is so wonderful as I am not sure how long I’m going to be able to continue to drive. This was just felt so good. In closing, we recently reached out via Facebook informing our residents that we were going to have doctors [00:11:30] and if they wanted to be on the list. Within 10 minutes, we got 147 names put on our list and submitted to us. It shows it reinforces the need that our community has the list continues to grow believe me. So small ideas have the power to grow and people in communities pulling together turn the ideas to reality and the idea of the Community Health Hub has done it for our community. [00:12:00] The journey was long and sometimes we felt like given up but as we seen the pieces coming together, the feeling of making a difference really came forth and in my case knowing for the others like my mother-in-law just made it all worthwhile. Thank you, merci beaucoup.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you Shirley for your sticktoitiveness [00:12:30] and your commitment to seeing a story through to what is now a vision and a grand opening, so thank you for that. Bill may be you could walk us through the journey many in this room are familiar with, many may have visited from a house to now a 60,000 square foot hub. Thank you.

Bill Davidson:
Well good morning. It is my pleasure to tell you a little bit about our hub in the Cambridge Community about an hour in the west here of [00:13:00] Toronto and I am feeling a little bit like we’re on the hot seat and I feel particularly bad because I am facing this woman who is resourceful enough to go get a blanket from the car to put it on. I gotta tell you, it’s that kind of resourcefulness is going to create a Community Hub for you, right so that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. So anyway, so Langs began as a little neighborhood group 40 years ago and what had happened is the founding members got together and they [00:13:30] brought all these agencies together to say can you come to this neighborhood and provide services to the community and back in 1977, people didn’t partner the way that we partner today and they all went back to the respective organizations and said that’s not our mandate. So this little group volunteer leaders like Shirley who had the passion and the enthusiasm to drive this community development project got a townhouse donated by a landlord, got a federal government [00:14:00] grant and started summer programs for kids because that’s what the community asked for the most and we started in that very, very little townhouse with very humble beginnings to today to this 58,000 square foot community hub that we are in and I’ve been asked to tell you a little bit about the evolution of that hub and a little bit about the governance model of the hub. So the founding members I gotta say got it right and it took close to 35 years to actually [00:14:30] realize the vision they had back in 1977, not only have we got arranged the programs Langs operates such as Early Years Programs, Youth Programs, Women’s Group Parenting Programs, many of the same things that you operate in this room here and we are Community Health Center and I gotta say Community Health Centers in the province of Ontario have long been hubs since day 1 when they opened their doors. [00:15:00] So what’s not change throughout our history, even though we are in this big magnificent building is our focus on prevention and health promotion. All of us in this room know that what makes Canadians, 50% of what makes Canadian sick is not as the social determinants of health, things like housing, employment, education and income. And one of the most important determinants of health at our hub is creating a sense of community belonging and I will come back to that a little bit later when I am speaking [00:15:30].

But to tell you more about the journey so we created a 58,000 square foot Community Hub just about five and a half years now, the hub is home to many of our programs at Langs some that I talked about and in the hub you can find services for prenatal programs right up to senior services. However what’s different when you walk in the door, what’s very, very different about why you walk in the door is we have 20 health [00:16:00] and social service partners that are working under one roof in an integrated fashion. They are not in silos in a hub, they’re integrated. Their offices are throughout the hub and that’s an important characteristic to remember if you’re creating a Community Hub because anyone could rent space, anyone could build a building but how you design that building and where you place people in the proximity of one service to another is a really, really important consideration. Those [00:16:30] who use our services have really appreciated an amenity of coming in for multiple services to access sensitive services like addiction counseling or domestic violence or they could take a program in the gymnasium such as Pickle-ball which is huge for seniors right now if you know anything about Pickle-ball, they can hangout in the green lounge with free wifi. They can access the program in the courtyard. The often we see chair exercises and intergenerational things happening in the courtyard [00:17:00] and they could up walk on the walking track. We said if we’re going to take the social determinants of how seriously in our hub, we’re going to build physical facilities that are allowed for that such as a gym and a walking track. In addition to those 20 partners that are under this roof, 27 other services come in and book space and operate programs anywhere from a weekly to a monthly basis. The hub is a sustainable model and hubs can be sustainable. It feels overwhelming when you first get started [00:17:30] but they cannot be very sustainable. We do charge rent and we generate about $150,000 in revenue a year for the hub. Now I want to tell you that’s really helpful, we are paying financing down because we have the finance straight hub, but once that financing is paid then we have money to invest back into programs and services and sustaining the building but it’s not about revenue generation, it’s about bringing services together, it’s about creating that sense of belonging at the communities looking for [00:18:00]. So and we recently completed an evaluation of the hub. We used an external evaluator along with the family center hub and kitchen or water loop and 82% of the clients who participated in the evaluation said they met new friends in this building and they felt greater connections to the community. Prior to that, they felt quite isolated and alone and we had many, many stories throughout the evaluation that speaks to that impact. [00:18:30]

Daniele Zanotti:
It’s so cold that Bill can’t even turn the pages on his —

[Crosstalk]

Daniele Zanotti:
But don’t worry, Shane is technological, Shane’s got his iPad ready, he is ready.

Bill Davidson:
So when you think about being connected to community and you look at the literature and you know that we spend in Canada $32.3 billion on depression and $51 billion on mental health services a year and that includes sort [00:19:00] of loss of wages, productivity, health care cost, and impact on quality of life. So just think about the impact Community Hubs can have in terms of creating connected communities and that’s the work that many of you already do. So I am really speaking to the converter. We’ve been a pretty busy place, we have more than 50 different cities and 100 different community groups come and see our hub, I think about half of you in this room have been there, we are happy to do more chores and I am pleased to tell you that we are expending the hub by [00:19:30] 8000 square feet. Five and a half years later, we never imagined, we would be building onto this facility. I thought I would be retired before that would happen, and we desperately need more parking. So we had 20 agencies on site. We now have 11 more that wanna to move in because the hub has been so tremendously successful and you can do this in your communities too and there are many examples of hubs that have done this throughout the province. Just speaking briefly [00:20:00] about the governance model, Langs is the lead agency for the hub. We called the building the hub at 1145 which is the building address and that makes partner feel like they’re not part of us as response to organization. They’re part of a collective in a Community Hub and so our board leads that. They signed off on the financing. They got money from the federal government, the municipality, they fund raise. They put the hub together but is very much of partnership.

[00:20:30] I think one of the most important things that I am going to leave you with that we did to create the Community Hub is we engaged the community, so back to those community development principles, so we brought 72 residents or clients together and we had about 32 agencies that wanted to move into the hub when we first were building and those residents interviewed all the agencies and they made recommendations about what they thought should be the services located in the hub [00:21:00] because they are the ones that are going to access those services and they actually did a phenomenal job of making the correct decisions and that integration I think in part is very much due to the success of the resident saying this make sense in our community, this make sense under this roof. So that’s a little bit about our hub, a little bit about of the evolution and I know we’re going to come back and talk more about challenges which I, I have a few of those to talk about Daniele.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you Bill. Sarah [00:21:30] . Sarah, you lead an organization focused on indigenous women looking at culture and learning. Talk to us a little bit about your journey.

Sarah Midanik:
Sure. First of all I just like to acknowledge how honored I am to be able to bring a voice to the strength and resiliency of indigenous women, not just in Toronto, but in Canada and to finally be invited [00:22:00] to these types of events and to be able to speak to that is huge. So I am honored and thank you. The native Womens Resource Center is like many Indigenous Community Centers. It literally started from the community for the community and indigenous women due to systemic issues that are now becoming headline news with things such as the inquiry [00:22:30] into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, have a unique set of needs that isn’t always met within the traditional friendship center model. So indigenous women literally band it together and created a safe space in Urban Toronto for them to come together and I say them because we are 30 years old and the center literally started in a basement [00:22:53] [inaudible] and overtime we literally evolved and grew [00:23:00] into the most beautiful gigantic, problem-some Victorian house that were blessed to call our home. So we really listened to the needs of our ancestors and our communities and really created a culturally based space where it was safe for us to connects and gather and practice cultures and the language and [00:23:30] overtime it evolved and we very much are frontline service agency now that provides culturally based services and programing to empower and build the collective capacity of indigenous women and their family in Toronto and our programs range from education employment, literacy to sexual violence response team to human trafficking support services [00:24:00] to trauma counseling to elders to healers because there really is that need in urban centers now to be able to create those safe spaces to access help from a non-judgmental culturally based approach that can facilitate healing and empowerment and growth and I see the good work we do, walk in and out of the door every single day and [00:24:30] I can’t stress the importance of creating Community Hubs and I mean we wouldn’t typically think of ourselves as a hub but really that, that’s exactly what we are, that’s exactly what Friendship Centers are. It is at landing point.

It is that place in the community that you can go when you have nowhere else and you can be supported and empowered to start on a new path in a good way. So I think [00:25:00] what has been really interesting scene especially now in this age of Community Hubs, you know finally getting the attention they deserve is partnerships and the distinct change in the work that we do and the way that were able to better leverage our strengths as an Indigenous Women’s Organization, talk about from the water within traditional indigenous, women are the water keeper [00:25:30] so it is a timing, right. So it’s really amazing to see community partners from indigenous and non-indigenous service providers help us to leverage our strength to increase the capacity of our service delivery so you know when we are talking about partnerships with Toronto City Police, with Women’s College Hospital [00:26:00], with Anishinabe Health, with you know non-traditional and traditional housing models because it goes back to meeting the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, community, love and being able to find strengths in the partnerships in other community models and to learn from each other and work together to better provide services in our community because we can’t exist in silos [00:26:30] and we need to be building collective capacity and working together to make strong vibrant community. So these conversations are really exciting and I would really invite all of you when you’re looking at building Community Hubs and looking at cultures that engagement piece with community and with the stakeholders in the neighborhoods and inviting partners to the table that you might not have traditionally thought of as a fit [00:27:00] for the organization. It’s really pushing those boundaries and building strong communities, and I can attest to the success stories that come out of marginalized in vulnerable communities when empowerment is the focus, not vulnerability.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you Sarah, thank you. Thank you for bringing the rain, [00:27:30] bringing the love and now we are gonna ask to Shane to bring it home, started as a youth.

Shane Beharry:
I’ll do my best.

Daniele Zanotti:
You will. As a youth, a resident and now a manager at East Scarborough Storefront.

Shane Beharry:
Hi everyone, my name is Shane. It’s big to be here with you all, so yes, I started at the East Scarborough Storefront. Initially, I applied for a position working with youth [00:28:00] and since then, I have been able to see, you know, the work that Storefront does with engaging not only residents but agency partners and also the politicians in the area and since being a part of Storefront, I’ve seen and heard so much [00:28:30] transformational life stories from residents who have shared since being connected to Storefronts Hubs, you know, it gave them the confidence to apply for university. Since being connected with Storefronts Hubs, they have met and had a discussion with the Governor General of Canada. There is even [00:29:00] a local youth, who through getting involved with the Storefront hub, now he is an aspiring musician and he is actually like doing shows and rapping and he has a CD. So, I’ve just heard so many inspirational stories of residents being involved in Storefront’s hub and initially Storefront started from hearing [00:29:30] the responses and needs of the community. There was a lot of new immigrants and newcomers along the Kingston Road area mid to late 1990s and there is no programs or services for them to access. So, a bunch of residents, local politicians and other service agency providers [00:30:00] came together and had several meetings to figure out how can we solve this issue of having all these residents living in motels along Kingston road, who are newcomers to Canada and there is no services or programs for them to access.

So through several meetings, money was pulled together [00:30:30] and they hired a consultant who is now our director, Anne Gloger. Then Storefront was initially launched in 2001 and it opened space inside of Morningside Mall, which is East Scarborough and at that time, we had 20 to 30 service agency providers coming to Storefront [00:31:00] on a daily basis and providing services and programs to the community. So for example, on Monday it could be a lawyer. On Tuesday, it could be immigration counselors, on Wednesday after school programming and essentially Storefront now is started as a hub model focusing on service provision, but now we also have a resident leadership [00:31:30] what we call Storefront a circle. So instead of departments, at Storefront we called them circles. So we have a resident leadership circle, we have a community resource circle, a community university partnership circle and all the circles at Storefront they work in cohesion together to better serve the community you know and get the community involved [00:32:00] in what we are trying to accomplish at the East Scarborough Storefront.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you Shane. Great synergy of themes around the power of local driving needs, the broad engagement that’s required, the move from agency focus to resident and community lad and then the concept [00:32:30] of sustainability whether it’s fund raising or government involvement, we now wanted to ask and spend the next 20 minutes on the pain point. So if you look back with all of the glory that’s been shared here and for all of you with your own respective successful stories, what is the one pressure point that you look back on [00:33:00] and wish we could collectively address. Maybe, I’ll start with you Bill.

Bill Davidson:
Well, I made a three-page list, so I don’t know where to begin, but

Daniele Zanotti:
You could send that to Carron of your team.

Bill Davidson:
Anyway, I think we invented things as we went along and I think one of the tremendous new resources that is available to hubs in the province, which I’m absolutely delighted to see is the resource network [00:33:30]. I think it’s gonna be a phenomenal tool and we need this room to help populate it because everybody in this room has some capacity to actually help figure this model out and you have tools, and you have wisdom, and I think if we had that five and a half years ago, it would have been much-much easier. It would have been a place to start, it would have been a place to connect with other hubs across the province. I would say that’s probably one of the higher priorities on my list and I am thankful that the hub [00:34:00] secretariat in Carron’s leadership has created that for us today.

Daniele Zanotti:
Great, thank you. Shane, what as you look back at your journey and then journey also of the Storefront, what is one of the pressure points or challenges that you’ve seen and that might still exist today.

Shane Beharry:
So, of course, there are many, but If I note down on a point or two you know [00:34:30], a pain point for us at times is, you know, in terms of gathering or acquiring information from the community that takes staff time and resources to truly you know do it and in depth inventory of the challenges that the community [00:35:00] are facing, so for us like if we had an allocative funding for staff time and resources to have those discussions with community members and other people in the community to really find out how can we better serve you and also what strength assets do you bring to the community to help [00:35:30] us achieve the end goal of making the community a thriving place for everyone.

Daniele Zanotti:
It’s a great point Shane I think to my earlier comment on all of the research that indicates, it takes well over 15 years to build sustained community attachment and that is good old fashioned community development, which leads to the question who the hack funds good old fashioned community development [00:36:00] and that I think is an issue that we all have to wrestle with and thank you for articulating that. Thank you. Sarah.

Sarah Midanik:
I would say it also comes back to the issue of capacity building within vulnerable and marginalized communities. So you wanna be strategic and say yourself up for success, how are you afforded that luxury when you are fighting for survival to keep the doors open and the lights on [00:36:30]. And anyone who runs small charitable organizations understands a core funding is a myth, a beautiful myth that doesn’t actually exist for many of us. So you’re scrapping together, you know program based funding that’s on you know two to three year contracts, so you’re constantly just fighting for survival instead of thinking about how do we be strategic about setting ourselves up for [00:37:00] sustainability and for maximum impact and I think there is a very important role for governments, you know, federally, provincially, and municipally to step up to the table and understand that investing in capacity building within community hubs is essential to build strong communities.

Daniele Zanotti:
Shirley, you spoke significantly about your journey from [00:37:30] a story to the hub. You talked throughout about the power of fund raising and various people and groups that you talked to or met with, is that one of your pressure points or are there other that you would speak to in your journey.

Shirley Racine:
Well, our journey is just a bit different because it was all volunteers. So, working as volunteer is always incredibly different. When I worked in the Federal government and I was Director General [00:38:00] in a position, I had staff, I had resources, and I had a title, can you imagine. But, I as a volunteer when you go into a door, they look at you and they say, “she is not serious, how she is gonna do this. You are not gonna do this.” So, one of my pressure points, one of my big, big hurdles was taking me seriously or taking our group seriously as volunteers. Because in our community, twice they [00:38:30] tried to have Centre De Santé De L’Estrie and the groups gave up. So, when I spoke to Mark who is going to be in one of the groups tomorrow, I said trust me, I said you can’t give up, you have to work with me and I said, trust me, you don’t know me? We will, I will not give up. And I think if I would look at Brandon and Don, they will say the same thing. But the other thing is, as I had no one really talk to, I had no map, I had no example. So, if we would have [00:39:00] had, if I would have had the wonderful network it’s being set up now and people that I could pick up the phone and I did pick up the phone to talk to Bill and I did visit Cambridge, it helped me. It inspired me to talk to others. Not to give up, but a being alone out there is pretty scary because you want some examples or some lessons learned. And when I say it was a major turning point when I met Carron and I met Don and I met Brandon [00:39:30], trust me, I called them. I e-mailed and they came out to our community and that gave us that really meant something. It meant that the government was serious, they were going to work with us and they help me navigate, navigating is hard. So as a volunteer it is daunting, it is scary, but the hub secretariat does fill that need and being able to be here and to learn from others is going be another [00:40:00] plus because I did say we were 15,000 sq. feet, but we could actually fill like not as much as my colleague here, but we have others on the waiting list wanting to come in with us. So, we have to build something else. So, we do have the power as volunteers to do it and build momentum. Thank you.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you. I think we would all attest that in our individual work with people loneliness [00:40:30] is hell in our work, in neighborhoods, and in community, loneliness is hell and we’ve got this group together to mobilize. We also have as the premier said this morning, this spontaneous eruption of activity that is happening on the ground, have you in all of the engagement work you have all done, ever [00:41:00] looked around that all of the people sitting at the table and thought where the hell is blank. It could be a sector, it could be a constituent. We are so surrounded by a bunch of usual suspects, what unusual suspect do you think we need to pull together. Shane. We are coming this way.

Shane Beharry:
So, in terms of Storefront and how we work [00:41:30] you know, we’ve been thinking about unusual aspects for the past 10 years or so. So, we’ve strengthened relationships with local education institutions, particularly in research areas in the community as well as recently we are more connecting with faith groups as well in the community [00:42:00] and often times, faith groups may be silos and not connected with the community and organization as well as Storefront, we have a model called Connective Community Approach and in that model you have the community backbone organization, you have people who live in the community who are residence and local change [00:42:30] makers, which are individuals or organizations who intentionally making the community a better place and you have policy and sector folks. So in terms of Storefronts model almost anyone who wants to be involved can be involved for the betterment of the community.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you, interesting comment around the faith communities as a possible as well [00:43:00]. Sarah.

Sarah Midanik: I think I have to state the obvious when I say that the voice of indigenous, stakeholders and leaders and groups in Canada have not been invited to the table for a very long time and this age of reconciliation and the TRC, that you know, we are starting to get those invitations to the table to share in the good work that we have been doing [00:43:30] within our own communities for many, many years. And I think, just acknowledging that shared history that we have in Canada as indigenous people and the strength that we can bring to those conversations in our traditional knowledge.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you.

Bill Davidson:
So, I have three suggestions, I think that you know just talk about couple of partners who are not at the table, you know I would say municipal or regional level services that deliver [00:44:00] things like incomes support in ODSP programs, they are hard to get to the table at first because they are largely bureaucracy and they do very-very good work and they have very-very good people that work for them. So, I don’t want to offend anyone in the room, but they’re used to a model where clients come to them. They need to get out of their bureaucracies and get to community hubs. That’s one of the partners that is missing and I can tell you now, in this expression [00:44:30] of interest of the 11 new agencies that want to come on side are regional social services is one of those programs. The second piece of advice I would have is education. You know, so we are one of the top three neighborhoods in Cambridge where people don’t have a high school diploma. There is a rich opportunity to do something different about that from education in a community hub setting. So schools are really on board of hubs and I think [00:45:00] that is phenomenal and what’s driving that agenda I think is the use of the schools to become hubs, but I wanna to say that the education sector, don’t forget there are many hubs that are not in school and education also needs to come to community. And lastly, I would probably say don’t wait for someone to come to the table if you’re developing a hub. They will catch up. It will be missed opportunity [00:44:30] for them if they are not at the table and they will realize that after the fact. So, get started, it doesn’t matter if you have two partners, five partners, ten partners, just get it done and the others will catch up.

Daniele Zanotti:
Those are all drop the mike statements where you just leave the stage now Bill that’s it, walk off, that was brilliant. It’s going to be a tough one, but I think you can follow it Shirley, what you say?

Shirley Racine:
Oh my god. Yes, I can. Well, in our case, it was, it was difficult bringing people to the table [00:46:00]. I don’t want to offend anyone, neither if there is reps in the room, but I have to say that we have our municipal and then we have another level like another groups, that is called the United Counties and they have a host of social services and I have tried and I have called and I have tried and I have begged and we cannot get them to be part of our hub and they have hold [00:46:30] like you were saying Bill, they hold those services that we need to have in our hub, expanded hub I should say, but we can’t get them to the table. Funny, we could get the province there, funny we could get the Feds there and the community, but we couldn’t get the one group that holds those mental health services that early childhood services, all of those services that would be key in an expanding [00:47:00] area. Now, I did tell you how small we are, we are 4700 but was later to be 10,000 people within the next seven to eight years because Ottawa is expanding out and our houses are cheaper. So, this is foundational. We need these services, but these are the people that hold the pen on economic development and these people we can’t get them [00:47:30] their attention. That’s our biggest hurdle.

Daniele Zanotti:
Thank you. I think one last group that we would speak to collectively is that while business has played a wonderful role in funding and potentially investing in the hub, full engagement will require them to sit at our collective tables in a different way and have them partner with us beyond the naming opportunities or the investment [00:48:00] and how we do that will be part of our future. So, thank you all to our panelist for celebrating the who, and the what, and the when of our work, may we have the courage to use this as an opportunity to take these elephants in the room, moose on the table whatever the hell Marva called them and bring them forward for the rest of the conference. It will be our collective success to be able to address those and now [00:48:30] because it is very cold and because they are so deserving, how about a standing, jumping, clapping ovation for this panel.

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