Our city thrives if all neighbourhoods are equally strong. Sadly, there is growing inequality between our neighbourhoods in Halifax. Many of us don’t know who lives next door! In urban areas where apartments are the norm, people don’t often meet the person living next door. Research tells us that “when neighbours know neighbours, neighbourhoods are safe, supportive places.”
United Way wants to make neighbourhoods safe and strong across our city. We will know we are having impact when there is strong resident engagement and local leadership to achieve positive change.
Funding for neighbourhood initiatives falls under Action for Neighbourhood Change and neighbourhood hubs. Action for Neighbourhood Change, a United Way initiative to strengthen neighbourhoods from within, started in 2005 in Spryfield. The lessons learned were simple: encourage resident leadership, provide seed funding for resident led projects and repeat the process in a new neighbourhood.
Dartmouth North is the second Action neighbourhood. Launched in 2007, it boasts community leaders facing issues that matter most.
In January 2014, Fairview became the third Action for Neighbourhood Change area.
Places to gather exist across the city. Some are focused on recreation, others on services and programs. United Way is funding hubs that encourage residents to drop in, find programs that help them and give a reason to stay connected.
Funding is aligned with these priorities. Some examples include:
- Chebucto Connections is a neighbourhood hub in Spryfield. It's programming engages residents to participate so the community is stronger.
- Fairview is the new Action neighbourhood with a coordinator working with the community to fight poverty and reduce isolation.
- Take Action Society is the newest neighbourhood hub in Dartmouth North located at the Northbrook Centre where kids and their families can participate in after school activities, leadership development and community building.