South West Communities Resource Centre Society (SWCRC)
Our Story Why We Exist
"Your staff have helped me with so much. Every time I have contact with you I feel like I am confiding in a friend. But you provide more than a listening ear, you provide suggestions and encouragement. I'm now trying to pay it forward by helping new people in my community.” - Client testimonial from the SWCRC Client Satisfaction Survey, 2013
We exist to improve the quality of life for local residents in 28 communities south of Glenmore Drive. Each year we help over a thousand vulnerable individuals and families find the resources they require, provide them with information, and support community opportunities that connect people to each other. We believe that children, youth and adults of every age and background deserve to live decent and fulfilling lives in a community that cares about their neighbours. This means we concern ourselves with the individual, the family and the community connections.
The SWCRC opened our doors in 2003 in an attempt to offer wayfinding support closer to where people lived, where individuals could find welcoming and responsive service navigation, access to basic needs, resident led initiatives and we began to learn and understand the local needs. For fourteen years we have supported thousands of vulnerable individuals and families develop the skills and reslilience to provide a positive, stable and supportive home and connected them to resources and social supports closer to where they live.
Our work is never done in isolation and we know that to have the greatest impact, we must work closely with other community partners to create a warm and welcoming environment, build trusting relationships and reduce the barriers to access. We engage many local volunteers to provide extra hands and hearts and be the voice of the community. Together we can build resilient individuals, create healthy families and supportive south west communities.
Our Impact What We Do
The SWCRC supports vulnerable families who live in south Calgary. Most of the clients who visit us lead complex lives and have experienced many challenges which may include insufficient income to consistently meet their family's basic needs. Low-income individuals and families often present with a myriad of issues such as precarious housing, unemployment and underemployment; addictions and mental health concerns, domestic violence; parent-child conflict; depression and social isolation. At the SWCRC we can provide both direct client support to help them now, and offer long term solutions through prevention programs designed to build on their capacity, knowledge and resources.
We are considered a community hub that provides a "one stop shop" for a variety of programs and services. We value and respect different cultures, traditions and beliefs and we encourage individual independence and self-determination. We provide resource information, referral, supportive counselling, parenting education, speakers and workshops on issues impacting the community (example: employment and life skills, stress management, budgeting, and literacy programs). We work to decrease key risk factors that contribute to family instability.
Our “Burger and Beer Social” was a success and raised more than $7,400.00 for community programs and initiatives;
With a new Executive Director, we've put a stronger focus on providing prevention and early intervention programs and services to families and new immigrants;
We launched the “Positive Discipline Program”, an educational program for parents to provide them with skills, a strong social network, and tools to assist with parenting.
Our Programs How We Do It
The SouthWest Communities Resource Centre provides high quality programs and services grounded by best-practices and measurable outcomes. Our social workers help individuals obtain basic provisions including food, shelter, transporation and social assistance. They work with them on creating healthy and safe home enviornments for children to thrive.
In addition the SWCRC provides a number of free programs that include:
- Parenting Programs "Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting"
- Youth Tutoring Program
- Parent Talk and Chat and Play
- Public Access Computers including free computer classes.
- Monthly speaker series and workshops
- Holiday Food Bank Depot
We also partner with other agencies to offer an array of services for our families. A number of social agencies utilize our Resource Centre to meet with local individuals for various services: Aspen Family Services, Brenda's House - Homebridge, Calgary Immigrant Women's Associaton, Southwood Library etc. As a community driven organization we proudly work with all our partners, elected officials, community stakeholders and volunteers to coordinate accessible and affordable services in south west Calgary.
Our Requests What You Can Do
It can be tempting to throw our hands in the air and assume we can't make a difference in changing the circumstances that people find themselves in. However we know that one person CAN make a difference in another person's life.
Did you know 7,771 food hampers were disributed in our SW communities this year?
Consider getting involved and learn more about the issues that create barriers to many of our families. Whether you volunteer time at your local community resource centre, mentoring others, or through charitable donations.... it all helps! We encourage you to visit our Community Resource Centre and feel the welcoming space we have created for everyone.
“As a volunteer I have met many wonderful people who all have an interesting story to tell—their life story. Volunteering has helped me remain active and feel a part of the community. It is a very rewarding experience.”