Why We Exist
Alex first started coming to the program in May of this year, after hearing about it from a neighbour in their building. They and their child quickly became active members, not only participating in our activities and workshops, but also helping to lead them, sharing their experiences, and even helping with the food preparation. Alex regularly commented that the free food and childminding were appreciated, and that being at the program was much more enjoyable than sitting at home watching tv, which was what they would be doing otherwise. Over time Alex shared stories of how they and their child had begun integrating activities done at the program – for instance painting – into their home life.
During the summer Alex found a job and stopped being able to attend the program regularly. We were hearing about instances where Alex was keeping in touch with and even getting together with some of the other participants, which is when we knew that their attendance in the program had strengthened their social ties. This was solidified this fall when a health condition resulted in Alex being unable to leave the house. One of their fellow participants came to the community centre to seek food support and additional resources to assist Alex during this time – Alex had found someone they could call on in a time of need for support!
This story demonstrates why we do what we do. We offer programs that support community members in meeting each other, building connections and creating a network of support and resiliency throughout Hillhurst Sunnyside.