Community Organizing

West Broadway Directors Network

One of West Broadway’s greatest strengths is the sheer number of high-capacity organizations and resources that are based here. Award winning sector leaders like Klinic, Resource Assistance for Youth, Art City, Wolseley Family Place, Nine Circles, Little Red Spirit, and One Just City (among many others) share our community with important facilities like Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, Crossways in Common, and our many schools, businesses, and faith groups. Since 2016, West Broadway Community Organization (WBCO), has hosted regular meetings with the directors and decision makers of neighbourhood-based organizations. The West Broadway Directors Network (WBDN) provides a facilitated opportunity for information and resource sharing, collaboration and neighbourhood-wide problem solving.

Conversations at the WBDN table have resulted in many outcomes for the neighbourhood including the following examples:

Inviting Bear Clan to West Broadway

In 2017, concerns about increasing levels of homelessness, injection drug use, and property crime brought WBDN together to share possible solutions. Bear Clan was identified as an option that resonated with partners because it is Indigenous led and utilizes a caring, harm reduction approach. WBCO, formally invited Bear Clan in 2018, raising start-up funds, arranging meeting and storage space, and offering staff assistance for the first year of the local chapter. Since then, West Broadway’s Bear Clan Chapter has become a source of great pride in the neighbourhood, bringing volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds together to promote and provide safety, conflict resolution, mobile witnessing and crime prevention, maintaining a visible presence on the streets, providing an early response to situations, as well as providing rides, escorts and referrals.

West Broadway Methamphetamine Strategy

The West Broadway Methamphetamine Strategy was born from the collaborative efforts and communal concerns of members who sit on the West Broadway Directors Network (WBDN), a committee spearheaded by the West Broadway Community Organization. The committee’s primary focus is on public safety and housing, using the crystal methamphetamine issue as a topical rallying point. In 2015, members of WBDN voiced concerns about the rising use of injectable drugs—most specifically concern for the folks using the drugs, and the associated issues such as the spike in property crimes, littered needles on the street, and the safety of resident businesses and organizations. This report, to be released in early 2021, outlines the background, methodology and direction of the community strategy.

Neighbourhood Information Sharing Events

Since 2018, WBDN has hosted three Information Sharing events at Gordon Bell High School. Responding primarily to concerns about homelessness and public safety, members sought to provide opportunities for thoughtful exchange and knowledge sharing between service providers, businesses, and residents, particularly those with lived experience. This series was a great success and while plans to continue organizing have paused due to COVID-19, WBDN members are keen to restart this series as soon as possible.