Since 2005, ACSA has led the coordination of community based programs and services in Chester Le and in 2013 officially launched the opening of the new Chester Le Community Corner space which has multiple large spaces for community programming activities and can accommodate over 300 people. This was all done in response to the community advocating and saying that they needed support around a variety of issues that the community was facing relating to poverty, gang activity and isolation. The corner now functions as a community hub where people access information, programs and services. The space also serves as a community engagement hub with a focus on networking and capacity building so that residents can start their own initiatives and can get involved in space governance and take a leadership role in the space.
The overarching goal of the Chester Le Community Corner is to provide opportunities for meaningful engagement of residents in the development and delivery of programs and activities. ACSA continues to use a community engagement approach to assess and determine the needs of the community. Throughout the year we engage the community in dialogue whether it is through focus groups or informal discussions and this allows us to better adapt and adjust programming and allows us to ensure residents are given opportunity to play an active role in the space. Based on the information provided, the following goals have been put in place to guide our work:
- To strengthen community capacity and to increase resident engagement in the development and delivery of community led programs and initiatives.
- To provide a range of opportunities for the positive engagement of children and youth.
- To increase access of employment opportunities and skill development for residents.
- To create a neighbourhood specific community hub where community members have access to a variety of programs, services and activities led by community members, ACSA and partner agencies.
- To establish clear policies, procedures and practices which support the activities of the Chester Le Community Corner.
Chester Le Community Corner Activities
ACSA engaged a variety of different groups (over 200 residents) to help identify immediate needs and issues facing residents of Chester Le and a variety of programs and initiatives were implemented as a result of this including:
Ages 0-6 Activities: See the Child and Family Centre program guide for more information
Ages 7-12 Activities: V.O.I.C.E.S programming, Making a Difference Boys Program, Youth Drop In, Pebbles to Pearls, march break and summer programming, after school programming - delivered at Chester Le Public School
Ages 13-18 Activities: Do the knowledge, Blackstone library foundation, Leadership programming, V.O.I.C.E.S. programming, Provincial youth outreach program, youth justice program, Making a Difference Boys Program, and Taking Action to Achieve Growth and Success (TAAGS)
Ages 19-64 Activities: Ping pong, multiple community Chinese arts based programming, community garden, and Motivated Mothers group
Seniors: Congregate dining program, Chinese music band, Chinese Opera, Chinese Tai Chi, Mah Jong, and Seniors dancing programs
Family: Strengthening families, Food security program, and FoodShare
Resident Engagement: Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC), and Steeles/L'Amoreaux Neighbourhood Association (SLNA)
Implementation of events such as UJIMA Black History Month Celebration, Toronto Foundation Try-A-Sport Ping Pong Event, 100 in 1 day Tai Chi Event, Gleaning trips, community barbeques
Programs and Workshops for this month