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January 20, 2020: Jena Rampp, Rumnik Maker, and Ben Sargent, from the Community Hubs initiative.

Jena Rampp gave us an overview. It was noted that Ben Sargent was the newest member of the team, having been involved for only two weeks.

The Community Hubs initiative is a partnership between the United Way Calgary and Area, The City of Calgary and the Rotary Clubs of Calgary, in support of the Enough for All strategy.

  • Community Hubs are welcoming neighbourhood gathering places that local residents visit to connect with each other and their community. They are places to relax, chat, meet up or work. A Community Hub should feel like home. Think of your favourite coffee shop, town square or park that you take your family or friends to. That is the type of environment we are looking to create.
  • Community Hubs provide residents with a central access point for a range of health and social services. This includes social, cultural, recreational, and green spaces that promote a strong and vibrant community. Each Community Hub is as unique as the community it serves.

Rumnik Maker provided a greater in-depth background.

  • In Calgary, poverty is clustered in certain neighbourhoods of our city where up to 1 in 3 residents are struggling with low-income. This is significantly higher than the citywide average of 1 in 10. And that’s not all—40% of lower income Calgarians report being lonely, more than double the percentage of higher income Calgarians. Many of these people simply do not know what supports and services are available, or how to access them. In fact, only 60 per cent of Calgarians feel they know their neighbours well enough to seek help.
  • The initiative was to develop Community Hubs in five Calgary neighbourhoods, and works with numerous organizations and programs to ensure all the supports and services needed are provided. For example, the Community Mobile Market, a partnership between The City of Calgary and Leftovers Foundation, sells fruits, vegetables and other grocery items below market price, in support of Village Square’s food scarcity program.
  • Community Hubs works with community to build community. Because one individual, organization, or program cannot solve this complex issue alone.
  • All Hubs have four common features. They are:
    • Welcoming and inclusive gathering places
    • Platforms to spark community economic development
    • Provide access to supports and services
    • Engaging residents in the design and activation

The Community Hubs Initiative is the first of its kind in North America, and other communities in B.C. have requested information on the project and its success. They have even had requests from as far away as Australia.

Clearly, the members were impressed with the presentation as there were a great number of questions.

Cory Tretiak expressed the appreciation of the club and presented Jena and Rumnik with our Boltman.

  • Cory Tretiak, Jena Rampp, and Rumnik Maker Cory Tretiak, Jena Rampp, and Rumnik Maker
  • Gerry Meek, Cory Tretiak, Jena Rampp, Rumnik Maker, and Ben Sargent Gerry Meek, Cory Tretiak, Jena Rampp, Rumnik Maker, and Ben Sargent

reported by Mike Carlin

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