Top Image: © Courtesy of BBNC
Poverty is a community issue. Mental health is a community issue. Housing, food security, isolation and education are all community issues.
For Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre (BBNC), these issues are the daily calls to action behind the variety of programs and services offered to community residents.
BBNC works to foster social inclusion, develop skills and abilities, and collaborate with partners to facilitate access to various flexible and responsive programs and services.
Essentially, BBNC envisions a strong and inclusive neighbourhood in which community members fully participate in opportunities that enhance the well-being of all.
By taking a holistic approach, BBNC works with individuals, families and broader community residents to address and counter the impacts of many critical societal issues and concerns.
BBNC takes a grassroots approach, connects with residents to understand their needs, and works with community members to create opportunities for change.
In southwest Scarborough, the community served by BBNC, the child and family poverty rate is between 8.9 and 70.6 per cent! The average participant in BBNC’s SHARE365 Poverty Reduction program has $7 to $15 daily for food, transportation and clothing. Imagine having to make the decision between feeding your family and buying sanitary products for your teenage daughters.
Imagine deciding between toilet paper and a transit ride to a medical appointment.
No one should have to make choices like this but these are only two of the very real stories heard by community participants.
There is a brighter future ahead through connection, support and the care provided in all service areas.
Utilizing an intentional wraparound approach and philosophy, BBNC begins addressing these crucial community concerns at a young age and continues through the developmental stages to create opportunities for growth and change. Through BBNC’s programming, community residents have access to a wide range of programs and services that address these social issues.
Through participation in workshops, training programs, health and wellness opportunities, EarlyON Child & Family Centre programs, the licensed Nursery School and Youth programs, employment opportunities, seniors and active and able programs, as well as the support of trained staff and volunteers, one begins to see a difference in life quality. All of this is possible through the inclusive programming offered through BBNC.
However, none of this is possible without the support of the community. This pandemic has highlighted the inequities across Canada.
These were issues prior to the pandemic, but COVID-19 has only served to exacerbate conditions. With the spread of COVID-19 intersecting in areas of high poverty, dense low-income housing and with residents who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour, BBNC has contributed to speedy responses in the development of person-centred approaches of targeted support.
We may not be able to rush our way to a better place, but we can take the care needed to make sure that we are getting there together.
Your support has never been more appreciated than at this time and contributes to the much-needed work happening in our communities.
Learn more and donate at bbnc.ca
As a multiservice, charitable organization, BBNC envisions a strong and inclusive neighbourhood in which community members fully participate in opportunities that enhance well-being for all.