The Latest

Contribute. We love to hear your thoughts, your musings and your latest work. Please share with us!
Write a post

Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Posted by Liz Weaver in February 2019

In this paper, Liz Weaver describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges - a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in each of the five interconnected practice areas.

Read More

Loneliness and Social Isolation are Public Health Issues

Posted by Heather Keam on April 18, 2019
Loneliness and social isolation are now being recognized as public health issues in Ontario. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David D William, released his annual report in February 2019 called Connected Community Healthier together. The report highlights the growing evidence that loneliness and social isolation affects our health:
  • Six out of ten residents say they have a very or somewhat strong sense of community. Only four out of ten know many or most of their neighbours.
  • Has negative effects on the body, mind and soul.
  • People who are lonely are more likely to be in the top five percent of health care users.
Read More

Welcoming Creates the Opportunity to be “of” Community

Posted by Terral McBay on April 17, 2019

When we hear the word community, we typically think of larger groups of people who gather around a common purpose (faith, sports, neighbourhoods, social clubs, and so on). We often think of community as participating or having membership in these groups, gatherings or events. However, we can also be involved with smaller communities of people, from a cluster of neighbours, a circle of friends or family, or the familiar faces we see at the store to the community recreation centre, or coffee shop. Further still, community inhabits relational spaces with friends, partners/spouses, siblings, parents, neighbours or co-workers. Community lives in all levels of connection, from larger community events to individual relationships. What happens then, when people do not have a strong sense to community in any of these ways? For many people, the experience of not belonging to any form of community is a daily reality. For adults with developmental disabilities, this reality is too common.  

Read More

Involving Government in Deepening Community

Posted by Hannah MacDonald on April 16, 2019

Community and individual well-being are important contributors to deepening a sense of community in order to promote community change led by those who live in the community. Community members’ feelings of safety and support is intrinsically connected to the community’s strength and success. Until recently, community plans on safety and well-being operated on a community-by-community basis in Ontario.

On January 1, 2019, the Government of Ontario mandated new legislative requirements under the police services act for municipalities to work in partnership with the community to develop and adopt community safety and well-being plans.

Read More

Natural Caring: A New Way to Think About What We Do Best Everyday

Posted by Donna Thomson on April 15, 2019

Today I listened in to a podcast called "Caring Counts: A Celebration of Natural Caring" featuring Canadian social innovators, Paul Born, Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack. 

Vickie and Al are champions of natural caring, which they define this way: Natural caring is love in action. It is freely given. It involves a relationship with someone or something we care deeply about. It is flexible and responsive to the situation. It is reciprocal, with meaning for both the giver and the receiver.

Read More

From Presence to Citizenship to Community

Posted by John Guido on March 27, 2019

"In order to promote meaningful inclusion, we need to build communities that welcome the gifts and contributions of all their members."

Recently, I took part in the From Presence to Citizenship Learning Exchange in Toronto. To be honest, I didn’t want to go because I often find these “developmental services sector” conferences a bit frustrating – they’re full of big ideas and aspirational language, but does it lead to improvement in the lives of the people we support? However, since L’Arche needs to be part of this dialogue, I needed to be there.

Read More

Building A Neighbourhood Strategy From The Outside In

Posted by Heather Keam on March 18, 2019

As Cities grow, populations change and become more diverse, new neighbourhoods are built, and older neighbourhoods are being intensified. So, how do you deepen the sense of community? This is the question that the City of Waterloo’s was tasked with when they started to develop their neighbourhood strategy.  The City wanted to build a strategy to help define how to support neighbourhoods, facilitate continued growth, and support community members to be empowered to create strong neighbourhoods.

Read More