What can a neighbourhood house do for your community?
This is the question workers at Trail FAIR (Family and Individual Resource Centre) will be asking the community in coming weeks.
This initiative surfaced now as Trail FAIR has received funding to conduct a feasibility study around the creation of a “Neighbourhood House” for the community of Trail.
Consultants are now connecting with the community at-large, asking if a neighbourhood house is a good idea and if so, what kinds of programs and services could be offered from it.
So, what exactly is a “Neighbourhood House?”
“Neighbourhood houses are vibrant spaces that build healthy and engaged neighbourhoods by connecting people and strengthening their capacity to create the change they want to see in their communities,” Trail FAIR explains.
“A neighbourhood house starts when people in the community decide they would like to collectively create a welcoming, caring space to bring people from the neighbourhood together to work on community issues, develop services, socialize and support each other.”
For many years in Greater Trail, the concept of a ‘family hub’ or early childhood centre has been discussed by service providers and parents alike. Now that Trail FAIR has the financial backing to develop a feasibility study, it’s the perfect time to determine if the idea is a good fit for the city.
An essential part of the feasibility study is to connect with potential users of the neighbourhood house and seek their insight.
Over the summer months, opportunities to provide feedback regarding establishing a neighbourhood house will be available.
An online survey is open to anyone who wishes to give input, and several in-person connections through family programs and community events are being planned.
“It is important to hear from as many people as possible during the engagement phase,” says Trail FAIR. “”We need to hear from you!”
To access the eight-question online survey visit the Trail FAIR website: trailfair.ca. Scroll down the home page to the link.
Or, locals are encouraged to meet the team on Saturday, July 10 in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza during the drive-in showing of “The Croods.”
The team will also be presenting to families attending Building Beautiful Babies, Muffins and Munchkins and Fruitvale StrongStart programs.
Anyone who would like to directly provide feedback is welcome to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Neighbourhood houses are hubs for community development activities, family programs, education and recreation opportunities that constantly adapt to local needs. The sense of belonging people develop at a neighbourhood house is enduring,” says Trail FAIR. “Many participants become volunteers who want to help others in ways similar to how they were supported through the programs and services.“
Castlegar and Nelson have neighbourhood houses – operated through Kootenay Family Place and Kootenay Kids, respectively.
Trail FAIR adds, “Help us determine if it’s time for one to be established in Trail.”