In our neighbourhood there are zero public spaces for warming during the coldest months. This past winter saw temps of -40C. Our neighbours are 1/3 new Canadians, 1/3 self identify as FN and 1/3 are low income families. ( Stats from Sutherland Elementary School) There is a city wide warm up guide - but nothing for our area. We want to prepare and offer a safe inclusive space for next winter. We have the space and already host a weekly soup lunch for those in need of a warm mean, to practise language skills or are in need of company.
Nothing like this exist in our community. We want to pioneer what this could mean for community development and shared resources with others who are doing this work. We are located a great distance from the core neighbourhood - where all the social services are located. Folks choose to live here to escape the violence and high risk of the core, and then discover they have no supports.
To provide a location for people to have a safe and warm place to escape the cold during the day. The space will feature resting, eating, reading and computer access as well as some literacy training. Our hope is to provide some work experience for those looking to build capacity in the work force, and nurture healthy relationships in the community.