We’ve always known neighbourhood houses make communities – and residents – stronger. But in what ways?
The Neighbourhood House in Metro Vancouver Project [NHiMV] was designed to examine how neighbourhood houses help diverse groups of residents face emerging challenges in their urban communities, from social alienation and lack of civic engagement to increasing social inequality and a widening gap between the rich and the poor.
The project brought together a team of researchers who could offer a variety of perspectives based on their expertise in Social Work, Social History, Urban Sociology, Applied Anthropology and Political Science.
Neighbourhood houses are community-driven, and so was the research project – the team collaborated with an advisory committee made up of key members from houses in Metro Vancouver.
If you’ve ever volunteered, worked at, supported or simply dropped in to attend a neighbourhood house program or event, you likely got a sense of how these community hubs nurture and promote inclusivity, collaboration, and social change.
Now we have the research that shows how neighbourhood houses are unique in their ability to enrich lives in such a way that they enhance our ability to work together to achieve shared goals for the community.
We hope our findings will be used to help inform municipal, provincial and national public policies and social programs that further strengthen our neighbourhoods.
A Burnaby Neighbourhood House community kitchen coordinator experienced firsthand how programs such as hers brought people closer together. ‘You cannot do community development via email. Getting together is the key to growing good neighbours,’ she said.
And we hope we can inspire you to get involved in the neighbourhood house nearest you.
How can I get involved?
Find the neighbourhood house closest to you and explore its programs and services, or attend an event during Neighbourhood House Week (May 7 to 13, 2017).
Give back to your community by becoming a volunteer. Learn how your nearest neighbourhood house can use your help.
Support your local neighbourhood house by making a donation.
Partner with a neighbourhood house if you want to jump-start a project that will make your community a better place.
Share your story with us. How has a Neighbourhood House made a difference in your life?
Miu Chung Yan MSW, PhD
Pilar Riaño-Alcalá PhD
Eleanor Stebner PhD
Sean Lauer PhD
Oliver Schmidtke PhD
Debra Bryant CEO Association of Neighborhood Houses of British Columbia
Antonia Beck Executive Director South Burnaby Neighborhood House
Joel Bronstein Executive Director Little Mountain Neighborhood House
Karen Larcombe Past Executive Director South Vancouver Neighborhood House