Government needs to do the hard work of community hubs

Talk, talk, talk about community hubs! We all know it's an idea that makes sense.

When I mapped hubs a few years ago, we found many players in the game: the City of Toronto, United Way Toronto, the school board, faith communities, cultural groups and other local heroes. Community hubs are one of those rare policy ideas driven both by the grassroots and by the “grasstops.”

Yet, if community hubs are going to work, it's service-providers, funders and government who need to do the hard work of coordinating services, so that individuals looking for supports don't have to do that for themselves.

It's why, large as we are, I led WoodGreen's initiatives to get the players in the same room. We worked with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Ontario Public School Boards Association, and provincial Ministries to develop a framework to work together. This led to the provincial framework on community hubs.

Under my leadership, we also developed the resources for the new Community Hubs Ontario network, with the Ontario Nonprofit Association, and a Best Practice Guide for school boards.

If we are going to make government work for people, government needs to do the work! I am glad to have been part of that and want to continue to push for good local services.