Blogpost: Faith Groups Energized to Map Their Community’s Assets

Exercise part of second interfaith community hub workshop

By: Kathryn Cormier

FaithHubs_Workshop-Edit-LGOn Jan. 17, more than thirty people came together from all corners of Calgary for a workshop that explored how faith communities could serve as community hubs. It was the second event Knox Presbyterian Church and the Interfaith Council of Calgary hosted on this topic as part of their efforts to implement the Enough for All strategy.

Enough for All defines community hubs as intentionally designed spaces that facilitate connections between residents for community building, and to improve access to programs and services that support individual and family resiliency.

Community hubs are one way we can reduce poverty in Calgary. Hubs can empower people within a community to work together to develop actions that meet their needs and help them realize their vision for the future.

The workshop was facilitated by Vibrant Communities Calgary’s Darrell Howard and passionate changer-maker Amber Cannon and centered on finding abundance, creating resiliency, and building trust through community mapping.

“Too often we are stuck thinking about what is wrong with our community; we only see problems and focus our efforts on what we believe people need,” notes Howard. “We underestimate the gifts of individuals and the assets within our neighbourhoods. Truly innovative solutions to our most pressing issues start by understanding our collective strengths and connecting them together in meaningful ways. Asset-based community mapping is one way to begin that process.”

While the community mapping noted the community’s challenges, it paid particular focus on their assets.

Focusing on a community’s assets doesn’t mean outside resources aren’t required. It helps people build on their community’s strengths and concentrate on agenda-building and supporting the problem-solving capacity of residents, and it also supports local determination, investment, creativity, and control.

At the January session, participants walked through the community mapping exercise and were excited by the assets they discovered.

Participants at the workshop engaged in a lively discussion about the possibilities of community mapping. They agreed to reconvene in the coming months and share how learnings from both faith-hubs workshops have influenced “next steps” at their congregations.

Is your community interested in asset mapping and building community hubs? We encourage you to get involved by contacting Darrell Howard (Darrell@vibrantcalgary.com) for more information.

Community Hubs support the Enough for All strategy in the following ways:

Through supporting its vision
Calgarians have the resources, means, choices and power to acquire and maintain self sufficiency; to be able to be an actively participate in community life.

Through supporting the following key goals
All Calgary communities are strong, supportive and inclusive. Everyone can easily access the right supports, services and resources.

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This blog was originally written for Vibrant Communities Calgary and was posted to New Scoop Calgary news co-op on 11 February 2014. We received permission to re-post.


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