Collective Impact Grant

In the Region of Durham’s Health Neighbourhoods Initiative, five Priority Neighbourhoods have been identified in Oshawa. Priority neighbourhoods are defined as those neighbourhoods characterised by significant poverty and low levels of access to the determinants of health (e.g. education, good employment, healthy food, recreation opportunities). These neighbourhoods face significant social and economic concerns that affect the daily lives of those who live there. Solutions to these problems, although well intentioned, are rarely developed locally (within the neighbourhood), and generally do not directly involve those who are most affected by the outcomes. As a result, many individuals and families in these neighbourhoods, marginalised from the life of the City and Region, have very little input into the policies, programs, and services that are set out to assist them and ostensibly improve the communities in which they live.

The objective of this seed project is to develop and test a locally driven Grassroots Collective Impact approach to community engagement, planning and collaboration, in one priority neighbourhood in Oshawa (Lakeview), focusing on community empowerment, and building on the unique strengths and assets of this community to shape community planning.

The anticipated outcomes of this project will be to, (1) create opportunities for marginalised individuals living in the Lakeview neighbourhood to be engaged in the identification of the most pressing social and economic concerns facing their neighbourhood, (2) implement a collaborative process through which these individuals may be empowered to lead the development of locally relevant solutions to these concerns, engaging local organisations, decision makers, and institutions, and (3) the development of a grassroots community development and economic planning process that may be deployed in other priority neighbourhoods in Oshawa and Durham, thus encouraging diverse groups to work together in new ways to shape the social and economic future of the community.