The pandemic continues to challenge everyone, including those of us at Alexandra Neighbourhood House. While most regular community programs have been suspended, services and activities for children, youth, and families continue, adapted to COVID-safe practices. Nonetheless, with the help of volunteers and neighbours, Alex House continues to offer programs to support and build community connections – needed now more than ever.
The pandemic has taught many of us the importance of local food security, as well as opportunities to get outside and enjoy the good earth. Since it is a COVID-safe activity, our two community gardens operated last season, with modifications.
Ten plots, tended by volunteers, were set aside for our SOX BOX project, which provides fresh, local food to those affected most by the ongoing health emergency. Alexandra and Crescent Park Community Gardens are gearing up for another great year now! Applications for garden plots are open now until March 15. Find out more at www.alexhouse.net/community-gardens
“How We Gather: Connecting at a Time of Distancing” was the name of two community conversations Alex House hosted late last year. We invited residents, especially those hit hard by the isolating effects of the pandemic, to share with us their experiences of community at this time; and what is needed to support people as much as possible in seeking full inclusion and participation.
The past year has also taught us of the many dangers to vulnerable and marginalized communities in our region, and elsewhere. We want to continue the dialogue online. Stay tuned for the launch of Community Coffee Connection this spring.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on so many small businesses and not-for-profit agencies, and Alex House is not immune. Much of our revenue comes from our social enterprise – our rentals, in other words. With restrictions on gatherings, everything from Alex Fest to our summer residential camps for supported adults, have had to be cancelled. Now more than ever, support for grassroots initiatives building the capacity of our community, is needed.
Please consider supporting our work, and sustaining us through a difficult year, by considering a tax deductible donation to Alexandra Neighbourhood House at www.alexhouse.net/donate.
And, of course, please also consider donations to our many community partners likewise challenged.
Neil Fernyhough is manager of Alexandra Neighbourhood House’s community programs. For information on programs/services at Camp Alexandra, call 604-535-0015 or go to www.alexhouse.net