So what is a Community Hub? Here's the definition from "Enough For All: Unleashing Our Communities' Resources to Drive Down Poverty in Calgary" (Report of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative, May 2013):
"Poverty is most effectively reduced when people work together in their communities to develop actions that meet their real needs. In recent years community-based multi-service sites termed community hubs have been developed in various cities across Canada as an effective approach to poverty reduction. A community hub is an intentionally designed space that facilitates connections among residents for community building, and for programs and services to support individual and family resiliency in the neighbourhood.
"The development of community hubs can serve to build community while bringing services closer to people in their communities and thereby enhance access. In Calgary, the Genesis Centre and several of our Community Resource Centres currently function similar to what is envisioned by a community hub. In order to be effective, community hubs respond to the unique needs of particular communities, so no two may be identical.
"The Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative proposes working with communities to establish a network of community hubs in priority neighbourhoods. Community hubs could provide a variety of programmes and services including childcare, community gardens, mobile health services, civic services, justice services, library services, food trucks, recreation and arts programming, community kitchens, financial literacy, social services, youth and seniors programming, immigration services and Inform Alberta service kiosks. Such centres can also provide local economic development as potential centres of community economic development activity."
Faith communities are seen as important potential participants in this initiative. We are communities who have concern for the poor, and are potential pools of volunteers to help create and manage hubs. Also our congregations may have space in our facilities that can be utilized for a hub.
For congregations seeking a missional focus and open to partnerships this is an initiative that is worth looking into.
Thanks to Knox Church for your initiative in this initiative!