East Scarborough Storefront

The East Scarborough Storefront (The Storefront), uses the power of collaboration to support people and build community in the inner suburban neighbourhood of Kingston Galloway/ Orton Park (KGO). The Storefront believes it takes collective community responses to address complex community based and social issues. The Storefront helps networks of residents, social service organizations, academic institutions, businesses, planners and architects engage in meaningful discussions, run programs, organize events, share learning and participate in many activities, effectively and collectively. The Storefront contributes to making the impossible possible by providing accessible sites for community members of all ages and cultures to find and share solutions they need to live healthy lives, find meaningful work, play and thrive.

Our Impact Why We Exist

As a result of The Storefront's work:

- residents and organizations gain and share knowledge so that they can make choices and provide leadership that will improve their own and thecommunity's wellbeing;

- there is increased overall enthusisiam in the neighbourhood and resident leadership, collective organizing and volunteerism in recreation and sports actvities in KGO; 

- there is increased opportunities for residents to find meaningful work and thrive both socially and economically;

- there is increased capacity among local business and organizations to become or remain viable contributors to their own community and wellbeing;

- there is increased resident access to green spaces;

- there is increased knowledge of and capacity to lead green initiatives in KGO;

- there is increased increased opportunity for resident voice on civic issues;

- there is increased collaboration and knowledge sharing between residents;

- there is increased capacity for residents to partcipate and volunteer; and

- there is increased opportunity for community celebration.

The Storefront's community impact strategies levaerage the power of collboration to increase the capacity of local residents to help one another in both large and small ways.

The East Scarborough Storefront is a project of Tides Canada's shared platform. 

Run for Fun 2015 - Run through Morningside ParkOur Story What We Do

History of Organization

1999: Need for services reaches a crisis point as more than 800 people are housed in local motels

2000: Agencies and residents meet regularly to find an innovative solution the service crisis in East Scarborough

2001: The East Scarborough Storefront opens its doors with nothing but one large space and an enormous amount of goodwill

2003: The Storefront volunteer project is born

2004: The Storefront model is established and receives Vital Ideas Award

2005: Announcements are made that The Storefront would lose most of its funding and its home at Morningside Mall

2006: Residents and agencies rally - the famous SOS (Save Our Storefront) March and letter-writing campaign brought five funders to the table to fund the Storefront collaboratively

2007: The City of Toronto houses The Storefront in old Police Station at 4040 Lawrence Avenue East

2008: Residents, agencies, funders and supporters rally again to create The Storefront’s bold new vision

2009: The Storefront takes on broader community development work in a big way by supporting the garden, the market, resident engagement and community capacity building

2010: The Storefront takes on economic development with an innovative approach to employment and business supports. The community urges The Storefront to expand its space; youth and architects begin planning

2011: The Storefront launches a reciprocal learning partnership with University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)

2012: The Storefront publishes the book "The Little Community That Could" which tells how we do what we do

2013: Local entrepreneurs begin working in The Storefront's Eco-food hub

2014: The Storefront receives Bhayana award for ground breaking approach to Tower Neighbourhood Renewal; Storefront sports court and Sky-O-Swale (designed by local youth) opens

2015: The Storefront provides leadership to a cross community youth access and influence strategy (KGO Act)

2016: The Storefront provides leadership and cross community engagement for East Scarborough Works, a community benefits place-based workforce development strategy.

Accolades and Accomplishments

2016

-East Scarborough is designated by PlayWorks as a Youth Friendly Community after fours years of cross community organizing and community engagement by The Storefront, UTSC, and the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough. 

2015

-Calvin Kangara receives Vital People Award

2014

-Tower Neighbourhood Renewal partnership receives a Bhayana collaboration award

-The Storefront receives a Vital Ideas award from Toronto Community Foundation

2013

-The Storefront's Director, Anne Gloger, receives a Vital People award from Toronto Community Foundation

2012

-The Storefront recieves a Vital Ideas award from Toronto Community Foundation.

2012

-The Storefront's Director, Anne Gloger was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by The Chancellery of Honours, Office of the Secretary to the Govenor General.

2010

-The Storefront was nominated for a Canadian Urban Leadership award. The award recognizes groups and organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions.

-The KGO (Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park) Youth Safety Audit team, supported by The Storefront’s Coordinator of Special Projects, was one of five winners for the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards. They also won an INI (Identify ‘N’ Impact) Award for their work on the walking safety audits in their community.

-The Storefront was a semi-finalist in the Scarborough Mirror/PCPI Urban Hero awards under the “Community” category.

2009

-Dip Habib, The Storefront’s Coordinator of Volunteers and Events, was awarded the Atkinson Foundation Leadership grant for his community organizing work. The grant allowed him to explore effective environmental social justice organizing in other communities.

2007

-Anne Gloger won the City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations. She was nominated by a seniors’ group who felt that Anne’s work over the past two decades could be summed up with the words “partnerships” and “champion.”

RESEARCH/ ARTICLES

-Toronto's Inner Suburbs Investing in Social Infrastructure in Scarborough (June 2011)Deborah Cowen & Vanessa Parlette, University of Toronto

-Social Infrastructure in the Inner Suburbs Poverty and the Priority Neighbourhoods Strategy in East Scarborough Deborah Cowen & Vanessa Parlette Department of Geography and Programme in Planning University of Toronto "This pilot study explores the impact of Priority Neighbourhood designation on the development of social infrastructure in one community in Southeast Scarborough: Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park. This research uncovers a range of creative approaches to targeted investment, local capacity building, and community governance that have a positive impact in cultivating social infrastructure that should be celebrated, supported, and shared."

-The East Scarborough Storefront Project: A successful inter-organizational service collaboration (September, 2007) Brenda Roche and Joan Roberts, Wellesley Institute "The East Scarborough Storefront (The Storefront) was chosen to explore and determine the critical factors and dynamics of partnership and collaboration that lead to a successful, formalized, inter-organizational service collaboration. The Storefront stands out as a unique example of non-profit work, emerging out of a coalition of community members, local faith-based organizations, and community-based service providers who identified an area marked by an increasingly vulnerable population of newcomers with high needs who were under-served by agencies."

-Trends in performance management: In 2010 the HR Council of Canada cited the East Scarborough Storefront as an innovative approach to best practices in human resources management. A webinar was developed around The Storefront's compensation strategy and an article written focusing on The Storefront's approach to performance management.

East Scarborough Storefront Service Delivery Partners Our Programs How We Do It

The East Scarborough Storefront (The Storefront) uses the power of collaboration to support people and build community in the inner suburban neighbourhood of Kingston Galloway/ Orton Park (KGO). 

The Storefront's approach focuses on helping networks of residents, social service organizations, academic institutions, businesses, planners and architects engage in meaningful discussions, run programs, organize events, share learning and participate in a wide range of activities effectively and collectively. 

What this means is that because of Storefront's model and approach:

  • residents can find the services they need because 35 organizations bring social services like legal advice, youth groups and settlement services to the neighbourhood through our service delivery hub;
  • residents are connected with local employment and economic opportunities;
  • residents are supported to run their own events, volunteer throughout the community and engage in civic action;
  • businesses are supported work together to tackle issues of economic viability both for individual enterprises and for the community as a whole; and
  • innovative initiatives are nurtured throughout the neighbourhood bringing the best of institutions like University of Toronto Scarborough and professions like architecture and integrating them in the myriad activities designed to increase resident voice, knowledge and opportunity in KGO.

Program Showcase: KGO ACT (All Community Together) Initiative

The East Scarborough Storefront uses the power of relationships to transform community.  This can be clearly seen in their community wide approach to fostering youth inclusion, influence and belonging.

Since 2015, The Storefront and its partners have been developing a place based strategy to address structural and systemic barriers youth face to accessing the supports they need to thrive in the marginalized community of Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park (KGO). This innovative project has been named by local youth KGO ACT: All Community Together.

KGO ACT is a neighbourhood wide project that supports service delivery organizations  to increase their capacity to effectively engage youth.   To do this, KGO ACT focuses on increasing meaningful opportunities for youth to engage in and influence the programs, services and opportunities that affect their lives.

In order for youth to meaningfully influence their surroundings, they need supportive environments in which to hone their leadership skills. Therefore, fostering youth leadership is fundamental to the KGO ACT initiative.  The development of leadership skills is primarily accomplished through the intentional support of youth-led ‘demonstration projects’ hosted  by several different community organizations. The premise behind demonstration projects is that "bringing youth to the table" in a traditional sense has not often worked well.  The "table" and the norms of social service organizing are not necessarily compatible with the passions, self expression and work styles of youth.  Instead of bringing youth into spaces dominated by adults, the demonstration projects support youth to:

  • affect change in their communities through activating their own ideas

  • build their leadership capacity

  • learn about data collection and analysis and presentation

  • understand how their neighbourhood is like an eco-system and that they and their peers can connect to it, influence it and benefit from it in multiple different ways

  • strategically engage with organizations to articulate the changes, ideas and innovations they would like to see implemented in local youth programming

Demonstration projects include:

Let’s Inspire for Today (L.I.F.T.) – Youth develop their own leadership capacity in order to foster stronger youth-led civic engagement and action for change. Youth engage in and provide peer support in: group facilitation, project management, research methods, and more.

Youth Sports Unlimited - focuses on creating positive connections and sense of belonging amongst youth through sports and recreation.

Walk in My Mocs -  focuses on addressing community issues through the lens and teachings of Indigenous culture. They aim to create greater access to information about programs and services and host events for marginalized youth by marginalized youth.

Art Fusion with KGO - a community arts mentorship program for youth by youth working to build skills and enjoyment in the arts and project management. They are currently working toward completing projects in 3 art forms: photography, theatre and culinary arts.

Program Impact

The impacts for the youth, and partnering organizations involved in the initiative include:

  • 30 youth leaders have developed the skills to lead the development of their monthly/weekly meetings, and community events based on youth recommendations and feedback

  • youth articulate an increased sense of confidence, ownership and belonging as a result of their work in the demonstration sites

  • youth articulate feeling listened to by organizations

  • 12 different partner organizations, including 25 management and frontline staff engage in regular reflection and learning sessions, developing their own capacity to better support youth

  • organizations have changed their hours, approaches and content of their programs based on feedback  from local youth

  • 36 local youth and adult volunteers support community wide data collection and analysis on how youth want to engage.  Data collected from 1% of the overall population of the neighbourhood and used by youth and organizations in planning.

Impact on Participants - a vignette:

Gabrielle S. joined L.I.F.T.  when she was 13 years old.  She had many ideas of what she wanted to change in the community, but had no idea how to do it and struggled to navigate the systems in the community. Through L.I.F.T. Gabrielle S. grew in her leadership and honed her communication and networking skills. By working closely with adult mentors, organizations, and youth groups in KGO ACT, she developed a strong and diverse community network.

“By being connected through my network, I can see where the resources are in the community and I know how to access them”.

As Gabrielle S. researched universities for this fall, she utilized her network to connect to and learn more about the program she was interested in at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). This helped inform her decision, and she starts in the Management and International Business Program at UTSC in September!

Overall, Gabrielle S. loves that KGO ACT is youth driven while also being well supported by a diverse group of adult mentors.

“Our adult mentors help us navigate systems and structures in the community, while also helping guide us through our own learning process. I really appreciate how KGO ACT brings together organizations and youth, it is really about community wide change. Everyone is treated equally and all opinions are heard and valued.”

Impact on Organizations:

Organizations have reported a greater understanding of how to work in a youth-adult partnership model that is reciprocal in nature, rather than tokenistic. This approach to the work has allowed local organizations to work and plan together for the long term, as well as build trust and explore what changes need to be made at the neighbourhood level.

“When I came to the KGO ACT table my organization didn’t involve youth in anything. I had my suspicions that this could be different, but this initiative gave me the support and information I need to know that I was on the right track! We are moving towards real changes in our staff model to incorporate youth in a number of ways throughout the church”. ----local pastor

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

Based on the 2016 Toronto’s Vital Signs Report, “a dismal 5% of Toronto’s millennials report feeling that their local government listens to them”, and yet “69% say they want to participate in meetings about the city’s future”. Community based participation helps lead youth to civic engagement by developing skills that allow for meaningful participation. While organization that receive government funds are learning to listen to what youth want - an important first step to youth feeling heard!

What You Can Do

 

The KGO ACT initiative has built a model of youth leadership that is resonating with local youth and changing the culture of organizations that work with youth. Youth have ideas they want to see happen in their community such as events to engage more youth, trainings to build their skills, as well as attending conferences. And your support will help transform the aspirations and goals of our young leaders into reality.

When youth and adults work as allies great things can happen! Here is the impact your donation will have:

When you donate, you help make it possible for the Storefront to build the capacity of youth to lead through training, coaching and mentoring. These will build the capacity of our participants so that young people themselves have the skills and confidence to develop their ideas, organize events and reach out to inspire other youth to participate.

Your gift will create opportunities for youth to influence other youth, adults, and organizations and institutions in their neighbourhood.  You will be helping equip young people with skills that will help them in the future careers.  

Contact

Anne Gloger
Director
416.208.9889 x39
Charitable Number: 130560188RR0001

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