San Romanoway Revitalization
Our Impact Why We Exist
Through a partnership between the SRRA, building management, residents, local businesses, and the Toronto Police Service - 31 Division, the SRRA seeks to combat increased crime rates and marginalization in one of Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods by creating a safer and healthier community. The SRRA provides the residence of the San Romanoway and Jane Finch communities with a range of services geared to different segments of its residence. SRRA actively involves participants throughout the planning and implementation of programs to stay in tune with the changing needs of this diverse community.
Our Story What We Do
History of Organization
In 1999, the owners and managers of the San Romanoway high-rise buildings met with law enforcement officials, community residents, local businessses, academics, community organizations and community leaders to discuss the perceived escalation of gangs, violent crime and vandalism in the Jane-finch area. Since the inception of SRRA in 2001, the Association team worked tirelessly to enhance community/neighbourhood safety and well-being by forming partnerships with stakeholders which saw a dramatic decrease in crime and victimization.
SRRA, as a not-for-profit Social Service Organization, that provides programs to children, youth, families and seniors residing in the San Romanoway neighbourhood and the wider Jane-Finch community. The services, activities and membership are open to all residents, local businesses and potential partners who share and value the mission, mandate and statement of our organization.
Accolades and Accomplishments
SRRA has been recognized by a number of organizations, individuals and studies for the success of the program. Empirically, academic studies have shown concrete and significant reductions in the rates of property crime and vandalism, victimization, and stranger assaults. These improvements are reflected by the improvements of residence perceptions as assessed by surveys. The results of these surveys also show considerable increases in the areas of neighbourhood interaction, feelings of safety, and community cohesion. The SRRA has also received considerable positive media attention. Having been featured numerous times by national news papers and broadcasts, the efforts of the SRRA have gone a long way in beginning to change the perception of the Jane Finch neighbourhood. While there is much that remains to be done, the enormous improvements that have occurred have helped to break the negative stereotypes of what the Prime Minister of Canada once dubbed “Canada’s Worst Neighbourhood”.
Our Programs How We Do It
Children’s Summer Camp 2014 welcomed more than 100 campers to the 7 week program which offered arts and crafts, competitive sports, swimming, tennis instruction, literacy and numeracy instruction and day trips to the Toronto Zoo, Bronte Creek, Canada's Wonderland and other GTA attractions.
- Before and After School. The association operates a Breakfast and After School program for children 5 years 8 months-9 years of age. Two hot nutritious meals are provided five days each week. Qualified staff and volunteers provide the children with tutoring, homework assistance, mentoring, computer training, recreational activities and other supports such as one-on-one mentoring for individual children with special learning needs.
- Boys and Girls Club. In conjunction with the Before and After School Program we operate a Boys & Girls Club for children 10-12 years of age. The programs are of a crime preventative nature providing culturally sensitive, educational, recreational and physical activities.
- Seniors Drop-In. Isolated seniors are offered an outlet to meet other seniors to socialize and discuss issues that impact their lives. Discussions focus on health issues, apartment security, elder abuse and crime, and other relevant resources that foster independence and self-reliance.
- Elia After School Program. This project addresses the needs of the most “at-risk” students in grades 6, 7 and 8 at Elia Middle School, through a holistic approach. The purpose of the project is to decrease the risk factors associated with crime, violence and victimization and to enhance the protective factors for students, families and the community.
- Connecting Bridges: This project aims to address (bridge) a range of psycho-social and academic issues that at-risk students face, by building bridges such as leadership, life skills and teamwork. The goal is to bring confidence to students and better prepare them for future endeavours in the education system and beyond. Connecting Bridges is devoted to bringing the best out of each student, utilizing S.L.A.M. "Success, Leadership, Attitude & Manners" progam principles. The program is currently operating two (2) sessions per week for 90 minutes per session at two (2) local middle schools - Elia Middle School and Brookview Middle School - in the Jane Finch community.
The Objectives of this project are:
- To provide students with opportunities to explore psycho-social issues that affect their academic performance, life choices and personal development.
- To offer a life skills program that enhances student knowledge and builds their skills with a view to improving their academic performance, peer relations and foster pro-social community involvement
- To provide students with supportive services as required to support their healthy development and growth
- To promote student leadership
- To enhance student resiliency
- To improve Family relationships
- To provide families with needed supports, services and resources
- Develop an educational and personal plan for the participants
- Daily communication with the student
- Pathways to Healthy Life Choices; led by SRRA in partnership with Across Boundaries and Black Creek Community Health Centre is a three year initiative funded through Health Canada's SDSCIF Strategy. This project is designed to mobilize and strengthen community awareness and collaborative ction that would prevent illicit drug use and prescription drug abuse among marginalized, racialized youth in the Jane-Finch and broader Downsview community. The goal of the project is to offer youth safe and non-threatening environments in which to participate in activities that promote the creation of healthy attitudes and behaviours and provide a forum to learn and share experienes and knowledge about drug use. The project will take a gendered approach, recognizing the different needs of male and female youth.
The components of this project are:
- A School and Community Education and Outreach Program designed to increase knowledge about the harmful effects of drug abuse through educational presentations in the Jane-Finch middle and secondary schools and community locations.
- An Intervention Program with diverse activities for 'at-risk' youth to aquire knowledge and skills to avoid drug use and becoming involved in anti-social behaviours.
- An Intervention Program designed to engage 'hard to reach' youth who have dropped out of school, lack life skills and are vulnerable to substance abuse, offering them positive alternatives for healthy living including education, training and employment options.
- A Family Support Program designed to provide 'at risk' youth and their families with skills, services and supports to bring about reduced illicit drug use and build healthy lives. The project activities are designed to strengthen protective factors through enhancing knowledge and skills that will improve the capacity for youth to avoid drug use. This will ultimately have positive impact on their futures, that of their families and the community.