Deer Run is fast becoming a ‘Hub’ of the community in southeast Calgary.
Thanks to ‘The Hub,’ a new community resource centre, residents are coming together to build a neighborhood that’s more active, vibrant and diverse than ever before.
“It’s a community on the tipping point for change, in the way they wanted to take leadership and have positive change,” says Sarah Johnson, a community development worker with Aspen Family & Community Network, a not-for-profit charitable organization serving a broad range of needs in Calgary.
The Hub was created by Calgary Housing and Aspen Family & Community Network following discussions by the Bow Bottom Community Coalition, which Aspen is a member of. Nearly three years in the making, The Hub opened its doors this past June thanks to government, business and community coming together to make The Hub a reality. The city-led Home Program Module 3 provided funding for programming at The Hub through a community grant; several agencies have provided in-kind support; local businesses have given donations; and local residents have provided countless volunteer hours and leadership to enable The Hub to run.
The Hub offers its programs and services free of charge, including programming focused on children, child development, parenting and culture; basic needs support, and community gatherings. There is a Homework Club; Indigenous Parenting group, Book Truck and Story Time, Open Computers and Little Library. New this fall will be an English as a Second Language conversation club, hosted by the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association; and an adult cooking program run by Community Kitchen Program of Calgary.
Services at The Hub include a tool library, clothing closet, food cupboard and toiletry pantry, volunteer board, computer lab and resource bulletin board.
For Sarah, the most lively part about this work, is the interaction with children and youth, “who are always involved in everything we do.” The Hub’s current goal is to encourage more parents to come out as well, with more family-focused initiatives.
If everything goes well, Sarah expects that community residents will become more involved over the next several years, both at The Hub and in the community at large. Helping to further this goal will be to solidify partnerships with organizations such as the Calgary Police Service. To this end, The Hub is bringing in Calgary Police Service representatives as part of its programming. “Kids get really excited when they see the police cars and talk with police officers about their jobs,” Sarah notes. “Especially in this community, which is so culturally diverse, developing positive relationships with the police is important, so that people feel safe to report crime, as is solidifying relationships with other leaders in the community.”
The Hub serves not only Deer Run, Deer Ridge and Queensland, but also all of the communities south of Anderson Drive. If you’d like to get involved, The Hub is always looking for people to run programming, volunteer or contribute financially.
“We are very flexible in the involvement we have, because it’s such an open space,” Sarah explains. “The only thing you need to do is pick programming that targets a resident-identified need or interest.”
For more information about The Hub, please contact Ray from Calgary Housing at (403) 969-9144.