This is the metric used by Tom Melvin to gauge the success of Deer Park United Church. Certainly it was clear at the Deer Park United Church community round table that the Deer Run, Deer Park, Queensland Action Team (DDQA) would miss them. They are an integral part of this alliance formalized as a coalition under an Alberta Health Services program. The alliance includes Aspen Family Services, Calgary Housing, Community and Neighborhood Services with the City of Calgary, Deer Run Elementary School, Calgary Police Services, and Alberta Health.

Together and at difference sites they are providing diverse programs including

  • A daily breakfast program – hosted by the school
  • A summer day camp
  • Spins Around, fresh produce delivery from restaurants and grocery stores
  • Youth Drop-in
  • Family Budgeting, Resume writing, support with job searches
  • Drug and alcohol prevention with children, youth, and families
  • After School Programs
  • Community Gatherings

Many of these programs are offered at Deer Park United Church and the invitations are all important. Tom knows the paper notice into a mailbox already stuffed with flyers is no invitation at all.

Instead he and other Deer Park staff have a regular practice of going door to door, visiting their neighbours, chatting – shooting the breeze and inviting them or their children to an event at the church such as a Friday night youth group attended by 40+ teenagers, much food and much fun.

Kiran McKee

Kiran McKee

The members of Deer Park United Church take their relationships and work in the community very seriously, to the extent that given the option of hiring a second full time minister they decided to hire Kiran McKee, a social worker to align with their commitment to those beyond their walls.

The recent community round table hosted by Deer Park United Church as part of the Loving your Neighbourhood project was reenergizing for the 17 individuals who participated and affirmed the value of their intentional connection to each other through the DDQA team and the effectiveness of their collaborations in the community. It also gave them the opportunity to think about next steps.

A widely shared wisdom of the community is that it needs a community resource center in Deer Ridge. There are families in the neighbourhood with significant social and economic needs and no easy bus routes to the services; having a resource center near by would enable the services to come to the families.

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