Central Etobicoke Hub collaborates with Humber students for community web portal

Published On February 12, 2021 | By Victoria Meyer | News
A map with red points to show the areas where community services are available in Toronto. To the left, Central Etobicoke is seen with very little community service locations.

This map shows points of all community service locations in Toronto, and to the left of the map is a peach coloured are which represents Central Etobicoke, where there is a lack of community services available. (City of Toronto)

 

Humber College students are working together with the Central Etobicoke Hub Initiative to create a new web portal that will help service agencies provide community resources.

Students will be joining the hub to create a virtual tool to research available community areas over the next few months.

The main goal for students is to create an innovative list of community spaces, said Julet Allen, faculty director of Social Services at Humber College.

The idea was created in collaboration with the City of Toronto to construct a virtual space inventory, which in turn will allow social agencies to develop community services.

The city issued the hub a $10,000 grant to assist with web development and service delivery, as stated in a report from the City of Toronto.

“These community spaces often provide service supports as well as accessible community meeting places for people to come together to build a community,” the report said.

Compared to other parts of Etobicoke, the central Etobicoke area is greatly lacking community spaces, according to Social Planning Toronto.

The Humber students are working to identify potential locations that could offer community services.

Central Etobicoke is home to a combination demographic of individuals with a large population of seniors, but also a high proportion of residents under the age of 24.

“The resident demographics are in need of quality and accessible social services,” said Colin Mang, chair of the Central Etobicoke Community Hub.

“You can understand what these groups of people are likely to draw into,” Mang said. “We are looking for the best spaces available so that community service agencies know the place to go to appeal to the correct demographic.”

Populations in Central Etobicoke have amplified a need for community services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mang said.

The hub plans on finding physical community spaces, but the pandemic has pushed everything online, resulting in the search for virtual spaces.

“A number of agencies that we work with are doing virtual programming right now,” Mang said. “We’re looking forward to the day when we can get back and host community forums because they’re a great opportunity for residents to come together to meet people from other parts of Etobicoke.”

Humber’s social and community services students are responsible for compiling census demographics for the Central Etobicoke area, and furthermore will analyze collected information to construct subgroups in need of social services.

“The magic hasn’t started yet,” said Allen, as the project is still in its first steps which allow students time to collect information.

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