April 2017

April Roundtable 


Sunday Exchange with Bus Stop Theatre- seeking an up-and-coming visual artist. Dramatic Changes hiring a summer student

Nick, North End Community Circle Facilitator, Veith House


Mobile Food Market happening at Needham Recreation Centre every second Saturday morning. Inexpensive groceries, healthy food at an affordable price. Please help put that out there!

Yoga at Veith House on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, $2.50 donation but walk-ins also welcome.

North End BBQ coming up early this summer! If you want to collaborate let me know.

A separate project I’m working on is called Tech for Change, pitching it to Dalhousie right now. We’ll be teaching kids how to do web development, graphic design, etc. Working to find a space for that. We’re heading to a more conscious technology-based industry, so need to help youth figure that out and help it feel less scary. In North America there’s only two-third of tech jobs being filled. Lots of need for it, not really reaching demand. If you’re interested in partnering up on this project, get in touch. Space at Veith House!


Laurie Martin, Community Outreach Worker, Phoenix Youth Community Centre Mulgrave Park (PYCC)


Past month busy with March break

Know Your Rights workshop at Citadel

Spring Dinner just before Easter

Community kitchens every month

Family Night at end of month on top of regular programming


Carla Sheppard, PYCC


Summer! We run a program called Let’s Make it Happen for youth ages 16-19, which is a pre-employability program where we search out employers to hire youth for the summer. 3 hours a day 3 days a week. Wages are paid by Phoenix.

In the mornings, we do employability training. Food handlers, WHMIS, etc.

If you’re an employer who’d like to work with some youth for the summer or have a workshop training that you think would be applicable, please reach out.

Not all employers who sign up will necessary have a youth through the program because we try to match youth with employers based on the interest of the youth.

Non-profit and businesses both acceptable employers. We’ve had partnerships in the past with the Westin, Salvation Army, Africville Museum, Northwood, East Coast Lifestyle, Central Library, etc.


Barry Shmidl, Department of Community Services (DCS)


Manager of service provider relations.

A year and a half ago, the department created three positions like mine in different parts of the province.

I create or maintain an effective working relationship with DCS andrent community agencies

My position has an ‘ambassadorial function’. I answer questions for service provider organizations, connect them to the right people. In some cases it’s other departments like education or justice, but usually it’s DCS.

I go to other roundtable meetings in other parts of HRM and find out what organizations, governments, foundations are doing, pass on to service provider organizations.

Sometimes it’s about funding, health boards, provincial or federal government.

Another part of my role is helping to resolve problems that service providers come to us with. ‘Quarterbacking’ the issue, getting the appropriate people in DCS involved in solving the problem. Financial issues, board governance. Clarifying information.


Ruth-Ellen Jackson, Northwood ReBoom


This is the First time I’m here, getting a feel for what this is all about.


Shelly Meisner, NSCC IT Campus Leeds Street


NSCC came up with community outreach committee to remind everyone that we have a variety of meeting rooms, SMART boards, facilities, even a piano that are welcome for use by the community. We’ve had numerous community groups come in to use the space. We’re here as a partner in terms of both human resources and physical facilities.

Adult Learning Program (ALP) for students 19 over and out of school at least one year. We’re currently assessing applicants and will be throughout the summer. We have four intakes for the program throughout the year.

We run an English as an Additional Language (EAL) program and are waiting to hear about adding a third session so we can support newcomers who don’t have their high school education.

Students who have been accepted into one of our programs have the ‘Get Started’ Day of Orientation on Friday, May 19th.

IT Link program. 19 students enrolled in IT program currently. Both programs allow students who are attending to get their grade 12 as well as electives through IT program and get both certifications at the same time. It’s completely free, everything down to the bus pass!

Carpentry Link works similarly and is offered at the Akerley Campus. This program is currently showing as full online but if there is someone you know who’d like to apply, get in touch with Ralph Higgins, the ALP Counsellor at Akerley Campus at 902-491-4816


Pauline Peters, Resident of North end


Interested in what’s happening


Rozzi Curran, Executive Director, St. George’s YouthNet 


After-school lunch, teen program, summer camps throughout summer

Keen to collaborate connect with new people

Halifax Bike Week contacted us about putting on a youth-focused event in June. We don’t have the space to accommodate it but they want to get more youth from this area involved and would like to bring bikes scooters to us for the event.

If you’re interested in collaborating on that, please get in touch.


Rachel MacPhee, Developmental Interventionist, NS Early Childhood Development Intervention Services


Here to see what’s going on in the community

I work with families in Central Halifax, our office is on Novalea


Ada MacDonald, Open Arms Centre


Free health care, foot care at Centre on Uniacke.

Partnering with NECHC (North End Community Health Centre) for the Gentle Exercise program, alternating locations between the Centre on Uniacke and the NECHC on Gottingen.

Life Skills Coach training: Available for folks working in health, social services, etc. There is a 10% discount, need 10 people to sign up to get it here.


Jen Lohnes Open Arms center


8-week summer day camp coming up for kids in Square or within walking distance

Ages 5-7, 8-12

Cooking classes, Easter brunch.


James Woods Salvation Army Centre of Hope


Good Neighbor Energy Fund program assistance with power bill, heating.

Physical applications at the Salvation Army, or online. http://www.salvationarmy.ca/maritime/gnef/

H20 fund: Halifax Water bill assistance. http://www.salvationarmy.ca/maritime/h2o/

Holiday Camp in Pictou county. Free of charge, week-long camp. July 10-14. http://www.salvationarmy.ca/maritime/camp/


Ross Unger dramatic changes, social justice community arts organization


We’re putting on a hip hop musical about gentrification, are now in process of putting together all the stories

There is an event this Saturday 2pm at the George Dixon Centre where we’ll be presenting what we have so far, getting input. Free, snacks provided.

For this project, we’ll be interviewing politicians, developers, small businesses. If you know anyone who’d be open to being interviewed, send them our way.

We interviewed the HRM Police Chief and are planning a program to come out of that, which will be a ‘get to know your cops’ speed-friending kind of thing. It will be a once-a-week session where people can get to know the local police officers if they want, and we’ll make profiles about them. It’s a very new idea; if you want to be involved in making that happen, get in touch.

‘Picking Up the Pieces: Understanding Sexual Violence’ with Dalhousie. We’ll be making something to present at student orientation in September. Any students or people in general who want to be involved, get in touch.

Upcoming gambling awareness program. If you have any experience with gambling-related harm, either directly or indirectly, and want to be interviewed or brainstorm ways to address gambling awareness, contact us. We’ll be making musical around it, as well as a game for young students.

Winter Holiday Blues for November/December to explore loneliness around the holidays, coming together to create new traditions. Work with community group come in run workshops.

Just got funding to hire summer student!


Martha Mutale, Sunday Exchange with the Bus Stop Theatre


The Bus Stop Theatre is working on a new initiative to engage the North End in using the space. Any events going on from here and 7 months from now, it’s open for use. We want to connect with groups, organizations who’d like to put events on in there.

There is a budget for a visual artist to do posters, a website.


Seeking connections in Dartmouth/Cole Harbour and wondering if there is a roundtable-style gathering that happens there or individuals/organizations who’d be helpful to contact for getting on started. Please get in touch if you know of anyone.


Jan Catano, Halifax Community Health Board.


Finally the health plan is done! Launching on April 24th. Will have formal plans done up to distribute.

Each Community Health Board did interviews, consultations, etc, to gather information to go into the plan. The issues were all the same, but the actions people need to take to address those issues are quite different.

Four themes of the plan:

-Service accessibility (e.g. I can’t find a doctor)

-Wellness & health promotion (e.g. There is no safe place to walk where I live, no parks near me, I can’t afford to send my kids to sports)

-Supportive communities (Who are on boards, committees? Who’s making decisions? We hear a lot about that in our group specifically because we had a lot of newcomers come to our focus groups.)

-Working Together Upstream (Mostly, why are you waiting until everyone is sick? Proactive health initiatives)

The Community Health Board develops an action plan for one year at a time. Anything not done first year can get to it second or third. Things were looking at for this year are:

  • Finding a family doctor, physical activity.
  • Waiving recreation fees in city-owned facilities
  • Mental wellness-looking to partner with organizations on this. About half of applications for the Wellness Fund were community groups wanting to address mental wellness
  • Food Security


Kelsey Lane, Halifax Cycling Coalition


We work on making active transportation accessible and safe for everybody.

Bike lanes and sidewalks! Built environment, transportation justice.

30 Days of Biking happening right now: A challenge for community to bike for 30 days, during which time we provide workshops for how to tune up your bike, host group rides.

Giving away a free bike at the end of it!

Bike Buddy program, built off of the Welcoming Wheels program (a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre, Immigrant Services and Halifax Cycling Coalition). We repaired bikes and gave them to newcomers. The purpose of the program is to help newcomers understand rules of the road and build community relationships by meeting a few times a month with your bike buddy.

We can connect to you grant of up to $30,000 of matched funding! Get in touch for details.

We’ve gotten a Beautification Grant (Downtown Business Commission) which involves collaborating to make bike racks beautiful and creative in the city.


Marcus James, Community Engagement Manager, Halifax North Memorial Public Library


This coming Saturday 1:30pm Manchester By The Sea film screening

Partnering with Community Health Teams who will be hosting a Want better health? Build better goals! Session on Thursday April 6th in the evening (passed). Communityhealthteams.ca for more information.

I’m a part of the 902 Man Up group that is helping Uniacke Square, Mulgrave Park, North Preston communities address the violence that we’ve been experiencing over the last few years. It is 100% community volunteers based. Over 100 black men, some professionals, some who’ve been incarcerated but have changed their ways, etc. We go into community and speak to young men who’ve been identified by that community as being someone who is at risk. Talk to them about how they’re harming the community, how they can change.

We’ve put on three major events so far. Last August, we did a schoolbag launch in Uniacke Square where we gave out over 50 fully-stacked bookbags for returning students. We identified young men who are at risk and we included them in the giving portion of the event. Some of those young men since then have become members of the group. When we talk about the violence that’s been happening, we’re really speaking about employment. Some people seem to think we have a gang issue here in HRM and it’s not that. It’s about employment.

We get that in our dialogue when communicating with those young men and finding out how we can support them in changing their lives. It’s an employment issue. We’re looking at, as a group, creating employment opportunities. We have a Crown prosecutor, doctors, and lawyers as part of group.

We’re partnering with Corrections Canada, going into prisons. When speaking with these young men we’re finding that none of them had a male role model in their life, and part of the reason for that is their dad, uncle, brother is also incarcerated. We met with Corrections Canada to, help them to understand that there’s a link there, and a role 902 Man Up can play to keep those families intact. Encountering young men in prison systems saying ‘I have a younger brother and am hearing that he’s involved in criminal activity, but I can’t help him because I’m incarcerated’. 902 Man Up can then reach out to him.

We’ve put about 40 hours into this so far. It’s 100% volunteer.

We also held a Qwanzaa celebration in Mulgrave Park and had over 17 men from that community come out. We provided all the food, we did the cooking, and invited the young men in the community to help us cook it. First had an intimate dinner with them where we could open up a conversation, then opened it up to community where the young men could then serve the community members who came out.

The Coach Carter movie was a true story based on an American coach.

We brought Coach Carter (real human!) here, in this room. He gave out over $1000 of his own money to folks in the community, based on answers people gave to his questions.

Our strength is in engaging the community. We try to reach out to black communities within HRM. The Mayor’s office, myself, Lindell Smith, Tracey Jones, DeRico Symonds formed an internal committee and conversations are taking place on how to provide health programming. Doing various community consultations, engaging community to find out how HRM can support communities that have been under attack as far as violence goes.

The goal is to be in all our HRM communities where the violence is taking place. Right up until now, the issue has been that the black community has been owning the violence, but it’s actually an HRM problem. If we don’t address it as a city, we’re not going to be able to change it. We can be supported by having access to meeting spaces. We don’t want funding, want to keep it totally volunteer-based, because we feel we might lose our identity.

We’re in the process of putting together a strategic plan to figure out how we’ll manage that.

We’re always open to ideas.

If you know any individual or a family who needs support, contact us.



Kate McLennan, HRM Community Developer for Halifax Peninsula


There are five of us who are geographically-based.

My office is in the George Dixon Centre

Summer registration is now open for George Dixon rec programs.

Recreation Day June 3rd: free day of recreation activities, including events on the Oval for all ages.

There is a big event organized by the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre on June 21st, 9-5pm.

Mawita’jik, meaning ‘Let us gather’

Unveiling an aboriginal art project we’ve been working on the commons for several years. The aboriginal community has been working on artwork at the top of Cornwallis Street, at the entrance to the Commons. Unveiling 11am June 21st.

More info here: https://www.evensi.ca/mawitajik-let-us-gather-mikmaw-native-friendship-centre/203595913

Volunteer opportunities: I’ve had a few people inquire about volunteer opportunities for large groups of people 8-10, and it’s hard to say where they should go. If you need a group of volunteers, get in touch and I’ll connect you.

Bike Week.

June 2-11. Always looking for other ways people can contribute ideas or host an event. Looking for ideas, people, and organizations. Small grants available to help fund event. Find more info here: halifax.ca/bikeweek


Julia Jennings, Halifax Community Health Team


Free health-related education sessions:

Pre-diabetes session

Food and Mood at Northwood

Parenting your Teenager

Making the Most of Your Food Dollar

Taking Charge of Your Stress at Northwood

Heart-Healthy Living at JBO building

Call to register for programs in the program calendar. We also offer targeted programming. Get in touch anytime. Phone number to register is on the flyer or go to communityhealthteam.ca to register.

The only one-on-one service we provide is wellness navigation. If you’re stressed, needing resources, struggling with money, housing, mental health, a wellness navigator can meet with you anywhere you’re comfortable. Wellness navigators are health professionals who know the health system, government systems, community systems, and can help point you in the right direction.


Stephanie Parker, Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank


Hali-didarod Sunday May 28th

Spoof on Alaska Iditarod. People instead of dogs, shopping cart instead of sled.

Fundraising and food-raising drive. Teams of 5 come up with theme. Race around oval for prizes, after each lap they’ll stop and do silly challenges. Two months from now- Sunday, May 28th 1-4pm at the Oval.

In the beginning, we were charging teams $500 to enter. Didn’t work so well.

Instead, there is no minimum amount they need to raise, and if they just come with a shopping cart full of non-perishable food items. 3-4 teams right now, can have up to 8 teams. 15 is the youngest allowable entry age.

We are the largest independent food bank in NS. Food is down, donations are down, and we need your help in the community. We’ll appreciate it, even just to get the promotion of the event out there. The event will be supported on TV, radio, and is a real opportunity for us to let the community know what’s going on. Sunday, May 28th.

We can help get teams a shopping cart. You can also go talk to a manager at the store to ask with a letter to borrow the cart.

We encourage fundraising, have pledge sheets.


Lisa Roberts, Halifax Needham MLA,


It sounds like there a number of players at the table who could benefit in having a deeper conversation. If there is ever a desire to pursue that and you have a need a space or help convening folks, my office has a small board room and table, I can help facilitate. I have been involved in the roundtable for years, still love that kind of work. My assistant, Cecilia, is also very happy to help.

Practical things I’m able to provide:

One of few ways I can directly support community groups is through advertising.

In my office, we have a pop up banner that has name and face on it. If you pop that up at an event, you can invoice me for advertising. If you have a public event and need $100 to provide snacks and you’ll have a decent amount of people, for example, we’ll get the banner to you.

Any Nova Scotia MLAs can pay for a membership (to your organization) at a set rate, as many of you work in ways that cross multiple districts.

We’re also able to buy two tickets to big fundraising events. Part of reason why I pitch the advertising thing is because I know most small organizations don’t have time or resources for organizing those kinds of fancy events.

I’ve been contacted by a number of people and groups for access to space.

Direction 180 currently operates in a space on Gottingen Street with lots of stairs and is not accessible at all. They would have some ability to pay rent.

Metro Non-Profit Housing Trustee Services program runs in a 3-floor unit. Sometimes they have to meet with clients in front on the concrete landing pad because they can’t get them in the building.

It’s a big, smooth operation that runs once a month. They can pay rent once a month for a more adequate space.

I’ve also gotten an ask from faith community looking to rent space for Sunday mornings, access to a community kitchen and to a couple offices. They don’t have to all be in the same space. Could also pay rent.

If you know of options for any of these, please get in touch.

We almost need a neighborhood ‘shiret’ for SPACE. Who’s got what, who needs what.

We’re probably facing an election soon, but I’m still interested in helping play a role in something like that.

Alot of one-on-one or three-part community conversations about this, but they don’t always get anywhere, and there are still lots of folks who aren’t aware [of the needs/opportunities]. I’m open to playing a role in hosting something like that.

I’m missing what the North End Community Circle used to do, where regular community meals were hosted to bring people together from across the community. Veith House is great but the kitchen is downstairs and gathering room is upstairs, it’s a little awkward.

I’d be happy to get back in the kitchen to do up another pot of chili as I’ve done for many years!

We should think about a rotating community meal. Community kitchen and hall at St. Georges, community kitchen at St. Margarets of Scotland, for example.

Erica Fraser, Good Robot Brewing Co., Ecology Action Centre Food Action Committee

Food Roundtable Wednesday, April 12th, 10am-12 noon at JBO Building on 2103 Gottingen. If you work or volunteer with folks experiencing food insecurity, poverty, improper nutrition related to lack of access to fresh food, or have personal experience with the impacts of food insecurity, please join the conversation. This will be a focused roundtable with a goal of gathering information on what’s out there and what’s needed, but anyone who feels called to joining is absolutely welcome.

There are many people and organizations doing great work to making sure people can feed themselves. We need to all connect and discover new ways of being supported so that work can be done to dig into the deeper root issue of food insecurity and food injustice.  Myself, some of my peers and members of the greater community can do the work to support those in their work related to food insecurity. We can build a team around this, but we need to find out exactly what is already happening in the community and where support is needed to ensure that the work is truly reflective of the needs of the community.

If you’d like to let us know you’re coming, have questions, can’t make it but want to stay connected or for us to pass on information on your behalf, please contact eri.fraser@gmail.com, 902-817-3110 or Megan MacBride, mmacbride(at)nechc.com

phone:(902)422-5642 ext 8.