Keeping people safe & well

United Way 2007 Community Builder Award for NCLB

 

EPIC Award 2007

 

Six Month Progress Review

July to December 2006

 

The National Crime Prevention Centre’s funding of the No Community Left Behind program ended on July 30, 2006. Nevertheless, partners on the steering committee decided to continue and expand the program to three other neighbouring communities in Heatherington, Confederation Court and Russell Heights. Program activities continued in the Banff Avenue Community, where the pilot phase greatly transformed the community. The following report summarizes the progress made during the past six months.

Expansion-Phase Successfully Launched

On August 3, 2005 the NCLB steering committee met for the first time to launch the pilot phase of the No Community Left Behind initiative at the Banff Avenue community.

On August 1, 2006, Phase II of the project was launched and activities were expanded to three neighbouring communities. Community Houses and tenants’ associations (TA) — two in Heatherington and one each in Confederation Court and Russell Heights — are the front-line partners.  

Introductory meetings in the communities

"The NCLB program is very very successful. We are finding that people who were isolated and were scared to come out of their homes are  now feeling like they are very safe in their community. They are willing to join different programming and to get involved in their community. We are seeing a very very positive change in the community."

 — Sue Skinner,
Ottawa Legal Clinic 


 

The expansion phase began after the steering committee’s decision, reached during its June 27, 2006  meeting. Introductory meetings were held with the elected members of all four tenants’ associations, who subsequently helped to organize “safety meetings” with the community to introduce the No Community Left Behind’s approach and promote dialogue with the concerned Ottawa Police Service and Ottawa Community Housing security staff. 

An introductory meeting to No Community Left Behind was held at Confederation Court House on August 16, 2006. The community was feeling increasingly unsafe. Community leaders were demanding a meeting to discuss safety and security issues. The meeting was attended by the Ottawa Police Service, staff from Ottawa Community Housing and the South East Ottawa Centre for a Healthy Community. This became a natural evolution of the NCLB’s expansion phase.

We have divided the Heatherington community into two blocs to effectively implement the program’s activities: one bloc is the community houses on both sides of Heatherington Road, and the other is the high-rise building at 1455 Heatherington Road.

During the expansion phase the tenants’ association at 1455 Heatherington Road did an amazing job of completing the required number of community safety survey forms within a couple of weeks. Members of this TA continue to do an amazing job. They serve the community during a daily coffee and tea session from 8 to 11 am. About 14 community members drop in regularly from Monday through Friday.

The TA at 1455 Heatherington Road has a large facility available for meetings  and activities, including a well-furnished and well-equipped kitchen. Other than the morning drop-ins, the TA is performing a range of activities, including crafts on Wednesdays from 2-4 pm, a clothing cupboard on Thursdays from 9 am-3 pm, and occasional cooking classes. Other parties for Halloween, Remembrance Day and Christmas are planned.  

Other community meetings took place on:

-         October 10, 2006- Confederation Court

-         October 18, 2006- Russell Heights

-         October 26, 2006- Heatherington community

-         October 28, 2006- TA members from 1455 Heatherington Rd.[1]

Preliminary community health and safety surveys
A successful meeting was held with the tenants’ association on August 1, 2006, and another community level meeting took place on August 10, 2006. All credit for putting together the tenants’ association’s meeting at Confederation Court goes to Melanie O’Rourke from Ottawa Community Housing. Although the TA was in the very early stages of its establishment, TA members took the responsibility for outreach to complete the preliminary community assessment survey.  

TAs from Russell Heights, 1455 Heatherington Rd. and the community houses at Heatherington committed themselves equally to completing the initial phase of community assessment, which becomes the basis for planning and evaluation in the NCLB process. A meeting with the tenants' association at 1455 Heatherington Rd. was held on August 4, 2006. The executive body was introduced to the concept of NCLB and assumed responsibility for conducting a preliminary survey, completing the job within two weeks. 

Initial assessment surveys were completed in all communities by September 15, 2006. The communities were also given the opportunity to complete the surveys online. Special notices were posted on computers in the Community Houses to encourage community members to complete online survey forms.   

The results of the surveys are available online. [2]  

Prioritization and planning

Necessary steps for Phase II (prioritization and strategic planning) were undertaken during September and October, 2006. After the planning cycle’s completion, a detailed social mobilization activity plan, attached to this report, was approved by the steering committee on October 31, 2006 for a period of six months, from November 1, 2006 to April 30, 2007. 

Several planning meetings were held during the planning phase, including the following: 

-    NCLB’s working group met on October 17, 2006 at the Banff Avenue Community House to discuss the program’s expansion, the identified needs, the required response and activities. The youth component of the No Community Left Behind initiative remained a major focus of the discussion.

-    The community house directors from Banff, Confederation Court and Russell Heights met on October 19, 2006 at the Confederation Court community house to discuss future plans and related administrative issues.

-    The community house’s directors met with the Executive Director of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club at the Banff Community House on October 24, 2006.

-    A follow-up meeting to the October 24 meeting was held on December 8, 2006.

-    Based on the conclusions reached during the above mentioned meetings, a concept paper [3] was prepared to effectively coordinate youth programs. The concept paper was presented at the steering committee meeting on October 31, 2006. 

As a result of the strategic planning process, a detailed activity plan was finalized and approved at the October 31 Steering Committee meeting for implementation over the next six months (Nov. 1, 2006 to April 30, 2007). The social mobilization schedule for the next six months is available here. [4] 

Community Activities

The communities undertook several social mobilisation activities, bringing communities and partner agencies together. Some of these activities are: 

  • Community trip to Mont Casscades.  The Banff Avenue Community Tenants' Association (TA) organized a day-long trip for families to the water park at Mont Cascades on August 14, 2006. A total of 75 community members participated in the event. The Tenants' Association’s credibility has now been established. Members of the Tenants’ Association feel confident enough now to undertake and organize community development activities on their own. 
  • The tenants' association organized a Community Day at Confederation Court  on August 25, 2006. [5] 
  • The tenants' association organized a Community Day at Heatherington on August 30, 2006. Food was served to all the community members and games were organized for children of all ages. [6] 
  • The Banff Avenue community took its first steps toward establishing a neighborhood watch. [7]Neighborhood watch officials met with residents, who started a campaign to register at least 50% of the residents in the program. 
  • The Banff Avenue community's Eid Day celebrations took place on November 3, 2006 and Christmas party on December 21, 2006. 
 

Progress

▶   Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) audit and implementation of its recommendations 

  • On September 19, 2006 Councillor Maria McRae, OPS Superintendent Charles Bordereau, Boys’ and Girls’ Club ED, Ottawa Community Housing Security Chief, Director of the Banff Community House, President of the Tenants' Association and others toured the community to go through the CPTED audit. Maria McRae closely followed up with all the concerned departments to implement the study’s recommendations.

  • Councillor Maria McRae met with the CEO of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC), Ron Larkin, on September 21, 2006 to discuss this audit and her expectations that OCHC immediately implement as many of the recommendations as possible.  Mr. Larkin assured Ms. McRae that he would review the audit document and provide appropriate direction to his staff.  Ms. McRae also provided her feedback to Mr. Larkin regarding some of the observations that she made during the tour regarding garbage, etc.

  • Furthermore, Ms. McRae asked Mr. Larkin, Superintendent Bordeleau, the Deputy City Managers of the City of Ottawa’s Public Works and Services and Community and Protective Services Departments and the Premier’s Office, as a liaison with Hydro One, to formally review the audit document and to provide her with written comments regarding their organization’s role in implementing the recommendations.

  • On October 3, 2006 Hydro One inspected the Banff Avenue OCHC property and agreed to work closely with the police and the OCHC.  Ms. McRae’s office was in direct communication with their office in Toronto, and with the inspectors who carried out implementation of CPTED recommendations.

  • Ms. McRae informed the steering committee members on October 3, 2006, “Further to my e-mail of September 25, 2006, attached herein, I am pleased to advise you that I have received positive confirmation from the Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, City of Ottawa Community & Protective Services and Public Works Departments and Hydro One that they will work with me to begin to implement the recommendations of the CPTED audit.  This means that everyone who I contacted is committed to working on this issue as a team.”

  • On October 6, 2006 Constable Len Vaz met onsite at Banff-Ledbury with representatives from Hydro One and OCHC to address the CPTED audit recommendation regarding the dense foliage bordering Hydro One’s and OCHC’s property.

  • To date, almost all recommendations of the CPTED study have been completed. Hydro One has removed thick foliage from its property by trimming trees and cutting down shrubs.  This will immediately impact the area by opening up the sight lines and creating defensible space.  Hydro One has also agreed to provide “No Trespassing” signs. Similar studies will be conducted in other communities to which the project has been recently extended.

▶  Presentation to Ottawa Police Service’s executives. A presentation on the NCLB approach and progress was made to the executives of the Ottawa Police Service meeting on October 2, 2006.  

▶  A presentation on NCLB’s approach and progress was made to the Ottawa Lower Town Security Committee on September 7, 2006, when NCLB’s experience and lessons learned were shared with the members. The more the NCLB partners meet other interested organizations and make presentations to them, the more their questions make them realize and understand different aspects of the NCLB and the ways it can be replicated elsewhere. The potential for this program to spread is strong. Fine-tuning of the NCLB’s approach, and coordinating support, can help many interested communities address similar problems in different settings. 

▶  A sub-group of NCLB partners meets regularly to assess the community safety situation in the Confederation Court Community. A member of the South Ottawa Legal Clinic, police officers, the NCLB coordinator and OCHC and security staff have met three times: October 3, November 1 and December 6, 2006. These groups are due to meet again on February 6, 2007. The idea of this working group arose in October 2006 in response to the deteriorating safety and security situation in the Confederation Court community. Drug dealing in the open, dog fights, racial tensions and vandalism were the main issues. Since then the police have made several arrests. Cases are pending with the housing tribunal against some residents, and some other residents have been forced to sign off their leases. The safety and security situation has been improved significantly due to the partners’ concerted efforts and collaborative work.   

▶  Implementation of the NCLB activity plan (Nov. 2006 to April 30, 2007) is in progress in all four communities. 

▶  The two police officers originally assigned to the NCLB have been replaced by two new police officers. These officers are being introduced in the communities and partner organizations. 

▶  Steering committee meetings occur regularly and partners are coming up with new ideas and approaches to address problems falling under various components of the NCLB initiative. The steering committee has met twice since July 2006 and its next meeting is set for January 9, 2007. Minutes of the last two meetings are attached to this report. 

▶  We are considering necessary updates to the evaluation matrix to monitor progress, evaluate results and gauge impact in a more effective way in the future.  

▶  Two audio-video presentations have been developed as part of the information sharing and dissemination of the lessons learned so far.   

▶  As described earlier, youth programs in South East Ottawa are being closely examined from a crime prevention perspective in order to mobilize the youth and address risk factors by leveraging resources and fine-tuning the existing activities in a way that gives the police partners a chance to build relationships with youth to build confidence and trust. As a first step, information about all youth programs offered in South East Ottawa will be compiled and put this page on this site so that youth may look at all available opportunities in a glance. 

Notes: 

[1] See details about 1455 Heatherington here

 [2] Please click here.

[3] The Concept Paper  highlighting the needs of coordinated youth activities is available here.

[4] Please see the activity schedule here.  

[5]For details about Confederation Court Community Day, please click here.

[6] For details of the Community Day at Heatherington, please refer to this URL.

[7] See news report here.

 

© 2005-15 South - East Ottawa Community Health Centre
Centre de Sante Communautaire du Sud Est D'Ottawa

Contact: Abid Jan Tel./ Tél: (613) 737-5115 Ext. 2403  Fax/Télé: (613) 739-8199

NCLB matters because neighbourhoods matter