Nova Scotia Resources / Ressources de la Nouvelle-Écosse
Nova Scotia Resources / Ressources de la
FAMILY RESOURCE CENTRES
In Nova Scotia, Family Resource Centres, operating with funding from the
Community Action Program for Children, are grassroots organizations, geared
toward families living in low-income circumstances. The programs offered by
Family Resource Centres are designed for children aged 0-6 years by strengthening
and supporting these children and their families. This is achieved, in part, by
offering a variety of parent-driven programs and services, including a prenatal
program; drop-in play programs; parenting programs such as Nobody's Perfect; toy
lending library; resource lending library; support groups; information sessions;
parent help line; community kitchens, gardens and sewing; literacy programs;
mobile programs; school readiness programs and child-oriented programs.
To function effectively, these community-based organizations rely heavily on
partnerships with other organizations, community involvement and a strong
ANTI-POVERTY NETWORK (APN)
c/o Dalhousie Legal Aid Tel.: (902) 423-8105
5557 Cunard Street Fax: (902) 422-8067
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Anti-Poverty Network was organized in 1990. Its members originally come from
tenant associations and parent resource centres in Halifax, Spryfield and
Dartmouth. The majority of the members are or have been on some form of social
assistance. Others belong to the group as support and resource persons. APN has
tackled a variety of issues concerned with the social assistance system's failure
to provide adequate assistance to families and individuals in need. This
organization also provides workshops to empower people living on a low income.
337 - 7071 Bayers Road Tel.: (902) 455-5515
Bayers Road Shopping Centre Fax: (902) 455-7190
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Family SOS works with disadvantaged parents, who may be feeling isolated,
depressed or overwhelmed in raising their children, to reduce family stress. The
organization assists parents in areas such as child care skills, parenting
skills, family budgeting, nutrition, health care, home safety, and advocacy.
Family SOS employs parents who have used the services and have learned coping
skills through personal experience and received training as Family Support
Workers. In 1992, Family SOS published The Family Decision-Making Demonstration
Project, A model of Intervention for Victims of Child Abuse and/or Neglect.
HALIFAX METRO WELFARE RIGHTS ASSOCIATION/ REGIONAL WELFARE RIGHTS
2085 Gottingen Street Tel.: (902) 422-6424
Halifax, Nova Scotia Fax: (902) 425-8586
Halifax Metro Welfare Rights Association was formed in 1969 to provide assistance
to individuals and families on low incomes and fixed incomes. The Associationoriginally focused on social concerns, but later turned its efforts toward other
Today, Halifax Metro Welfare Rights Association offers advocacy, information and
referral services to a wide and varied clientele. Advocacy, information and
referral are provided in problem areas such as social assistance, family
benefits, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, housing, tenant concerns
and other social concerns relating to low income.
LOW INCOME NETWORK COMMITTEE (LINC)
*no address available* Tel.: (902) 434-1388
The Low Income Network Committee has been in operation for the past four years.
This organization is run by people living on low- incomes who provide support and
advocacy to others. The organization also fights for the rights of low-income
families regarding Pharmacare cards, Social Assistance and Workfare.
METRO FOOD BANK SOCIETY
1 - 50 Thornhill Tel.: (902) 468-2422
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Fax: (902) 468-1526
The Metro Food Bank Society operates on public donations of food, which are
distributed to people in need. Metro Food Bank advocates and educates the public
and government to eliminate hunger and poverty. The Metro Food Bank also runs
a collective kitchen as well as the program Share-a-Garden, which encourages
families to grow fresh produce for themselves. The organization publishes
Options, a newsletter providing a forum for food bank customers to share
information and ideas.
NORTH END PARENT RESOURCE CENTRE
2465 Gottingen Street Tel.: (902) 492-0133
Halifax, Nova Scotia Fax: (902) 492-4193
The North End Parent Resource Centre is located in a public housing project in
a multiracial low-income Halifax neighbourhood. The organization provides a
meeting place for parents (generally young mothers) and their children. It has
a drop-in day care and organizes activities designed to break the isolation of
parents and children. The North End Parent Resource Centre is operated by the
participants, who sit on the Board of Directors. Programs are offered based on
the requirements of the women who register.
One activity organized by the members of the Centre is a program in which
families set up a nutritional food cooperative and organized a nutrition course.
As a result of this initiative, the Centre has set up a community-operated
catering service. Also of note are the activities and programs offered to
adolescent mothers and their children, parent support groups and many other
activities that open the Centre up to other organizations in other provinces.
The Centre is committed to promoting women's rights and the rights of people
belonging to racial minorities.
One of the major needs of the members concerns employment and training,
particularly for young black mothers who form a majority group at the Centre.
A group at the Centre developed an action-research project to evaluate the
training needs in their community. This enabled them to pinpoint the obstacles
encountered by young single mothers when looking for work or training and
empowered them to become advocates for change in that area.
This full participation, not only in activities at the Centre and its operation,
but also in the formulation of service requirements based on concrete projectsin the community, have given the North End Parent Resource Centre credibility in
the field of community development, which it hopes to carry over into community
SECOND STORY WOMEN'S CENTRE
624 King Street Tel.: (902) 543-1315
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Second Story Women's Centre first opened its doors in 1983. Inspired by the
Lunenburg County Women's Group, Second Story is a referral, information, resource
and drop-in centre for women. Second Story's goal is to raise awareness of and
support for women's issues and concerns in order to achieve equality for all
women. For Second Story, equality means that all women should have an equal
chance to have access to, and participate in, all aspects of our society.
Services offered at Second Story include support on how to deal with a low
income, peer counselling, planned parenthood, information, community education
and self-help groups.
SINGLE PARENTS CENTRE
3 Sylvia Avenue Tel.: (902) 479-3031
Halifax, Nova Scotia Fax: (902) 477-2257
Born out of a grant from Health and Welfare Canada, the Centre has always
favoured community participation in decision making. Centre members decide which
activities to offer: hence, a self-defence workshop was organized and prenatal
courses are offered regularly to expectant mothers. Emphasis is placed on local
development: the Centre does not want to grow any bigger or become an
"institution" since it wants to keep its flexibility and stay in touch with
Since 1980, the Centre has provided programs that counter the isolation of
low-income families through self-help groups and survival strategies. Programs
such as Healthy Eating, Aquafit, Parents and Tots, Baby Time, Tot Swim and
assertiveness training address the needs of women raising their children alone.
Advocacy, which is at the heart of the Centre's philosophy, is conducted with the
person present, so she can become skilled in negotiating and defending her rights
and making demands for herself.
The Centre is a member of the anti-poverty network which presented its report Our
Lives, Our Concerns: Poverty Affects Health, Welfare and Education to the
provincial government in 1993.
TAKING CONTROL - MAKING CHANGES
35 Riverside St. Tel.: (902) 755-4647
P.O. Box 964 Fax: (902) 755-6775
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Low-income women in single-parent families, backed by Nova Scotia's Pictou County
Women's Centre, decided in 1987 to pool their efforts to improve their personal
and collective lives. As their name suggests, this group believes that
collective effort brings about personal and structural change, while at the same
time helping to combat the isolation of women living in rural areas.
With its distinctive leadership formula (administrative positions rotate every
six months), women support each other in their problems and use collective
advocacy strategies to promote and defend their rights. They have published
Women and Children: Struggle for Survival, which talks about the daily struggles
and hopes of the women of Pictou County.
UNIACKE SQUARE PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS ASSOCIATION
2439 Gottigen St. Tel.: (902) 425-4493
Halifax, Nova Scotia
As with many other community centres, Uniacke Square encourages residents of the
community to empower themselves through mutual help and sharing. Projects are
formulated around a group of participants and implemented: a summer camp for
neighbourhood children, self-help sessions for adolescents and substance abuse,
a job hunting circle, a support group for retired people, workshops on how to
present a résumé, all with no financial resources...
Breaking isolation, creating ties, working together and encouraging people to
commit to social change through their solidarity: these are just some of the
special facets of Uniacke Square. Here, as elsewhere, almost all of the
participants are women.
3115 Veith Street Tel.: (902) 453-4320
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Veith House's goal is to encourage and support individuals and families living
on a low incomes in their struggle toward personal growth, independence, and
self-empowerment. Programs offered at Veith House include adult education
(Project Headway), parenting skills (Project H.O.P.E.), a preschool, counselling
and support services including advocacy, information and referrals.