Nova Scotia Resources / Ressources de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Nova Scotia Resources / Ressources de la Nouvelle-Écosse



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 volunteer base.

************ Addresses

c/o Dalhousie Legal Aid     Tel.: (902) 423-8105
5557 Cunard Street     Fax: (902) 422-8067
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3K 1C5

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
B3L 2C2

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.

2085 Gottingen Street     Tel.: (902) 422-6424
Halifax, Nova Scotia     Fax: (902) 425-8586
B3K 3B2

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 problems.
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.

*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.

1 - 50 Thornhill     Tel.: (902) 468-2422
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia     Fax: (902) 468-1526
B3B 1S1

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.

2465 Gottingen Street     Tel.: (902) 492-0133
Halifax, Nova Scotia     Fax: (902) 492-4193
B3K 3G3

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 economic development.

624 King Street     Tel.: (902) 543-1315
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
B4V 1B4

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.

3 Sylvia Avenue     Tel.: (902) 479-3031
Halifax, Nova Scotia     Fax: (902) 477-2257
B3R 1J7

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 community needs.
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.

35 Riverside St.     Tel.: (902) 755-4647
P.O. Box 964     Fax: (902) 755-6775
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
B2H 5K7

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.

2439 Gottigen St.     Tel.: (902) 425-4493
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3K 3C3

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
B3K 3G9

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.

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