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Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre/Hub

Who are you and what hub are you with?
We are Faye Cooper and Angela Deal and we are with the Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre/Hub

How would you describe your hub?  Would you say that it's intentional or accidental?
We operate our Hub with an open door policy, offering drop in's and services on a regular weekly schedule, to accommodate our residents needs. We would say that our Hub is intentional.

How old is your hub?
We started in 1997 and our Centre was incorporated on May 1, 2001 but we officially became a hub in 2014.

What stage of development would you say you're in? Where along the hub 'spectrum' would you put yourself?
We are established in our community but continue to grow and prosper as our communities needs and opportunities change. Residents know where and what services are available to them and their feedback indicates they have gained life skills and abilities along with experiencing personal and social interactions

What services are offered at your hub? What are some of the reasons people come in?
Some of the services we offer are Open Drop In's, walking groups, youth groups, Kitchen Kapers (cooking group), Crackers & Crayons, Creative Kids, JOY Group (seniors group), Chair Yoga for seniors, Information and Support, Referrals to other agencies and more.. People come into our Hub because we are accessible and welcoming, and offer an open door concept. We have many multi-services for all ages and provide a safe accessible space to be by yourself or with others.

How do people get to your hub?
We are in a rural setting so most drive to the hub and those that live in Middle Musquodoboit sometimes walk, if they are able. We also offer some outreach programs to make it easier for people to attend.

What is your governance structure?  Do you have a board of directors?
We are governed by a board of directors, we are fortunate to have a very diverse group of hard working people, ranging from young moms to retired health and education professionals, who are passionate about their community.

If you have staff, how many and what are their roles?
We have six staff members Faye Cooper-Executive Director, Angela Deal- Centre Manager, Jennifer Deal- Preschool Director, Brett Hartlin- Assistant Preschool Teacher/Program Facilitator, Rena Archibald- Program, Facilitator and Cheryl Taylor- Parenting Journey Home Visitor.

Who are your key partners?  What roles do they play?
We have many valuable partners, a few are: ESMV Literacy Network, elementary and high schools, Public Health, Capital Health, Local Businesses, RCMP, Mental Health, Addictions, Libraries, NS Hearing & Speech, Early Intervention, Food Banks, Women and Health Centres and other Family Resource Centres. They support us in delivering quality programming to our communities and sometimes a sound board for ideas.

How are you funded / supported? What are your income streams? (ie.  grants, membership, federal gov’t, provincial gov’t, municipality, social enterprise)
We are funded by United Way of Halifax, Department of Community Services, and FLIEF through grants as well as donations and fundraising

Do you have a volunteer program?  If so, what works and what doesn’t?  How does it run?
We have a dedicated group of individuals who volunteer on a regular basis at programs and special events. From reading our calendar some will call and offer their services and if we have a situation that we require volunteers we will call the volunteers on our list.

In context of your community, are you a functional or geographic hub?
We are a Geographic Hub providing drop in's, programs and events for all ages from prenatal to seniors.

Are you a resource for other community projects?
Yes we have offered our skills to events at the local schools, HRM Recc, local businesses, Hospital, ESMV Literacy Network etc.

How much of your space is accessible to the public?  Is there an open space to just sit down / linger?  
We have a program room, library space, kitchen, child play area and all this which is about 3/4 of our floor space is available to the public on a daily basis and weekend events. There is open space to sit down and linger with comfortable chairs and mats for the children

How do you make your space comfortable, warm / welcoming?
Our hallway entry is colourful and welcoming. We always greet everyone who comes through our doors and let them know they are important and we're glad to see them. Some of our JOY Groupers will actually say "We're Home" as they come into the Centre Hub. We have been told that we must genuinely care for people because they feel it whenever thay come in and its true we certainly do.

Story Questions
What is the story of your hub?  How did your hub come about? What is its history?
We have been a Family Resource Centre since 1997 and started by doing programs for children aged 0-6. Over the years we have expanded and now have programs and services that range for prenatal to our seniors groups. We have an open door policy for all community members, and offer many valuable services and refferals. We Officially became a HUB in 2014 when we received funding from United Way of Halifax.

What’s working well?
Our Hub is being well utilized by our community, we have lots of people dropping in and all of our programs are very well attended

What are your challenges?
Transportation, rural roads and weather conditions

If you could go back to the beginning of your hub (or your role), is there anything you would do differently?  Why?
I believe everything has progressed as we wanted it to, its just taken time as worthwhile things do

What do you think is the most special or unique thing about your hub?
The most unique thing about our Hub is that we are for everyone- from prenatal to the senior years all are welcome. we are fully inclusive and accessible, located in a central location with an elevator, the only one in the Musquodoboit area.

What has been most valuable for your community about having a hub?  
It's a gathering place for anyone to go to, to read a book, visit a neighbour, have a snack or feel connected to their neighborhood by participating in a program or event and feeling valued

Who uses your hub? Who benefits?
People vary from single parents to secure older community members, Ranging from families on social assistance, single family income, two family income, seniors living in their own homes and senior housing to families living in subsidized residences. All of them benefit from our Hub.

What kind of feedback do you get from your users?
Our feed back is of vital importance to us, its always very positive and informative

What do you imagine your hub will be like in 5 years? 10 years?
We see a safe, welcoming spot for all to come to for years to come and feel valued and secure. Providing exciting events and programs to our rural community

What motivates your volunteers?
Working together with community neighbours to make a difference  in others lives, sharing their skills and themselves, being valued community members.

Is there space for informal socializing or for more formal programming, or both?
Both, we have space for both informal socializing and formal programming

What is your group doing to encourage different groups / individuals to meet one another and network / build social capital?
We have time allotted following programs etc for social interaction, usually associated with food to allow neighbours to get to know each other and build into more interactions. We have drop in time daily so there are always opportunities to socialize

Future Needs

Do you think it would be valuable for the the neighbourhood hubs convening project to continue in some way?  If so, how often would you like to meet?
Yes I think every 3 or 6 months would be great to keep up to date with all the changes and new happenings at the other Hubs

Is there anything else you’d like to say here?
Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this unique, valuable learning/sharing experience

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