"I can't believe how many opportunities I've had because of the Peer Advocate program. I'm excited to see what's next!" - Peer Advocate
The North Grove’s Community Action Office is a hub of activity. Staff and Peer Advocates work with participants on everything from filling out forms and navigating tenancy rights to organizing voter engagement campaigns like Speak Up! Show Up!
“It’s really cool to be present as people advocate for themselves and each other” - Tammy Shields, Community Action Coordinator
Before the pandemic people would swing by The North Grove for drop-in coffee and snacks, and at the same time pop into the office for support with a government form, and connect with the other folks who were there. “You’d see someone showing others how to apply for a rebate that they’d just gotten support with, offering a new friend a ride to the grocery store, and sharing what they have” says Tammy.
While many things have changed in the past two years, the work of the Community Action Office has been continuous and responsive to community needs. In 2021 the office received more than 565 visits from participants for support with taxes, peer support, community action appointments, and workshops. We also welcomed four Peer Advocates to the team and engaged participants in two Speak Up! Show Up! voter engagement campaigns.
“When people come in and they have a lot of weight on their shoulders... you get to see the weight lift off their shoulders as they leave knowing they aren't alone and that they have support in working through the issue." - Tammy Shields, Community Action Coordinator
Each time public health concerns increase, the Community Action Office and staff at The North Grove shift to making calls to program participants who are isolated, often offering weekly check-in calls to connect and make sure people are holding up ok. This type of connection is crucial in a neighbourhood where 49% of the residents live alone.
“There are more people calling in for support now than ever, people who weren’t accessing services before the pandemic are now booking appointments” says Tammy.
Thank you to the East Coast Credit Union for its support of The North Grove’s Community Action Office.
Giving monthly, even a small amount, makes it possible for our Community Action Office to support an ever-growing need. Join our monthly giving program today and be part of our vision for a thriving community.