Community Economic Development identified as a solution to disparities in the core neighbourhoods
This year we are celebrating Quint’s 25th anniversary since our formation in 1995.
In the mid 1990’s community associations and residents organized for community led development to address persistent social and economic disparities in Saskatoon’s west side core neighbourhoods. A two day community meeting was organized in February 1995 to learn about what was being done in other communities across Canada and to discuss community led approaches to development. This meeting resulted in the creation of Quint. Quint’s purpose was to undertake community economic development that would tackle the concentration of poverty and underdevelopment in the core neighbourhoods.
The organization began with a great deal of community support, a volunteer board of directors, a couple of champions from within government but with no revenue and no employees. Today, Quint has grown to include a number of housing and employment programs, and numerous social enterprises including a partnership in Station 20 West.
Underdevelopment and poverty continues to be long term challenges in the core
Almost every benchmark concerning human development—such as economic growth, health, education, and standards of living show significant disparities between the core neighbourhoods and all of Saskatoon. These are the disparities that Quint has been working to address since it was formed 25 years ago and we will highlights these efforts in subsequent blog posts.
Creating a difference by providing safe, stable, and affordable and transitional housing
Quint’s Affordable Homeownership, Rental and Transitional Housing has the following community economic development impacts:
- Improves and stabilized family living situations within the community
- Decreases social costs related to poor and unstable housing conditions
- Reduces poverty and hunger by providing affordable housing alternatives
- Stronger communities due to increased residents’ stability and commitment to the community
- Community ownership strengthens the local economy be reducing the outflow of income from the neighbourhoods
- The aging housing stock is renovated and improved
- Employment, training and economic development opportunities created for community residents and businesses through the renovation and retrofitting of housing
The affordable rental housing program manages 94 suites and houses over 200 people each year.
Building capacity through employment and training
Quint’s employment programs and social enterprises has the following community economic development impacts:
- Supports individuals in achieving their education and employment goals
- Creates employment and training opportunities for people with barriers entering the the labour market
- Provides pre-employment assistance that supports job retention
- Encourages employers to build and maintain an inclusive workforce
- Mentors individuals in the areas of skill development and self esteem
- Provides equitable access to employment
Creating vibrant communities through social enterprise
Social enterprises are community-based businesses that sell goods or services in the market place to achieve a social, cultural and/or environmental purpose; they reinvest their profits to maximize their social mission.
In 2018 Quint established a social enterprise called BUILD UP Saskatoon – a construction contracting business with a social purpose. It’s goal is to employ and mentor people who are facing multiple barriers to employment.
Quint collaborated to develop Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre that opened in 2012. Station 20 West provides space and facilitates the provision of services and amenities to enhance the lives of individuals and families in the core communities of Saskatoon. The centre houses 7 organizations and has become a vital meeting place for the community. Station 20 West operates a social enterprise called the Boxcar Café. It operates as a small café and catering business and creates employment for about 4 people.
Our Core Communities Shine
Quint works to promote and celebrate the positive initiatives and changes occurring in the core neighbourhoods. We believe that continuing to celebrate our core communities is vital to the revitalization of our neighbourhoods.
Often in the core communities of Saskatoon, attention is focused on the negative attributes of these communities. Quint organizes and participates in a number of community events each year that celebrate and focus on all of the positive things happening within the neighbourhoods.
Check out our music video filmed in 2016 along 20th street called “Our Core Communities Shine”. This video captures the spirit of strength, diversity and resiliency of the west side core through dancing.