Making a Safe City Safer
In March 2004, Toronto City Council unanimously adopted the Community Safety Plan that emphasizes building on the strengths of neighbourhoods and communities; investing in social infrastructure; and creating opportunities for youth. Neighbourhood Action is a central component of the Community Safety Plan.
Neighbourhood Action is a comprehensive, innovative City of Toronto initiative to build stronger, safer, healthier neighbourhoods in under-serviced communities. Beyond the old conversation of "who leads," to a new understanding of partnership and integration, Neighbourhood Action gathers residents, governments, community agencies and businesses to create opportunities to improve communities.
Neighbourhood Action Teams were established in each of the 13 priority neighbourhoods identified by the City of Toronto in 2005. Neighbourhood Action Teams bring together staff working locally from City of Toronto divisions and City boards to address local needs, coordinate services, and build community capacity.
Most of the Neighbourhood Action teams include City of Toronto staff from:
- Parks, Forestry and Recreation
- Public Health
- Social Services
- Economic Development, Culture and Tourism
- Children's Services
- Toronto Public Library
- Toronto Police Service
- Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Federal and provincial and school board staff have also joined many of the teams. Some teams include members from key local community agencies and networks. The teams are facilitated by a Community Development Officer and championed by a Director level staff member.
The work of each Neighbourhood Action Team is complemented by a Neighbourhood Action Partnership among the service delivery spectrum of three orders of government and includes representatives from school boards, community agencies, community funders, community-based groups and local residents.
Together, the Neighbourhood Action Team and Neighbourhood Action Partnership coordinate and improve service delivery in each priority neighbourhood to achieve community outcomes in:
- Youth Employment, Education & Skill Development
- Youth Engagement
- Community & Family Supports
- Youth Justice
- Crisis Response
- Infrastructure development
Neighbourhood Action is the process that guides neighbourhood investment and ensures that residents identify local needs and priorities, and have a seat at the table with other partners to collaborate and problem-solve to see that neighbourhood needs are met. Since January 2006 a total of $87,000,000 in leveraged partnerships has been invested in resident-identified priorities in priority neighbourhoods.
At its core, Neighbourhood Action is about building new service relationships that inspires systemic change that leads to a safer, more equitable city.