WESTSIDE SENIORS HUB
COLLECTIVE ACTION BY AND FOR SENIORS
The Westside Seniors Hub is an initiative that brings together local seniors and seniors-serving organizations to ensure Westside communities are places where seniors can thrive. It serves to provide an informational ‘hub’ that enhances awareness of local programs and services. It provides leadership in identifying gaps in service delivery and generates community support for seniors’ issues.
To build a more responsive and resilient community for seniors on Vancouver’s Westside through the power of collective action.
OUR KEY GOALS:
To identify and promote awareness of Westside seniors’ issues and priorities
To improve programs and services for seniors on the Westside through collective action by Hub Council, Hub Partner Organizations, and community organizations
To encourage seniors to become more engaged in their community
WHAT IS THE HUB STRUCTURE?
The Hub is comprised of Partner Organizations, a Hub Council, and action-oriented committees.
Partner Organizations serve seniors on the Westside and have an interest in collaborating with others to support seniors in their community. They meet quarterly to share information about resources and assets, identify emerging issues, and collaborate on building a range of integrated services for seniors. They work with the Hub Council and serve on committees to act on identified issues and represent the Hub to the public and various constituencies. Partners include public entities, non-profits, and faith-based organizations that provide services for seniors.
The Hub Council is composed of several Westside volunteer seniors who have knowledge of seniors’ issues, experience working on action-oriented teams, and skills to work collaboratively with each other, Partner Organizations and community members. They meet monthly to identify priorities and direct movement towards collective action.
The Committees have representatives from the Council, Partner Organizations, and the community. They meet as needed to focus attention on particular issues or activities by sharing information, suggesting to the Council what approaches might work, and planning events. They act on behalf of seniors to bring attention to issues and gaps in services. Their work engages businesses, government agencies, non-profit agencies, and the public in moving towards a community where seniors can have their needs met and age well.
WHAT CONSTITUTES THE WESTSIDE?
We define the catchment area of the Westside Seniors Hub as:
West of Ontario Street, all the way to include UBC and the Endowment Lands
South of Cornwall Street and False Creek
North of Marine Drive
Note that the catchment area does not include the downtown peninsula or Granville Island.
Partners whose office is outside our catchment area are welcome to join us if they are actively serving Westside seniors.
HOW DID THE HUB EMERGE?
The concept of a seniors hub first emerged through a 2009 research report entitled “Sustaining Seniors Programs through the Neighbourhood House Model,” which focused on opportunities for seniors at Kitsilano, Kiwassa & South Vancouver Neighbourhood Houses.
In 2010, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House received pilot funding from Vancouver Coastal Health – SmartFund, City of Vancouver, United Way, and the Vancouver Foundation to develop the South Vancouver Seniors Hub and produce an Implementation Plan and Seniors Hub Toolkit.
This led to Kitsilano Neighbourhood House receiving a 2013-2014 Vancouver Foundation grant for a Seniors for Seniors Project: Building a One-Stop Place for Westside Seniors. One of the aspects of this project was to develop a Westside Seniors Hub. A number of community members and seventeen senior-serving Westside organizations met at a visioning round-table in January 2014 to explore the potential benefits and nature of a Westside Hub. Several subsequent planning round-tables developed the structure of the Hub. In addition, they drew up Partner Collaborative Agreements, wrote a Hub Council Member job description, and both recruited and interviewed Hub Council applicants.
By February 2015, appointments to the Hub Council had been made and the first joint meeting of Partner Organizations and Hub Council members took place. Since then, the Hub has sought grant funding for various projects and operated with paid contractors, administrative support from Kitsilano Neighbourhood House and volunteer efforts.
Since its first inception, the Hub has received financial support from several sponsors. We are grateful for their trust and recognition of the Hub's mission and goals on behalf of seniors.