fACT Sheet — C5 Collaborating for Change
C5 is a group of Edmonton-based agencies working toward collective action in the community since 2015. Together, they’ve established a collaborative model that improves service delivery and works to overcome systemic barriers.
The C5 collaborative comprises five local organizations:
Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society
Boyle Street Community Services
Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
Norwood Child & Family Resource Centre
Terra Centre for Teen Parents
These organizations staff more than 700 and serve over 30,000 people in Edmonton. They work to shape policy and decisions that reflect the realities and hopes of Edmontonians.
Goal of the Collaborative
Though each organization functions independently as an agency, the collaborative supports more effective programming and leads to positive changes for children, youth, and families.
With a strong, unified voice, the group is in a better position to impact decision-making and to dismantle systemic barriers that affect service users.
The collaborative works in community on:
* Ubuntu: The Ubuntu CSD (Collaborative Service Delivery) Program is an innovative approach to child and family support, which leverages a network of partner agencies and Children’s Services to create customized support for children, youth, and families in Northeast Edmonton. Ubuntu offers a continuum of culturally aligned, community-based, family and child centered services. Collectively, with Boyle Street as the lead agency, Ubuntu is one point of access to a streamlined set of services that
leverages the expertise of five networks to meet the needs of families, children, and youth.
* North East Hub and Market: The Hub is an initiative that integrates service delivery and fosters connections. This community centre is an exciting social innovation project. Alongside the Hub is the new Essentials Market, which offers not only fresh food and pantry items, but also baby supplies, hygiene products, smudge kits, pet supplies, and arts & crafts packages.
Programs at the Hub focus on children, youth, parents & caregivers, seniors, employment, mental health, collective kitchens, and culture. A few highlights include:
* Employment Hub: Individuals can access support for activities such as resumé writing, interview prep, job searches, and career counselling.
* Early Childhood Development: Children and parents are invited to participate in family events, literacy groups, and learning & development activities.
* Youth Programming: Youth are welcome to take part in homework support groups, life and job skills development, and a variety of social groups.
* Caregiver Supports: Evidence-based, participant-led, and Indigenous parenting programming is offered in group settings. One-on-one, in-home visitation, and community outreach are also available for those requiring additional supports.
* Cultural & Community Services: Individuals are encouraged to join community members and staff in smudges, English classes, or to get help with filing taxes.
Currently the Hub and Market serve 2,400 community members.
How Does the Collaborative Work?
Each organization has an Executive Director, and together they are responsible for the collaborative’s programs and initiatives.
As non-profits, each organization has their own Board of Directors, which meet as a group once a year.
There is also a C5 Managers Table that oversees the work of the North East Hub.
Grant applications are led by the most appropriate agency, depending on the content and anticipated outcomes. Ongoing funding from the Edmonton Community Foundation, the City of Edmonton, and the provincial government allows C5 to continue its work.
There are five core elements that are critical to the success of C5:
*Focus on action
* An appetite for risk
* Living the C5 commitment within agencies
* Relationships that are strengths-based and rooted in mutual respect
* Backbone support
Members of the collaborative take part in communities of practice, joint professional development, opportunities to connect and exchange ideas and knowledge, and represent the collaborative at events.
They also represent their communities, and bring these voices to decision-making tables.