Urban Core Support Network - An Overview
Organization profile published 1979
Publisher: Urban Core Support Network (UCSN), Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1979
Pages: 4pp Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2247
There are people who, for all intents and purposes, are disenfranchised from much of Canadian Society - "people displaced from economic life, from family supports and often from the means of living a tolerable life".
Connexions has published numerous abstract on the Urban Core Support Network.
- - -
This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1979:
There are people who, for all intents and purposes, are disenfranchised from much of Canadian Society - "people displaced from economic life, from family supports and often from the means of living a tolerable life". These people have often gathered in the run-down core areas of cities sometimes called "skid row". Since 1974, there has developed an association of people working to respond to this reality called the Urban Core Support Network (UCSN).
UCSN is an "ecumenically based association of individuals, institution and coalition. It has a primary goal of enabling supportive relationships between people who are working cooperatively to eliminate the exploitative and unjust aspects of skid row. Participation in the network is based on involvement in working for change at the local level. It also requires a commitment to critically examine personal and organizational goals with others and to reflect on the values behind one's work. An assumption of the network is that the problems of skid row are based in economic and social structures but also have real individual consequences.
To date, the focus of UCSN has been on supporting people in local efforts by making it easier for them to connect with people in other cities working on similar concerns. The network is linked across Canada in 13 cities and has sponsored 5 Canada-wide workshops, each in a different city. The tools used by UCSN to inform and support people in local efforts include regional consultations, personal visits and staff contact and various mechanisms for information sharing including Connexions.
- - -
This abstract, regarding a conference held by the Urban Core Support Group, was published in Connexions Digest in 1982:
The URBAN CORE SUPPORT NETWORK is made up of individuals and groups in cities across Canada who share a commitment to support each other in the empowerment of people on the margins of society. The NETWORK is linked through its Newsletter (published four times a year) and annual conferences.
The 1982 Conference held in Toronto in October, focused on the disappearance of affordable housing. More than 70 men and women from thirteen urban centres participated. As they shared local concerns, several common themes emerged. The rooming houses or cheap hotels which provide affordable accommodation to the poorest are being lost without being replaced. New expressways, shopping centres, commerical complexes, and condominium developments have resulted in demolitions. The "gentrification" of urban core areas and "whitepainting" has meant that buildings which once housed up to ten individuals in rooms now house only one couple or family. Affordable apartments have also been lost through condominium conversions or luxury reovations which place them far above the means of their former tenants. These units have not been replaced as developers find condominium construction more profitable than building of moderate or low income rental units. Furthermore, the increase in rents, without accompanying increases in welfare, disability or old age pensions, leave many unable to purchase enough food.
As more and more men and women find themselves on the streets, many governments and social services are proposing more hostels and emergency shelters. They do not recognize that the homeless need permanent homes. At the Conference, participants discussed various long-term responses to the housing crisis. Working groups focused on non-profit housing corporations, co-operative housing for ex-mental patients, residences for alcoholics, the design and development of supportive communities, strategies for the support of people in rooming houses, and policy and funding issues. A key note speaker presented an overview of the factors affecting the housing crisis and reflected on various local, provincial, and national strategy options for improving the situation of the homeless. A Conference Report containing the findings of the workgroups and the keynote address is available.
- - -
This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1984:
The URBAN CORE SUPPORT NETWORK is made up of individuals and groups in cities across Canada who share a commitment to support each other in the empowerment of people on the margin of society. UCSN is linked through its newsletter (published four times a year) and annual conferences.
For the past two years it has been clear at UCSN workshops and steering committee meetings that increasing numbers of network participants are engaged in developing housing for low income single people. UCSN has identified a need to increase and improve its effort to network people and information with respect to such housing efforts. In its efforts to support clergy, administrators, workers, and residents from various churches, church agencies, community organizations and government agencies who share a common commitment and set of values. UCSN is working to develop a Housing Network Project. The main objective is to develop the capability of facilitate, store, retrieve and share information and cocumentatin on housing efforts across the country. The 1984 workshop in October will include a workgroup at which those directly involved in housing developemnt will be invited.