The Lawrence Heights Inter-Organization Network (LHION) is a coalition of emerging groups, service providers and other representative organizations delivering programs and services in the communities of Lawrence Heights, Lotherton Pathway and Neptune, one of thirteen priority neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto. We choose to work together with the City’s Neighbourhood Action Team and residents to coordinate our efforts toward building healthy and sustainable communities. LHION strives to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of neighbourhood governance structures and to increase resident participation and empowerment. We choose to apply an anti-racism, anti-oppression framework to our work.
In order to carry out work on behalf of LHION, a Steering Committee is elected that consists of two co-chairs elected by the general membership and a representative from each of the following seven workgroups: Community Safety, Education, Employment and Training, Food Justice, Revitalization, Adult Literacy, Youth Outreach Worker Network and Lotherton Pathway. Workgroups are convened based on community-identified issues.
Highlights of our Work
• Coordinating an effective homework help network, including training for volunteers;
• Received grant to develop a community-based research project on community governance models;
• Co-hosted meetings with the City for agency input into revitalization
• Organized extensive training for youth outreach workers;
• Developed a crisis response protocol that has been used in critical incidents in the community;
• Follow up support and advocacy in the community as a result of the March Break 2008 shooting of 6 young men and the subsequent release of the two suspects;
• Coordinated meeting with Roy McMurtry for the Roots of Youth Violence Report;
• Coordinated grant applications amongst member groups to address duplication of service issues;
• Supported grant application of the East African Community Association for a year-round community market.
• Established a weekly Employment Café in the community and coordinated job fairs as appropriate;
• Hosted community meetings to engage residents in the work of the LHION
• Supported the emergence of the Community Action Team as a vehicle for resident activism, mobilization and advocacy.
LHION meets the third Thursday of each month from 9:30 to noon at Lawrence Heights Community Centre, Multi-purpose Room. All residents and groups who are currently involved in the community or planning to begin get involved in the community are welcome. Workgroups also meet monthly. For more information, please contact Lawrence Heights lhion.org(at)gmail.com