The South End Community Association has been an enduring feature of life in the south end for the past 40-odd years.
SECA is a not for profit society and operates through the enthusiasm and hard work of its volunteers.
Our list of assets includes a pop-up tent, a box of brightly coloured T-shirts, a popcorn machine and our aging but wonderful "Tea Wagon."
Beyond that it's all about people power, caring and good will, commodities that thankfully abound in the south end. SECA functions for the neighbourhood in a number of different ways.
One aspect is the way in which SECA serves as a forum for the neighbourhood to come together when dealing with an issue that is causing concern and anxiety.
While anxiety works on a neighbourhood level to mobilize resources to tackle the problem, (which is good), it can also contribute to the problem by polarizing the issue and limiting the ability to make decisions based in a more thoughtful and objective process.
It's always a work in progress but SECA has worked hard to avoid this more reactive kind of process in terms of tackling our challenges.
The goal has been to be more proactive about our neighbourhood and to try and foster a sense of our own responsibility for how our neighbourhood functions.
The 30 or so brightly painted "art bins" are a great example of tackling a litter problem ourselves rather than demanding that the city "fix" the problem for us.
Not that we don't need help from the city and other agencies, and a major goal has been to develop strong supportive relationships with service providers who interact with the neighbourhood.
This has lead to a much calmer and effective process when issues of concern arise.
"Relationships take work" is a common mantra and that's certainly true for SECA both internally as an organization and in our relationship with the rest of the south end and beyond.
The great thing about the south end is that folks are engaged in the process and committed to its health and well being.
SECA meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month at Princess Royal Family Centre. All are welcome.
Douglas Hardie is chairman of the South End Community Association. Send him your news by email to: email@example.com
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