Community Development

Funding level: $50,000 to $100,000


Our idea proposition is a unique one. It turns the model of the traditional coffeehouse on its head, by using it as the ongoing, sustainable, fundraising engine for our arts-centered youth and community programming.

The coffeehouse has become the modern day watering hole—a place where people gather socially. In main cities and small towns across the nation, coffeehouses and cafés are abuzz with people doing everything from brokering major business deals to celebrating personal milestones and just chatting. It’s where the community gathers.

Along these lines, an opportunity presents itself in Shelburne.

The make-up of Shelburne:
- Shelburne is the fastest growing community in Ontario--the second fastest in Canada--according to the 2016 Census. We've increased in population by a whopping 39% from 2011-2016.
- Nearly 30% of the people of Shelburne are aged 0-19.
- The average age in Shelburne is 37.

Ask anyone what one of our top community needs is, and they will tell you -- a place for the youth. In this community, youth have nowhere to go outside of school for good clean fun, arts-based activities and education or other services and resources such as after-school tutoring.

Shelburne is a small town in every sense of the word, and a small town such as this is full of both charm and challenge. There is an immense sense of pride in the culture and heritage of the Shelburne. There are friendliness and cooperation here. There is support for buying local. But, there is also unspoken, unaddressed poverty. There is a culture shock taking place as a result of the rapid population increase. There is a drug problem threatening the youth and a lack of opportunity and accessibility to activities to deter them from falling victim to the threat.

If we do not do something, we cannot expect someone else to.

This summer, we started the process by offering our first Creative Arts Summer Camp. Over a four-week period, we hosted 50 children, representing 28 households. We wanted to provide the camp at no cost, but we are a new organization with no funding, and could not. So, we subsidized the cost, reducing it by half. We found that even in this case, many families were in need of sponsorship.

We believe deeply in eliminating the economic barriers that prevent access by those in our community who are most in need.

Our proposed idea gives everyone, regardless of economic, cultural, age, religious or ideological differences, a way to contribute to our collective well-being. We can make a difference by doing something we already do--through coffee, creativity, and community.

We envision a community coffeehouse where every dollar spent (and donated or granted) flows directly back into the local landscape by connecting people, investing in the youth and enriching lives through arts-centered activity and education.

Direct opportunities for youth include:
- arts training and skill building
- opportunity to earn volunteer hours
- opportunity to gain work experience
- tutoring
- a fun and safe place to be with friends
- counseling

Making an impact in the life of a young person often depends on the strengthening of positive self-concepts and identity in their home environment. There can often be challenges with and barriers to that reinforcement. That's why in targeting youth, we will also aim to help parents and the community in general.

The hub will also provide adults with the opportunity to participate in various training and development programs including parenting and family strengthening, home ownership, marriage enrichment and financial literacy.

It is also important to note that the town of Shelburne is a hub for smaller surrounding communities such as Mono, Melancthon, Dundalk, Markdale, and Flesherton. These areas have youth populations in need of a place such as this.

Our request for funding is to establish the physical space from which we will operate--our home base.

Broker supported

Streams Community Hub

Location: Shelburne