South Don Community Development Corporation
Organization profile published 1983
Year Published: 1983
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2804
Abstract: After three years of struggling to understand what they wanted to do, and working to obtain funding for staffing, SOUTH DON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION was icorporated as a non-profit organization.
It began as a corporation that would assume responsibility for starting non-profit business ventures to not only provide jobs for community members,but also to help trap money in the Regent Park community. (Regent Park is the largest public housing project in Canada; it provides accomodation for a large number of sole support mothers.)
With a grant of $5,000, SOUTH DON CDC proceeded with a feasibility study regarding a residential cleaning service which they believed would not only be marketable, but would provide suitable employment for sole support mothers. Unfortunately,the feasibility study was iadequate ( they discovered it costs twice as much to get a good one done), because it was unrealistic.The study indicated that the break-even point was one year down the road, when in fact it has turned out to be two or three.
Two years ago, Magic Mop Residential Cleaning Services was started. It's goal was to provide fulltime employment for sole support mothers, who were dependent upon Family Benefits Allowance (FBA).
The soon discovered there was not enough business to employ women full-time and have now moved to a strategy where they employ more women part-time and thereby help them to supplement their FBA income.
The Magic Mop has achieved a break-even point in certain months. The Board's energy is low. This difficulty stems in part from the longer-than-expected time it is taking for the Magic Mop to show a profit, which would in turn enable SOUTH DON CDC to create other business ventures.They have also experienced difficulty attracting Board members with business skills.
Community Economic Development (CED)* is a strategy that looks at a particular geographical area or population group to see what can be done to trap resources and intensity them in a way that will create jobs for local residents. Regent Park contains no factories, stores, or other businesses. SOUTH DON CDC viewed Regent Park as an underdeveloped area, comparable to a Third World country. Industrialized nations give money to underdevelped countries, but the money flows back out because they mainly produce raw materials and need to import most other products.
The financial aid given to underdeveloped countries ultimately benefits the givers because it creates another market for their products. Similarly,a great deal of financial aid comes into Regent Park area through government assistance, but the money flows back out into businesses in other areas of the city because Regent Park residents have to travel outside their community to buy some essential item.
Through the Magic Mop, SOUTH DON CDC is working to prevent some money from leaving Regent Park and to create jobs for local residents.
*Editors Note - See CX
This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1983.