Submitted on Thursday, 01/09/2020 - 5:35 am

Patch is a free, place-based community program that works collaboratively with Calgary Housing Company and other community service providers to offer a broad range of services to families who live within three specific low-income housing complexes (and surrounding areas) in southeast and southwest Calgary: West Dover, Midnapore and Woodbine.

Patch is based on a “Strengthening Families” model that is family-centered, place-based, collaborative, focused on family self-sufficiency, accountable to families, preventative and promotional, and grounded in the philosophy that “children do well when their families do well, and families do better when they live in supportive neighbourhoods.” [1]

Patch works with the child, family and community by offering a three-tiered service model to increase family economic success, family support systems, and thriving and nurturing communities.

Individuals and families self-refer, however they may also learn about Patch and the services offered from Calgary Housing Company, Patch outreach initiatives, or other community agencies.

The Child

At Patch, services aimed at providing children and youth opportunities to participate in recreational activities are influenced by the strength-based perspective embedded in the Positive Youth Development framework. This perspective recognizes the importance of structured programs and activities during out-of-school time for children and youth.

This includes programs and activities for children and youth ages six and up:

  • Daily Kids’ Hours for computer access and a take-home snack.
  • Kids tutoring (support with homework, studying, practice reading and exam prep).
  • Summer recreation activities and day camps.
  • Year-round partnerships with agencies for on-site and off-site programming.

Please note, participation in programs require parental consent.

The Family

For individual members or the whole family, Patch provides:

  • Basic needs support.
  • Referrals to other agencies and programs.
  • Support and advocacy.
  • Access to telephone, internet, photocopying and fax.
  • Family and community events.
  • Programs for kids, youth and families in partnership with other agencies.
  • PatchWorks’ Education and Employment Advisors provide assistance with resumé and cover letter development, career exploration and planning, interview preparation and job search support.
  • Year-round partnerships with agencies for on-site and off-site programming.

The Community

Patch sites aim to cultivate community connections with and between residents in a variety of ways:

  • Community events such as barbecues, carnivals and holiday celebrations provide opportunities for families to have fun together and to meet their neighbours.
  • The Garden is a place where the community gathers to grow and harvest fresh vegetables. It is also home to various plants, such as sage and sweet grass, which are native to Alberta. Gardeners are assigned plots and are provided with seeds, fertilizer, and tools to use.
  • A Planting Day Event is held in June and a Harvest Celebration is held in September. Gardeners take their produce home to share with family and friends. The surplus is shared with neighbours and also used in preparing a Fall Dinner for the community.
  • Movie nights, drumming circles and cultural events and activities.

Rationale for Service

Research shows four prerequisites to family success:

  • Adequate income and safe, stable, affordable housing.
  • Strong and well supported networks.
  • Robust community institutions and infrastructure.
  • Service delivery that builds family capacity. [2]


[1] Income and Child Well-being: As new perspective on the poverty debate – Canadian Council on Social Development.
[2] Enabling Families to Succeed: Community Based Supports for Families – St. Christopher House.

Hull Services acknowledges these organizations for their generous support of Patch.