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.
Read Denise’s story about how LHION practices equity in their partnerships and relationships:
LHION was established in 2005 as a result of a significant increase of youth and gang related violence in the Lawrence Heights and Neptune communities that led to both injuries and deaths. A year that was referred to as the “year of the gun”. Residents really wanted the local agencies and organizations that provide services to the neighbourhoods to support them in finding ways to deal with safety issues.
To this day the LHION Safety Sub-committee is still an important subgroups of LHION. Whenever there is a critical incident, local agencies and residents come together to determine what types of supports will be needed, where they are most needed and who will provide both the outreach and services to community. LHION tries to support residents in identifying how they want agencies to support them. We look to residents to voice what works, what’s not working and to identify where changes are needed. Whenever there is an incident now, we follow the LHION safety protocol. LHION members will meet at 10am the morning after an incident has occurred. Agencies and community members come together to talk about what happened and to determine what action needs to be taken to support all those who have been impacted by the incident, including frontline workers. Together we build an action plan based on the needs of the community. Agency volunteers go door-to-door in the area closest to where the incident happened in order to further access the needs. An incident report is also sent out to the larger community after police have completed their report.
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