Block connector program
Our Strong Neighbourhoods team created the Block Connector program in 2020 to further support our residents in building a sense of community in Kelowna’s neighbourhoods.
Block connectors are residents committed to connecting face-to-face with the closest 10-20 households on their block or apartment floor, learning more about who lives on their block and building connections. They’re dedicated to animating the block, building connections with and among neighbours, hosting socials to bring neighbours together and inspiring neighbours to share their gifts, skills, passions and talents with each other.
The core role of a block connector is to inspire engagement with friends and neighbours within the block
By becoming a block connector, you will join a larger community effort that aims to build a sense of community and connectedness on every street, apartment and condo complex in Kelowna.
If this sounds intriguing to you, we would love to hear from you! Block connectors have access to ideas, resources and a supportive team. People committed to becoming a block connector will receive a welcome package and be invited to a two-hour training session.
As a block connector, you will be encouraged to:
- Help neighbours connect through an activity at least once a year
- Attend a series of virtual training sessions that will support Block Connectors in their role
- Upcoming training sessions are scheduled for March 2, 9 and 16.
- Act as a point person, party person and listener for your street, apartment or condo complex
- Point person: The “go-to” person for your block who keeps neighbours updated about block and neighbourhood life. You might put together a block contact list to help neighbours get connected.
- Party person: The event organizer who initiates block social gatherings such as BBQs and block parties once or twice a year, or coordinate opportunities for neighbours to get involved and help lead
- Listener: The attentive person who asks neighbours about their ideas for the neighbourhood, what pastimes they would enjoy doing with neighbours and the skills and gifts they would be willing to share with the block/neighbourhood
The Block Connector Program is a grassroots initiative with a simple but powerful purpose of helping neighbours get to know one another better. By having a dedicated person on the block to help build and maintain connections among neighbours, people will feel included, welcomed and connected with a sense of belonging within their neighbourhood.
Interactions among and between neighbours can have profound effects on an individual’s sense of safety, well-being and belonging, and help shape community identity and resiliency. Additionally, when people know the skills, passions and talents of those around them, they feel more confident in directly connecting with neighbours for support.
Have you ever needed to borrow a ladder? Ask for help with a garden project? Needed someone to house sit while you’re away? The answer may be your neighbours. It can be a cost-effective way to support one another.
Those who register for the Block Connector program will have access to Community of Practice (CoP) sessions. The CoP sessions are small, interactive groups of Block Connectors who connect virtually every month to share experiences, tools, and ideas in order to connect and build community on their block.
Here are some of the topics lined up for 2022:
Building FireSmart Communities
Date: Thursday, February 24
Organizing Block Parties
Date: Thursday, March 24
Neighbourhood Level Emergency Preparedness
Date: Tuesday, April 5
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (1st and 2nd generation)
Date: Thursday, April 21
Strong Neighbourhood Grant Program
Date: Thursday, May 12
Date: June 16
Asset Based Community Development
Date: September 22
The Strong Neighbhourhoods - Block Connector program partner with the Community Safety Department to provide crime prevention education and training. Utilizing prevention strategies that seek to reduce the risk of crime and victimization by working in collaboration with residents to increase awareness and sense of safety within their neighbourhoods.
Please follow the LINK: Community Safety | City of Kelowna to learn more about;
- Bike theft prevention
- Frauds and scams
- Protect your property
- Conducting a basic property assessment
Information sessions provide you with all the information you need before signing up to become a block connector. In this one hour snapshot, learn more about the Strong Neighbourhoods program, the Block Connector opportunity and easy ways to get to know the people around you.
Upcoming Info Session
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Virtual session
*You will receive a link to the virtual meeting once registered
Register for the next info session.