During the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, the neighbourhoods we envision have autonomous, community-led systems in place that help us stay connected, resilient, and resourced in both times of crisis and in times of abundance. In our dream communities, everyone matters and everyone belongs.
The Davenport Mutual Aid Network hopes to model this vision by inspiring, fostering, and facilitating connection, support, and resource-sharing through a network of “neighbourhood pods” in Toronto’s Davenport riding. As individual pods, we connect neighbours with each others’ support in the spirit of mutual aid. As a network, Davenport Mutual Aid helps pods proliferate and supports pod leaders by offering resources, templates, and weekly check-ins where we can learn from each other. We hope that the resources and supports found in this network might help pod leaders ensure that the needs of our neighbours who are being most impacted by the pandemic* are prioritized in our work.
*including those who are sick and/or injured; single parents; precarious workers; people who are housing insecure; those suffering domestic abuse or neglect; elders/seniors; Indigenous people; migrants, refugees, and undocumented people; LGBTQ folks; people of colour; sex workers; people with disabilities; people who use drugs; and currently incarcerated people.
What We Offer
- We host a weekly check-in session on Mondays at 8:15pm for neighbourhood pod leaders in Davenport to. These check-ins help us share information, resources and strategies to strengthen connections within our neighbourhoods through this time of COVID-19, with the added goal of strengthening our community networks and neighbour connections over the long term. To join our weekly call, click here: http://bit.ly/DavenportPodCall
- We help people get connected with pods in their neighbourhoods.
- We share resources to help people develop their own neighbourhood-based support system, if none exists already.
- We share information, tools, support, & strategies for taking care of each other in the short term, with the goal of also strengthening our community networks for the long term.
A pod is a network of personal connections within a focused neighbourhood area, sometimes as small as a single block. Davenport Mutual Aid is, in turn, a network of pods. Embedded networks are to community what mycelium is to soil: they form the structure from which things might flourish. We know that many of us are deeply in need right now, while others are eager for a way of offering our time, support, and resources. What is often missing is connection. Ultimately, we believe that nested networks of relationship and support will build the resiliency we need to support us through these uncertain times and into the future.
What is the Davenport riding?
Davenport is both a federal and provincial electoral riding in Toronto that includes the neighbourhoods of Fairbank, Oakwood-Vaughan, St. Clair Gardens, Corso Italia, Dovercourt Village, Bloordale Village, Bloorcourt Village, Brockton Village, the Junction Triangle, and the western part of Rua Acores. It (roughly) spans from Rogers Road to Queen, and from Ossington to Keele/CNR rail line.
What is mutual aid?
Mutual aid is a long-standing practice in communities that believe we are most powerful when we have systems in place to help each other survive and thrive that aren’t entirely dependent on top-down solutions. It is a voluntary, reciprocal, grassroots, non-hierarchical practice of taking care of each other. It is a “yes” to each other and a “no” to all systems and forces that harm our communities. Mutual aid is about solidarity not charity, which means we understand that our collective safety, freedom, and well-being is tied together, and that we all have both things we need and things we can offer.