Under One Roof
Creating a cooperative community enterprise for
Aboriginal mothers and their children
Young single aboriginal mothers and their children are the poorest and most marginalized group of Canadians in the country. Over 45% of Aboriginal children live in single parent families, more than twice the rate of the general population. Aboriginal parents are younger and have more children. Teen births are often thirteen times higher than the general population. These young mothers are at a higher risk of being involved in family violence, substance abuse, the sex trade, and long-term welfare dependency.
Young native mothers dealing with poverty and substance abuse need four things to regain their footing, – healing, housing, gainful work, and a supportive community. The Aboriginal Mother Centre is helping these women with many of these needs and is interested in improving their ability.
The Centre needs housing, kitchen, day care, and commercial facilities to provide these women with the counseling, community support, skills, and confidence to create a better life for themselves and their children and become positive, independent contributors to our community, and assistance to help the community generate sufficient revenue in their cooperative enterprise, which provides work and an income for the women, for the community to operate independent of the need for government funding and philanthropy.
Under One Roof is a cooperative project led by Builders without Borders in partnership with the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society, the Luâ€™ma Native Housing Society, and Heatherbrae Construction, to create 12 residential units, a commercial kitchen and dining facility, a day care centre for 25 children, and an office and commercial space and to provide the assistance the Centre needs to become a self-sustaining independent community enterprise under one roof.
Builders Without Borders is interested in creating a process for assisting non-profit organizations to create sustainable, self-sufficient enterprises by engaging the community in contributing the resources required. The process will become a model for others to follow.