Between the Bridges
Dartmouth North, Nova Scotia
Between the Bridges (BtB) is a partnership between the community of Dartmouth North, the Province of Nova Scotia and a rapidly growing number of residents, community organizations, departments of government and businesses.
Between the Bridges is taking a Collective Impact approach to addressing complex social issues identified and prioritized by the community of Dartmouth North, primarily the area between the two bridges spanning Halifax Harbour. The neighbourhoods involved have a population of approximately 12,000 residents. The shared goal is to identify what needs to change and create new ways for working together to generate solutions and take collective action for social impact.
A cornerstone of Collective Impact is to ensure that the people who are engaged bring a diversity of knowledge, experience, resources and organizational cultures to the topics AND who in turn can together identify and act upon new solutions to long-term issues.
As well, Between the Bridges takes a stand on equitable engagement of people with lived experiences to work alongside public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. This approach, in turn, leads to the creation of processes that support residents and leaders in coming together in new ways, to create or strengthen relationships of trust and respect. Additionally, attention is given to support the ongoing development and capacity building of resident leadership for meaningful involvement in their community.
Currently, there are a number Alignment Teams or working groups focusing on priority areas. These groups form the Between the Bridges Network, and are linked through the sharing of information and insights, with members participating across multiple groups that include:
- The Residents’ Roundtable – Its role is to keep the work grounded in the community by providing vital insight, information and ideas that reflect the impact (intended and unintended) of various systems on the lives of residents.
- The Student Success Alignment Team
- The Community Capacity & Skill Building Alignment Team
- The Community Health Planning Team
- The Housing Social Innovation Lab Teams
- The Virtual Community of Champions
Since March 2020, with the Covid-19 challenge, a number of other groups and task teams have engaged with Between the Bridges in order to share social and emotional support, understand the issues, share information and find new ways of working together towards near-term support and longer-term solutions.