We talk a lot about building community at The Mustard Seed – but what does that mean? For many residents in our permanent housing, it means making connections that provide them with strength, inspiration and friends. But how do you go about building a community? And as an adult, how do you go about making new friends?
Sometimes it happens naturally if residents meet in the hallway or the shared common room. But The Mustard Seed Resident Support staff members are also very intentional in the way they create opportunities to build community. Building community for residents often revolves around having fun. For instance, there’s a group for knitting, for art, and for walking as well as game & movie nights.
Building community through art
David, a resident at The Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre, says he joined the Wednesday Art Club because he has a creative mind and thought the group looked fun. When he’s painting he feels peaceful. “It’s like therapy, it’s so soothing,” he says.
Pat has been painting for years. She sees art as freedom from distraction, “I have ADHD, and when I have a paintbrush and colour there’s nothing but the paint, a canvas and God.”
She adds that the group, which gathers around a big round table Wednesday afternoons, is “like a place where people can come to play.”
Resident activities are one of the many ways that The Mustard Seed builds community and helps those in need find support. The Art Club, like most resident activities, is led by dedicated volunteers.