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Alexandra Neighbourhood House : a survey of the origins and development of a Vancouver institution in… Helm, Elmer Joseph 1952

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ALEXANDRA NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE A survey of the origins and development of a Vancouver i n s t i t u t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to i t s l o c a l environment. t>y Elmer Joseph Helm Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment of the Requirements f o r the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK Accepted as conforming to the standard required f o r the degree of Master of Soc i a l Work School of Social Work 1952 The University of B r i t i s h Columbia ABSTRACT This thesis is concerned with the function of Alexandra House and the role i t has played in the neighbourhood. Special attention has been devoted to the period from 1938, when the agency became a neighbourhood house, to A p r i l 1952. In the h i s t o r i c a l sketch emphasis i s placed on programme, staff, and administration of the agency. The social and physical transitions within the neighbourhood are also considered, in relation to their influence on the role of Alexandra House. The material for the study was gained from annual and monthly reports, minutes of staff and Board of Directors' meetings, interviews with agency personnel, surveys made of the area, and other material secured through the co-operation of the agency and the Community Chest. The function of the agency and i t s services was analyzed on the basis of a series of c r i t e r i a of neighbourhood-house operation. Comparison of the early non-professional staff with the present professional staff was possible, by analyzing the programmes of the two different periods. The thesis shows that social and economic changes within an area influence the attitudes and the needs of the people; an institution must change appropriately in order to meet the needs of the residents. The study also reveals the necessity of professional staff to perfonu a qualitative job. However, not only should a neighbourhood house programme evolve from the needs of the community, but the people within the community should assume more and more responsibility for their a c t i v i t i e s . A quality programme has evolved slowly with the aid of professionally-trained workers. Good leadership emphasizes quality rather than quantity; but i t also illustrates that co-operation between a l l personnel is required for maximum efficiency, and that volunteers and students are able to contribute to the programme more effectively with proper supervision from professional staff. Looking at the future, the study reveals the need for a re-statement of this ninction, as the changes within the neighbourhood bring changes in the neighbours, and some drastic redevelopment possibilities loom for the d i s t r i c t . TABLE of CONTENTS Background of Neighbourhood Houses A h i s t o r i c a l sketch of the settlement movement; early B r i t i s h beginnings and spread to the United States and Canada. The basic philosophy of neighbourhood houses and the major areas of service. The Community Served. A description of the d i s t r i c t served by Alexandra House including business d i s t r i c t s , type of homes, schools, churches, and play-ground space. The t r a n s i t i o n a l changes i n the d i s t r i c t : I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , proposed Granville Bridge and the a r t e r i a l roads which cut up the area, are portrayed. Depression and War Years. A h i s t o r i c a l sketch of the early h i s t o r y of Alexandra House. The beginning of the Neighbourhood House i n 1938 and up to1945» Composition of membership, s t a f f and pro-gramme. Leadership problems. Post War Years. Analysis of programme and s t a f f from 1945 u n t i l 1948. Professional Group Work t r a i n i n g at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Com-munity Chest Survey of the programme and s t a f f of the House. Analysis of recommendations made. Looking to the Future. The services of the House from 1948 to 1952. Neighbourhood served. D i v e r s i t y of services to d i f f e r e n t age groups. Quality programmes and professional s t a f f . Respon-s i b i l i t y of community people. Future r o l e of the House. Conclusions« TABLE of CONTENTS APPENDICES Page 1. Bibliography (a) Background References . (b) Sources f o r th i s study 78 79 CHARTS, MAPS and TABLES Chart 1 Chart 2 (a) Charts D i s t r i b u t i o n of Membership . . . . 16 Organization of Alexandra Community A c t i v i t i e s 39 (b) Maps Map Map 1 2 A e r i a l Photograph of Neighbour-Granville Bridge Project » a e e • • • • • 18 24 (c). Tables Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Membership of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948 54 Membership of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948 - 1952 61 S p e c i f i c Groups of Alexandra Neigh-bourhood House, 1948 - 1952 . . . . 66 Individual Services to Members of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948 - 1952 67 Students and volunteers at Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948 - 1952 . 72 CHAPTER I BACKGROUND of NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSES The terms "settlement houses" and "neighbourhood houses" are often confusing to the reader when used interchange-ably. H i s t o r i c a l l y , the word "settlement" originated i n England when Samuel A. Barnett used th i s word to describe a group of people who " s e t t l e d " i n a working-class neighbourhood, i n order that they might better understand the p r e v a i l i n g conditions and help to improve them. The term "neighbourhood house" became popular i n America as a term denoting an a c t i v i t y centre which did not emphasize the philosophy of the e a r l i e r settlements. Today many other terms are used, such as "community houses", "association", "commons", " h a l l s " , "inns", etc., but regardless of these vari a t i o n s , i n a l l settlements today, the neighbourhood i s accepted as the base of operations. 1 I t i s approximately seventy years since the Settlement Movement f i r s t began i n England, yet many people s t i l l do not know the r e a l place and purpose of a neighbourhood house. This i s only natural, because the a c t i v i t i e s are so varied and often appear so unrelated that a person i s often impressed by whatever he sees f i r s t or what i s most popular among the members. Thus a neigh-bourhood house i s often viewed as a club house, a school, a recreation centre, or as a charitable agency. The main f a c t to be remembered i s that the neighbourhood house i s not merely a 1. Soule, Frederick, "Settlements and Neighbourhood Houses", So c i a l Work Year Book, New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1947, pp. 463-68. - 2 -place f o r a c t i v i t y , but a place f o r neighbourly r e l a t i o n s . Mary Simkhovitch explains i n an i l l u s t r a t i v e manner that the s e t t l e -ment i s a family l i v i n g i t s l i f e with i t s neighbours, and she refers to this a r t i f i c i a l family as a "group" of people with si m i l a r ideas© "The kernel of the settlement i s the group i t s e l f . What the group does/depends on the needs of the neighbourhood and whether they can best be met by t h i s group or by other means". This quotation n a t u r a l l y leads to the statement that settlements are l i v i n g s o c i a l organisms. Human needs are always changing because of the continuous environmental changes. The needs of the people are becoming more apparent i n the community and s p e c i a l -ized agencies are being developed to meet these needs. Therefore the function ofa settlement house should always be f l e x i b l e . I t i s remarkable how settlements have been prominent examples of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s without astereotyped method, philosophy or programme. One of the reasons f o r th i s f l e x i b i l i t y i s that settle>-ments guide and motivate, rather than impose a ready-made programme* of services on the neighbourhood. Community l i f e today i s complex, and the purposes of s o c i a l agencies need to be dovetailed with other i n s t i t u t i o n s to form a community plan f o r a l l such services. This co-ordinated and c o l l e c t i v e action to serve the t o t a l community means that settlement houses as well as other agencies must shape t h e i r pro-grammes to f i t the needs of the whole. Thus, i t i s up to the 1. Simkhovitch, Mary, "The Settlement and Religion", Readings on the Development of So c i a l Work, ed. Pacey. Lorene, New York, Association Press, 1950, p. 137• - 3 -s t a f f and board of each agency to r e a l i z e what s p e c i f i c services they may best provide. This does not mean that the t r a d i t i o n s and contributions made i n the past must be severed, but I t does mean that the services should be expanded. In order to under-stand these t r a d i t i o n s , i t Is necessary to gain a t o t a l picture of the Settlement Movement from i t s embryonic stage to the pre-sent day, B r i t i s h Beginnings The Settlement Movement had i t s o r i g i n i n the work of some of the foremost reformers i n England during the nineteenth century. It was early i n the l a s t ceritury that g i f t e d men and women attempted to a l l e v i a t e some of the miseries so predominant among the working cl a s s . The economic and s o c i a l conditions following the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution were such that "the r i c h were growing r i c h e r and the poor were growing poorer", so that the gap between the groups was becoming wider and more d i s t a n t . During this period, Thomas Chambers, a minister i n Scotland, attempted to organize a model m i l l town. Despite the f a c t that his views of i n d u s t r i a l problems were l i m i t e d , he r e a l i z e d the value of neighbourly r e l a t i o n s . Thus i t was becoming increasingly clear to the i n t e l l i g e n t reformers that emphasis should be placed on the community background of the working classes, Martineau, Ruskin, Carlyle and Dickens were i n f l u e n t i a l writers of th i s day who brought to the attention of the upper classes the seriousness of the hardship and suffering produced by the indus-t r i a l expansion. In the sphere of phi losophy, Thomas H . Green stands . foremost i n the teachings of construct ive c i t i z e n s h i p . T . H e Green has been r e f e r r e d to as the s p i r i t u a l fore fa ther of S e t t l e -ments because, through h is teachings, he aroused the zeal of many young and ardent reformers o f the day. One of h i s students, Arnold Toynbee, introduced a new movement i n the u n i v e r s i t i e s ; a penetrat ion of the crowded centres of populat ion , by the educated ph i lanthrop ic people of the upper c l a s s , i n order that they might bet ter understand and teach the i l l i t e r a t e people of these crowded slum areas . Arnold Toynbee d i d not l i v e to see the f i r s t S e t t l e -ment, as he died at the e a r l y age of t h i r t y - o n e . But the found-at ion of the f i r s t Settlement, Toynbee H a l l , i n 1884, was a f i t t i n g memorial to Arnold Toynbee and his work. John R. Green and Samuel A . Barnett were the men who f i n a l l y conceived the idea of residence i n the i n d u s t r i a l sect ion of East London i n order to share at f i r s t hand, i n the l i v i n g condit ions of the working classes* Canon Bar -ne t t , i n answer to a request f o r advice from a group of Oxford students in teres ted i n he lp ing the poor, advised that a house be obtained i n a working-class neighbourhood. For t h i s purpose, Toynbee H a l l was founded by the Univers i ty Settlement A s s o c i a t i o n , which was a committee act ing f o r Cambridge and Oxford U n i v e r s i t i e s . Canon Barnett became the f i r s t warden of Toynbee H a l l , not only because i t was his o r i g i n a l suggestion, but a lso because of h i s humanitarian ideals and h i s knowledge of the needs of the working c la s se s . Without such a f a i t h i n men, the grim surround-ings and almost hopeless condit ions would have appeared i n v u l n e r -ab le . From t h i s f i r s t Settlement, the p r i n c i p l e s l a i d down by Barnett and h i s associates have spread to d is tant communities and - 5 -have been applied i n d i f f e r e n t f i e l d s * "Neighbourliness and ser v i c e " was the basic s p i r i t of the movement. I t was recognized at once by thoughtful men that, aside from meeting the d i r e c t needs of the working c l a s s , the Settlement Movement gave hope that f r i e n d l y relations between separated classes might come about. This, plus the'fact that i t was a popular idea, l e d to the establishment and spread through-out the world of t h i s movement. Even during t h i s embryonic stage of the Settlement Movement there was nothing stereotyped about i t s function, V i o l e t Carruthers aptly portrays the varying func-tions of settlements within d i f f e r e n t countries* i n the following words, "These loosely constituted bodies, federated s p i r i t u a l l y as they are by c e r t a i n broad ideals, represent an i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y of s o c i a l theory and p r a c t i c e . Some are based on r e l i g i o u s p r i n c i p l e s , others are wholly undenominational. One S e t t l e -ment concentrates on c e r t a i n d e f i n i t e branches of work, another ranges over a wide f i e l d of general s o c i a l a c t i v i t y . The organization of clubs plays a large part i n the programme. Some deal p r i n c i -p a l l y with boys, others with g i r l s , others again with adults. Some present the spectacle of a chain of clubs stretching from the cradle to the grave, with a baby c l i n i c at one end and a club f o r p a t r i a r c h a l mothers at the other. S o c i a l research and t r a i n i n g of students i s a side to which the larger Settlements devote much time. Indeed, the l i m i t s set to the a c t i v i t i e s of any given S e t t l e -ments are only those of i t s finances and the capacities of i t s residents. A Settlement worth Its s a l t becomes the centre f o r enterprises of many kinds. The residents l i v e i n the d i s t r i c t as friends and neighbours sharing a common l i f e of work arid e f f o r t with the i n h a b i t a n t s " . 1 1. Ibid., pp. 148 - 149, - 6 -Spread to North America The s o c i a l and i n d u s t r i a l problems engendered by the i n d u s t r i a l expansion i n the United States were s i m i l a r i n many essential respects to the problems of i n d u s t r i a l England. The impetus to the Settlement Movement i n the United States, as i n E n g l a n d , came p a r t l y out of the r e l i g i o u s problem of applying the gospel of C h r i s t i a n i t y to the demands of t h i s new l i f e . The college curriculum also placed more emphasis on the fac t o r s surrounding the evolution of modern England. S t i l l another influence was that the ideas of protection and l a i s s e z - f a i r e were being replaced by a more modern approach to economic f a c t s . There were also famous American writers such as Emerson, Whittier ai d Lowell who expounded the p r i n c i p l e s of human ri g h t s and the e v i l s of slavery. A l l these forces helped to set the stage f o r the introduction of settlements i n the United States. In 1883-1884 some students at Smith College, s t i r r e d by the writings of Carly l e , Ruskin and Tolstoy, proposed "an int e r n a t i o n a l order of women" to dedicate t h e i r l i v e s to work among the poor. Although t h i s order never functioned, i t i s s i g -n i f i c a n t that the impulse, which l e d to the founding of the f i r s t settlement i n America^, found i t s o r i g i n a l s t i r r i n g s i n the women's colleges© Many univer s i t y students went to Toynbee H a l l to study that experiment, and i n 1886 the f i r s t American u n i v e r s i t y s e t t l e -ment was established by Stanton C o i l i n lower East Side of New York. During the summer and f a l l of 1886, Stanton C o i l devoted his time to the c u l t i v a t i o n of neighbourly acquaintances and before - 7 -the winter of 1887, f i v e clubs were meeting regu l a r l y and a federation of the young people's club had been organized. Out of this experiment the "Neighbourhood Guild" was born. In 1891 the name was changed to the University Settlement and a report was issued which portrays some of i t s early problems and aims* The report stated that the society required men to reside i n the Neighbourhood House, who could give a large part of t h e i r time and services to thi s cause. I t also stated that donations would be appreciated from people who thought that t h i s enterprise would bring the d i f f e r e n t classes of people into closer r e l a t i o n . Although the methods of Toynbee H a l l were imitated, the Univer-s i t y Settlement l a i d greater stress on entertainment f o r both children and adults. Two years a f t e r the establishment of the Neighbour-hood Guild, the College Settlement was established on Rivington Street, New York, with the o r i g i n a l purpose of devoting t h e i r time to helping g i r l s and women. Jane E. Robins and Jean Pine, the two women dir e c t o r s , saw the f a l l a c y of meeting the needs of only a segment of the community, and consequently made i t i n t o a Neighbourhood House. At about the same time, Jane Addams, unable to con-tinue her studies i n medicine because of f a i l i n g health, began her search f o r a method and means of approach to the s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t i e s prevalent at that time. This search l e d to the establishment of one of the most famous s o c i a l settlements i n American, H u l l House, on Halsted Street. Close acquaintance with" the poor l e d her to understand some of the hardships suffered by - 8 -d e s t i t u t e men, women and c h i l d r e n . The numerous problems encount-ered and overcome by Jane Addams and her f r i e n d , E l l e n Gates S t a r r , are found i n her w r i t i n g s on the development and progress of H u l l House. Two years a f t e r H u l l House was opened, a t h i r d s e t t l e -ment came i n t o being i n New York. Everett P. Wheeler took the I n i t i a t i v e i n the founding of East Side House, mhich was on the r i v e r f r o n t i n a neighbourhood of I r i s h , German and Scandinavian peopleo I t can be seen that i n such a neighbourhood there would be many problems concerning r a c i a l customs and p r a c t i c e s that were not encountered, to the same extent, i n the B r i t i s h S e t t l e -ments. The next settlement, Northwestern U n i v e r s i t y S e t t l e -ment, was e s t a b l i s h e d by Charles Z u e b l i n i n the l a r g e s t P o l i s h community i n America; because of t h i s f a c t i t served as an e x p e r i -mental s t a t i o n f o r s o c i a l work among S l a v i c p e o p l e s . By 1900 the Settlement Movement had become w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i n the United S t a t e s . During the f i r s t ten years of settlement h i s t o r y i n America, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the various p r o j e c t s were the r e s u l t of the e f f o r t s of one or two i n d i v i d u a l s and there was no a f f i l i a t i o n between agencies. These e a r l y founders had f a i t h and courage i n spreading goodwil l and sharing the misery of the poor i n order to b r i n g about neighbourly r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Thus i t can be seen how the Settlement Movement began i n a few American c i t i e s and has now spread i n t o almost every S t a t e . West of Chicago there are fewer settlement houses and the majority of these have been founded by d i f f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s groups, which i s not true of those i n Eastern United States. There appears to be a general opinion that a settlement, founded by a r e l i g i o u s group i n a one-faith neighbourhood, may gain strength by i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the culture and r e l i g i o n of the group i t /serves. On the other hand, i n areas where races and r e l i g i o n s are mixed, as i s true i n most areas, a settlement working with only a c e r t a i n part of the community w i l l act as a separating rather than a unifying influence. There are, of course, houses which have been founded by r e l i g i o u s groups but are as completely non-3ectarian i n t h e i r work as are the secular houses. According to Elizabeth Handasyde, the American S e t t l e -ment i s held i n higher esteem, both by the general public and the s o c i a l work profession, than i s the average B r i t i s h H o u s e . S h e accredits t h i s mainly to the fame of many of the large, w e l l -equipped houses of the east, and to the general high quality of s t a f f found i n even the smaller houses. I t i s pointed out t h a t i t i s also p a r t l y due to the high degree of co-ordination attained by the movement. "The Settlement Movement i n the United States con-s i s t s of the combined a c t i v i t i e s of two hundred and f i v e settlement and neighbourhood houses, ten c i t y federa-tions of these agencies, and the National Federation of Settlements. Sixty-one additional neighbourhood houses maintain a f f i l i a t i o n with the National Federation through i n d i v i d u a l membership, and across the country are many other centres which have f e l t the impetus of the move-ment. "2-At the beginning of the twentieth century, the S e t t l e -ment Movement, which had spread to Canada, became f i r m l y established 1. Handasyde, E., City or Community, London, The National Conference of Social Service, 1949, p. 21. 2. Soule, Frederick, "Settlements and Neighbourhood Houses'^ Soc i a l Work Year Book, New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1947. p. 463. - 1 0 -i n Ontario and Quebec. The majority of the Settlement Houses established i n Eastern Canada have r e l i g i o u s o r i g i n s while the two agencies i n Western Canada, namely, Alexandra Neighbourhood House and Gordon Neighbourhood House are secular i n o r i g i n . These two Houses, both i n Vancouver, are the only two s e t t l e -ments i n Canada west of Ontario. The distance separating the western agencies from the eastern agencies, plus t h e i r d i f f e r -ence i n o r i g i n , are two reasons f o r the lack of close t i e s and a f f i l i a t i o n between the west and the east. Therefore, Alexandra and'Gordon Neighbourhood Houses have looked southward*for d i r e c -t i o n and stimulus. Both of these houses are a f f i l i a t e d with the National Federation of Settlements, which enables them to keep i n contact with the l a t e s t advances made i n the settlement houses throughout the United States. Basic Philosophy of Settlement Work The basic philosophy of settlement work i s common to other s o c i a l agencies and to the motivation of al 1 workers i n th i s f i e l d . 1. "A sincere b e l i e f i n the sacredness and worth of the i n d i v i d u a l and dedication to the task of help-ing individuals to grow, to r e a l i z e t h e i r highest p o t e n t i a l i t i e s , and to be happy i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s to other indiv i d u a l s and to the community." 2. "A conviction that the family i s the s o c i a l u n i t which i s most important i n the growth and development of e f f e c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l s , and that family l i f e should be strong and wholesome." 3* "A b e l i e f t hat indiv i d u a l s have the r i g h t to determine t h e i r own des t i n i e s , but may need to be helped to exercise that r i g h t and to r e a l i z e t h e i r p o t e n t i a l i t i e s . Such help must be given without v i o l a t i n g the r i g h t of self-determination and the - 11 -self-respect of in d i v i d u a l s , and by encouraging a maximum degree of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on the part of the individuals,"1 Although the basic philosophy of the settlement i s common to other groups and organizations, we must r e a l i z e that the purpose d i f f e r s i n that i t develops i n the people, within the area i t serves, a deep f e e l i n g of neighbourliness. This neigh-bourhood s p i r i t consists of pride and l o y a l t y to the community, a f e e l i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r conditions of the neighbourhood, and an awareness that the neighbourhood i s a part of the wider community, which i d e a l l y i s world-wide. In the early h i s t r o y of the Settlement Movement, the reformers f e l t that a House should be placed In the midst of the most degraded and hopeless classes, but today,'there i s a r e a l i z a -t i o n that a l l the problems of the poorer classes, such as del i n q -uency and crime, the needs of the indigent and poor and the needs of people who are regularly employed, should be faced. Grace Coyle categorizes the func t i o n of neighbourhood houses into four 2 major areas* Education-recreation a c t i v i t i e s probably occupy the largest portion of agency funds and time of personnel. For thi s reason, the community often views the neighbourhood house as a place f o r clubs, a t h l e t i c s , dancing, camping and s i m i l a r a c t i v i -t i e s . This educational and recreational work i s usuaUly informal and the groups are formed by voluntary attendance. Thus, i t i s through these services that the settlement can create new c i t y 1. "The Cleveland Settlement Study", Cleveland, Welfare Federation of Cleveland, 1946, p. 8. . 2. Coyle, Grace, Group Experience and Democratic Values, New York, The Woman's Press, 1947, p. 121. - 12 -neighbourhoods which i s the main objective. Public support i n t h i s area i s not strong enough, though it,may appear to be a p u b l i c j r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Where public f a c i l i t i e s are available f o r education and recreation, the neighbourhood house can experiment and develop new programmes and methods which can be executed i n the more f l e x i b l e structure of a private agency. The second sphere of service i s to the neighbours on an Individual basis. There are three main types of contacts with ind i v i d u a l s , f i r s t l y , the .casual, f r i e n d l y acquaintance with people i n the area and the agency; secondly, contacts through home v i s i t s ; and t h i r d l y , contacts a r i s i n g out of a need or problem© Whatever the manner of contact, the i n d i v i d u a l must be helped to recognize h i s needs or problems and the House s t a f f , f a c i l i t i e s and programmes should be used to meet his needs i n whole or part -whenever possible. Cooperation with other agencies i s necessary i n the co-ordination of services to meet the needs of -the members. Another function of a neighbourhood house i s to help a neighbourhood to develop constructive and e f f e c t i v e organizations. This can be done by helping to organize programmes, by furnishing f a c i l i t i e s , by t r a i n i n g and providing leadership and by a s s i s t i n g l o c a l organizations to better meet the needs of the community. This encouragement and assistance i n the growth of a neighbourhood i s a .service which the neighbourhood house i s esp e c i a l l y q u a l i f i e d to provide. Through s o c i a l education and s o c i a l action, the private agency can f u n c t i o n f r e e l y toward the betterment of community con-d i t i o n s . Even controversial national problems can be attacked I - 13 -through c o l l e c t i v e action. Public agencies, because they are government bodies, cannot agitate f o r change or side with the people against l e g i s l a t i o n but neighbourhood houses have the unique advantage to do th i s i n a democratic manner. The neigh-bourhood house may take the i n i t i a t i v e i n organizing s o c i a l action or may work with groups already in,existance f o r the same purpose. The neighbourhood house should provide education about s o c i a l issues and how to take appropriate a c t i o n to remedy these unhealthy conditions. Through these four services, namely, education-recreation, neighbourhood organization, i n d i v i d u a l services and s o c i a l action, the neighbourhood house can meet the needs of a community.. The creation of f r i e n d l y , p a r t i c i p a t i n g neighbours i s the underlying purpose which should permeate and guide every pro-gramme and a c t i v i t y within a neighbourhood house. Grace Coyle's c r i t e r i a are a good yardstick with which the function of a neighbourhood house might be measured. With an understanding of these functions, attention can be focused on a l o c a l i n s t i t u t i o n , Alexandra Neighbourhood House. These c r i t e r i a might be applied l o c a l l y because a number of questions may well be asked about Alexandra House. Why was Alexandra Neighbourhood House formed? How was i t formed? Is the neighbourhood changing? What i s the function of the House? Why do they require trained professional s t a f f ? How does the student t r a i n i n g programme con-tr i b u t e to the AgBncy? In what kind of a community should a neighbourhood house be b u i l t ? Is Alexandra Neighbourhood House i n such a community? What w i l l the Granville Bridge project do - 1 4 -to Alexandra Neighbourhood House? Does the function of Alexandra Neighbourhood House have to change? Because of some de f i c i e n c i e s i n service and because of the Agency's changing constituency (to be c l a r i f i e d i n Chapter two) the present study has been undertaken. - 15 -CHAPTER II .THE COMMUNITY SERVED The area generally recognized as that served by Alex-andra Neighbourhood House, i s bounded by False Creek to the north, Sixteenth Avenue to the south, Oak Street to the east and Alma Road to' the west. The more e f f e c t i v e area, shown by Chart I, i s bounded by False Creek to" the north, Ninth Avenue to the south, Granville Street to the east and Arbutus Street to the west. Ninth Avenue, Granville and Arbutus Streets are main a r t e r i a l roads cutting through the neighbourhood which tend to form natural boundaries. Within t h i s area, sixty-two per cent of the present membership i s found. Because of these natural boundaries and the high concentration of membership, this small area i s considered the e f f e c t i v e neighbourhood. Outside of t h i s d i s t r i c t but within the stated boundaries, less than one quarter of the membership i s found. Only f i f t e e n per cent of the membership reside outside of the extended boundaries. Because of t h i s concentration of member-ship within these narrower l i m i t s , i t i s reasonable to focus on th i s area. The a e r i a l photograph of t h i s neighbourhood shows the p o s i t i o n of Alexandra House and the natural boundaries which a re formed by the a r t e r i a l roads. The p o s i t i o n of the House i s such that no fewer than four main a r t e r i a l roads cut through the immed-ia t e area which i t serves. Two blocks east of the House i s Gran-v i l l e Street, pne of the main streets of Vancouver, where the t r a f f i c i s heavy a l l day. Two blocks south of the House i s the Chart 1 DISTRIBUTION of MEMBERSHIP - ALEXANDRA NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE (1951) - 17 -busy thoroughfare of Ninth Avenue, lfihich. i s now becoming one of the better o f f i c e areas of Vancouver. Three blocks to the south i s the main thoroughfare of Fourth Avenue which i s enclosed by commercial buildings. While on the west, not one block from the House, i s the main a r t e r i a l road, Burrard Street, where there i s a continual flow of t r a f f i c going to and from the City Centre v i a Burrard Bridge. These a r t e r i a l roads present a hazard f o r c h i l -dren to cross, and just over three per cent of the membership i s found east of Granville Street. (See Chart I) There may be other reasons f o r the small percentage of membership from t h i s area but Granville Street has d e f i n i t e l y become a boundary to the east. Perhaps Fourth Avenue and Burrard Street are the two which show the l e a s t influence i n becoming d e f i n i t e boundaries, although the area north of Fourth Avenue i s not being served properly. Broadway i s becoming a d e f i n i t e boundary which i s probably accentu-ated by the modern commercial buildings which l i n e the street and form a more natural separation from the southern area. The newly-completed K i t s i l a n o Community Centre on Tenth Avenue, with a large adjoining playground, i s situated i n a strategic l o c a t i o n f o r serving t h i s southern area. At present i t i s not serving the surrounding community as well as i t might, but i s concentrating on city-wide clubs and professional teams who can pay f o r t h e i r use of the b u i l d i n g . For t h i s reason, there i s some d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n about the present operation of the Community Centre. Once K i t s i l a n o Community Centre focuses i t s a t t e n t i o n on the surrounding d i s t r i c t , people from t h i s area,' who at present go to Alexandra House, w i l l most l i k e l y attend the Community Centre. - 1 8 -/W/-THB AREA SURROUNDING ALEXANDRA NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE Source: Photographic Surveys, Sea Island, Vancouver B C - 19 -There i s only one school i n the " e f f e c t i v e " area, namely, the Henry Hudson School; the school i s located i n the northwest section of the neighbourhood. The Lord Tennyson School, at Tenth Avenue and Cypress Street, and the Saint Augus-tine School, a Roman Catholic school at Seventh Avenue and Arbu-tus Street, .are situated on the border of t h i s area. These schools provide the only playground space, although K i t s i l a n o Beach i s nearby, and i s , of course, a valuable play area. Within the Alexandra House " d i s t r i c t " are found the following churches: Saint Augustine, Roman Catholic Church on Seventh Avenue; Russian Orthodox Church on Sixth Avenue; F i r s t Baptist Sunday School on Second Avenue; the Sikh Temple on Third Avenue; the F i r s t United S p i r i t u a l i s t Church on Pine Street; and the Jehovah's Witnesses H a l l on Pine Street, The l a t t e r two churches can hardly be referred to as neighbourhood organizations because only a few of t h e i r members reside i n the d i s t r i c t . Some of the people of the neighbourhood attend r e l i g i o u s services which are held within the sphere of influence of Alexandra House, Holy T r i n i t y Anglican at Tenth Avenue and Pine Street; F a i r -view Baptist at Sixteenth Avenue and Pine Street; Canadian Memorial at Sixteenth Avenue and Burrard Street; Crosby United at Second Avenue and Larch Street; Saint Stephen United at Third Avenue and Larch Street and Saint Mark Anglican at Third Avenue and Larch Street, are a l l located within the extended boundaries served by the House, It i s s i g n i f i c a n t to note that the leadership of these churches i s not found within the neighbourhood but comes from areas far t h e r south and west. - 20 -A description of the area served by the House was recorded i n the 1940 Annual Report of Alexandra House. "The neighbourhood i n which our House i s situated i s the old part of K i t s i l a n o , a heavily populated d i s -t r i c t composed c h i e f l y of rather old and, i n many cases, neglected wooden houses; a few f a c t o r i e s ; some small shopping areas and four main a r t e r i e s passing through i t — Granville Street, Burrard Street, Fourth and Ninth Avenues, The area i s populated c h i e f l y by English, Canadian, Scotch and I r i s h f a m i l i e s . There are a few Americans, Scandinavians, French, Jewish, Russian and Austrian f a m i l i e s i n the d i s t r i c t , and one small area made up larg e l y of East Indian and Japanese f a m i l i e s . Many of the houses i n t h i s d i s t r i c t which were recently b u i l t f o r one-family use are now housing sev-e r a l f amilies and are seriously overcrowded. In many instances, f a m i l i e s are l i v i n g i n one or two rooms without adequate cooking and sanitary f a c i l i t i e s . In the section between Fourth Avenue and Cornwall Street and from Vine to Granville and east of Granville Street and between Seventh Avenue and the waterfront, i s one of the worst slum areas i n the c i t y . Many of these houses are inhabited by Japanese and poor whites. Here also i s the Hindu area, but i t seems that the Hindus are gradually vacating t h i s d i s t r i c t and moving to other parts of the c i t y . This section represents a serious s o c i a l problem. Although i t has been a decided physical improvement to the d i s t r i c t , the presence of the Armouries and barracks i s creat-ing new problems."* The appearance of the neighbourhood today i s very s i m i l a r i n many respects to the above description, except that the Japanese people were removed'from t h i s area two years l a t e r , the housing has deteriorated more or less continuously over the past twelve years, and industry and commercialization i s gradually engulfing the r e s i d e n t i a l area nearest to Granville Street. 1. 1940 Annual Report of Alexandra Neighbourhood House. Transitions within the neighbourhood,, Between Burrard and Granville Streets, Ninth Avenue and False Creek, small commercial enterprises are ra p i d l y f i l -t e r ing Into the r e s i d e n t i a l sections. This d i s t r i c t i s noted f o r Its r a p i d l y deteriorating housing and there appears to be l i t t l e , i f any, attempt at repair or upkeep. Walking through t h i s area, one i s immediately struck by the many houses which appear u n f i t f o r habitation. Buildings with sagging roofs and foundations, wherein numerous people l i v e , are not a r a r i t y . One sight, which perhaps t y p i f i e s this area a l l too c l e a r l y , i s an old church on the corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue. If one went past t h i s church on a Sunday, he would not see children and adults passing through i t s doors; on the con-trary , a strange silence would greet him. Yet, i f he passed by !• t h i s b u i l d i n g on a week-day, he would be surprised by the strange sounds coming from within. He w ould be surprised - and perhaps smile sadly - when he r e a l i z e d that i t had now become a f u r n i t u r e factory. This i s only one example of what i s taking place. This i s the heart of the t r a n s i t i o n area, yet within the above d i s -t r i c t , according to a survey made i n 1951* s t i l l reside t h i r t y -seven per cent of the membership of Alexandra House* The bulk of thi s area, from Granville Street to Bur-rard Street, from Sixth Avenue north to False Creek, has been zoned f o r industry. No building can be erected unless b u i l t of masonry material, which means that there w i l l probably not be any new homes erected at a l l . The re s i d u a l homes within t h i s area have p r a c t i c a l l y no value, but the si t e s have value - at least - 22 -po t e n t i a l l y , f o r i n d u s t r i e s . Therefore, no money i s spent on the buildings by the owners or landlords, because any improvement or repair does not increase the value of the property. The owners of these houses "hang on" hoping f o r a high p r i c e and, as the building deteriorates, the rent which can be obtained f o r l i v i n g . quarters decreases per u n i t . The amount "sweated" out of a con-r verted b u i l d i n g may be considerable. Naturally, t h i s area, which i s characterized by declining housing, industry, and cheap rents att r a c t s people who are i n low-income groups and cannot a f f o r d better housing accommodation. West of Burrard Street i s also a t r a n s i t i o n a l area. This area was, at one time, one of the better r e s i d e n t i a l d i s -t r i c t s of Vancouver. Over the years, there has been a gradual change and those homes with a view of K i t s i l a n o Beach have been replaced by apartment buildings. South of the apartments, homes are being converted to multiple family dwellings. The population structure of thi s area has changed oyer the years; one way of i l l u s t r a t i n g t h i s i s by examining the i n s t i -tutions found here. There are no p o l i t i c a l or s o c i a l clubs and the membership of the churches has changed. For instance, at one time the Saint Mark Anglican Church was an outstanding i n s t i t u t i o n with hundreds of parishioners; at present, one-half of the b u i l d -ing i s a Workman's Compensation O f f i c e . The Saint Stephen's United Church, f o r t y years ago, had an active membership of at Mr. Charles Bailey, one of the teachers i n K i t s i l a n o High School, who has done considerable s o c i o l o g i c a l research, made a study of t h i s area, and much of thi s material was obtained from him. Acknowledgment i s hereby tendered to him f o r permission to use his data. - 23 -least f i v e hundred, with seven hundred and f i f t y c hildren attend-ing Sunday School, This year, the two United churches of Saint Stephen and Crosby have combined to form one parish. These changes are s i g n i f i c a n t because they show that not only are the number of parishioners decreasing, but the people remaining are i n a lower income group and cannot support these churches. This western part of the neighbourhood appears to be following a pattern s i m i l a r to the area immediately surrounding the House, where a church on Second Avenue has become the Holly-wood Furniture Factory, a church on F i r s t Avenue was replaced by the Boultbee Maintenance Shop, and the Methodist Church on Sixth Avenue has become a p r i n t i n g shop. The new Granville Bridge project, which i s already under construction, w i l l have a great deal of influence on the future of Alexandra House, The plans l a i d f o r the new bridge indicate that i t w i l l extend over much of the area now serviced by the i n s t i t u t i o n . (See Map 2) The clov e r - l e a f roads cover approximately one block on each side of the bridge and one "run-off" from the bridge s t a r t s at Eighth Avenue and F i r Street which i s one block from the House. Another "run-off" w i l l s t a r t at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street and w i l l be b u i l t between Third and Fourth Avenues, which w i l l cut up t h i s block. Pine Street w i l l most l i k e l y become a main thoroughfare f o r trucks and other vehicles. This w i l l mean that the House, which i s on the corner of Pine Street, w i l l be located i n a poor p o s i t i o n , as i t w i l l be dangerous f o r children who stray from the playground area. The Granville Bridge project w i l l have a d e f i n i t e influence on t h i s - 25 — area, as i t w i l l "seal o f f " housing and cut up the d i s t r i c t so that community f e e l i n g and dependence i s discouraged. Approx-imately eighteen c i t y blocks w i l l be d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d by the , southern extremity of the bridge and i t i s only natural that numerous other blocks w i l l be i n d i r e c t l y affected. The r e s u l t -ant deterioration w i l l produce a multitude of s o c i a l problems. The membership of Alexandra House had been quite stable during the e a r l y period of the development of the House, but during the l a s t two years the turnover i n membership has been quite high. The neighbourhood i s becoming more and more a trans-i t i o n a l area where people l i v e f o r a short period of time and then move to another part of the c i t y . Since just before Christmas of 1951 to the spring of 1 9 5 2 , thirty-one children have l e f t the playschool i n Alexandra House through moving to other parts of the City. With a t o t a l enrolment of f o r t y - f i v e playschool c h i l -dren, t h i s means a changeover of approximately sixty-nine per cent due to moving. Of the f i v e hundred and eighteen families registered at the House, three hundred and four are new r e g i s -trations and only two hundred and fourteen are renewals. Even though there are no s t a t i s t i c s available t e l l i n g why the renewals form such a small percentage of the t o t a l membership, i t does indicate the transient nature of the community. A door-to-door survey was made i n the f a l l of 1951* by f i v e students taking one of the courses i n community organ-i z a t i o n at the School of Social Work. This survey was an attempt to determine the attitudes of the neighbourhood people toward the House, Three hundred and eighty-seven homes were - 26 -v i s i t e d i n the area from F i r Street to Arbutus Street and from Eighth Avenue to F i f t h Avenue. It was found that, of the people canvassed, only twelve per cent were active members of Alexandra House, seven per cent attended occasionally, andinine per cent did not even know about the House. Only two per cent expressed hos-t i l i t y toward the Agency and p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of these l i v e d i n the immediate v i c i n i t y of the House. Approximately twenty-five per cent displayed no int e r e s t i n the programme and many others displayed only a s l i g h t i n t e r e s t In the House© The observations of four of these students who had made the survey are i n t e r e s t i n g . One student stated that the most surprising impression she received was the number of people who did not know the function of the House. One person thought i t was a school, another thought It was an orphanage, vh i l e many others thought i t was only f o r young people. The people can-vassed showed a general lack of intere s t i n the Agency. Another student was impressed by the number of "foreign-speaking" people, who had a d i f f i c u l t time understanding what she was talking about. She found some interested i n the general idea of the function of the House, but they, themselves, d i d not appear too interested i n belonging to the Agency. The t h i r d student's outstanding impres-sion was the general lack of in t e r e s t and apathy shown by the people. In a l l the v i s i t s , no one was Interested enough to ask him Inside. The fourth student who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the survey found that many people thought the House was a place f o r c h i l -dren. He discovered that most of the younger g i r l s were encour-aged to go to the House, but that the older ones were discouraged . - 27 -because the parents thought i t was "too rough". Although th i s survey was made on a rough sampling basis, which makes i t d i f f i c u l t to draw conclusions, the high percentage of lack of interest displayed i s noteworthy, and the large number not knowing about the House i s also s i g n i f i c a n t * This general d i s i n t e r e s t and apathy of the people may be quite c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of such areas. It has been shown by so c i o l o g i s t s that In a deteriorating or declining community, there i s a tend-ency f o r the people of the community to lose i n t e r e s t i n neigh-bourhood functions. This trend may be well exemplified by t h i s d i s t r i c t . Two examples may be c i t e d to i l l u s t r a t e t h i s i n d i f -ferent attitude of the neighbourhood. One i s that the erection of the new Granville Bridge has not caused any apparent anxiety within the Immediate d i s t r i c t , although people l i v i n g even f a r t h e r west in the K i t s i l a n o d i s t r i c t are becoming concerned. S i m i l a r l y there were no protests against a suggestion that a new po l i c e station be b u i l t at Sixth Avenue and Hemlock Street; although when two other s i t e s i n d i f f e r e n t sections of the City were sug-gested f o r t h i s b u i l d i n g i t immediately aroused the people i n those areas. It was noted i n the f i r s t chapter that one of the major functions of a neighbourhood house i s s o c i a l education and so c i a l action. The question now arises whether the House can assume such a r o l e i n thi s neighbourhood where i n e r t i a and apathy are so predominant. It was noted e a r l i e r that although the basic p h i l o s -ophy of a neighbourhood house i s common to several other organ-i z a t i o n s , the purpose d i f f e r s i n that i t develops, i n the people - 28 -of the d i s t r i c t i t serves, a deep f e e l i n g of neighbourliness. This neighbourhood s p i r i t should consist of pride in. and l o y a l t y to the community and a f e e l i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the condi-tions e x i s t i n g there. Since a neighbourhood house i s v i t a l l y influenced by the d i s t r i c t i n which i t i s situated, a good under-standing of the surrounding area i s required before the services can be analysed a It Is c l e a r that Alexandra House i s situated i n an area where many changes have occurred i n the past and are s t i l l going on. Against t h i s background, both the embryonic stages of the Neighbourhood House and the more recent ones should be analyzed. - 29 -CHAPTER III DEPRESSION arid WAR YEARS A "Children's Home", f o r children without parents or whose parents were poverty-stricken, was established on the cor-ner of Homer and Dunsmuir Streets i n 1892, by a small interested group of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. A p r o v i s i o n a l board was appointed, consisting of two representatives of the churches, along with one representative from the City, and one from the M i n i s t e r i a l Association. The number of children increased, which necessitated a move to a larger home on Hornby Street. This home was occupied u n t i l December, 1894-. At t h i s time, the Directors of the Alexandra Hospital f o r Women and C h i l -dren donated t h e i r b u i l d i n g and equipment, at 1726 West Seventh Avenue, to the cause, on the sole condition that the i n s t i t u t i o n assume i t s present name. Between 1894 and 1930, the number of children i n care of the Alexandra Children's Home would average around seventy. By 1933* the number of children in care decreased to only thirty-seven. The changing concepts of c h i l d care and the emphasis on family welfare services i n the t h i r t i e s had a d i r e c t bearing on the i n s t i t u t i o n a l care throughout Canada and the United States. By t h i s time the public r e l i e f authorities also r e a l i z e d that i t was not only more economical but s o c i a l l y more desirable to main-t a i n the family u n i t . Consequently, a more adequate basis f o r r e l i e f grants assured the preservation of the natural home. Another fa c t o r which was important was the beginning of the swing i - 30 -away from orphanages to f o s t e r home care* In 1933» Miss Char-l o t t e Whitton's advice was sought and she reported that the p o s i t i o n of Alexandra Children's Home was common to many agen-cies and communities i n Eastern Canada and the United States© In the meantime, the Children's Aid Society asked I f Alexandra House could be used as a r e c e i v i n g home f o r t h e i r c h i l -dren, u n t i l they had the opportunity to develop t h e i r programme of subsidized boarding homes. Therefore, from 1933 u n t i l 1938» the Home received boys and g i r l s from the Children's Aid Society, mostly as short-time placements. The average number of Children's A i d Society children being cared f o r was f i f t e e n , while t h e i r own i n s t i t u t i o n a l population was r a p i d l y decreasing. In 1937* the Directors of Alexandra Children's Home wrote to the Children's Committee of the Council of S o c i a l Agen-cies of Vancouver f o r advice. They thought that the children might be transferred from Alexandra House to a cottage home under the care of a matron; i f this plan was,: c a r r i e d out, the Directors thought the b u i l d i n g might be converted into a community centre. The Committee approved the proposals, but recommended that support from a l l community groups should be obtained. The churches, schools, the K i t s i l a n o Chamber of Commerce, as well as represent-atives from among the residents themselves were to be consulted before making any public announcement. It was apparent that the Poster Home Movement forced the Directors to abandon the orphanage, and the dilemma now became - what to do with the building? The serious unemployment Much of the early h i s t o r y of the House has been obtained from the 1940 Annual Report of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, - 31 -s i t u a t i o n e x i s t i n g at that time le d the directors to focus t h e i r attention on the development of a programme of r e l i e f . This was one of the reasons why i t became a neighbourhood house. The amount of research that was c a r r i e d out i n the community to determine the need f o r a neighbourhood house was extremely l i m i t e d . A person was hired to do t h i s preliminary research but due to the lack of time, attention was focused on the s o c i a l agencies Interested i n the Neighbourhood House, and any thought of contact with the people, or p u b l i c i t y i n the community was abandoned. The Neigh-bourhood House did not evolve through a community movement, but i t became a r e a l i t y because the Directors had a b u i l d i n g , which they desired to devote to some useful purpose. On September 1st, 1938, Mr. W. A. Morrison, who had considerable experience i n community a geneies, such as P l a t Bush Boy's Club and the New York Community Centre, was engaged as Superintendent of Alexandra Neighbourhood House. The House of f i c i a U y opened i t s doors to the community on October 1st, 1938. Development of Programme Alexandra House opened i t s doors to the community with the idea that services would be rendered In three major areas. The categories of service were "community service","family service", and "group work a c t i v i t y " . Community service was to include and emphasize s o c i a l a ction towards the improvement of the neighbourhood by attempting to gain more play space, better housing and better t r a f f i c regulations. Family service was to There i s a lack of material as to the community and family services performed during the f i r s t decade. - 32 -Include home v i s i t s ; to a s s i s t people to obtain employment, to help them gain assistance i f required and to r e f e r them to s p e c i a l i z e d agencies who could help with t h e i r problems. These categories would also Include the development of neighbourliness and community s p i r i t . The t h i r d category, which was r e f e r r e d to as group work a c t i v i t y , was considered the most important and included club groups, play school, educational, c u l t u r a l , s o c i a l and physical a c t i v i t i e s , mass a c t i v i t i e s , and s p e c i a l events. In the f i r s t year, 2,354 were registered members, of which 1,342 were registered with the S o c i a l Service Exchange. Such a high percentage of membership, being known to d i f f e r e n t agencies, indicates t h a t the majority of membership had f i n a n c i a l or family problems. One of the main reasons why so many people were registered with the S o c i a l Service Exchange was that the House opened i t s doors a year previous to the declaration of World War I I , at which time unemployment was a serious problem. During the war years, the number of home v i s i t s increased because of the prevalence of c h i l d problems. Home v i s i t s were made each year with a view to secure the cooperation of the parents of children who attended the Agency. Close cooperation appears to have been maintained with other agencies and the f a m i l i e s . Refer-r a l s were made to those agencies which could provide more s p e c i a l -ized services, such as case work and f i n a n c i a l assistance. During t h i s early period, day work and permanent employment was obtained f o r d i f f e r e n t members of the family. Thus, i t can be seen that some preventive s o c i a l work was performed i n t h e i r attempts to a t t a i n a neighbourly s p i r i t . - 33 -The group work a c t i v i t i e s occupied the largest portion of agency funds and time of personnel. The Director, because of his previous experience, had a good understanding of the fundamen-t a l s of group work and he attempted to b u i l d a programme around the expressed interests of the members and not superimpose a pro-gramme upon them. New members were placed i n clubs most suitable as to age, interests and needs. The Director attempted to b u i l d a f l e x i b l e programme i n order that i t might be r e a d i l y adjusted to meet changing int e r e s t s and needs. The programme a c t i v i t i e s were soon developed under s i x main categories, namely, group clubs, education a c t i v i t i e s , s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s , physical a c t i v i t i e s , miscellaneous a c t i v i t i e s and outside groups. Group clubs were formed according to age group-ings and sex. For example, i n 1 9 3 9 , there were f i v e clubs of junior boys (six to.eleven years of age), four clubs of junior g i r l s , nine clubs of intermediate boys (twelve to sixteen years of age), and i n the adult department, there were two women's clubs and one men's club. The educational or vocational a c t i v i -t i e s included kindergarten, weaving, q u i l t i n g , rugmaking, sewing, painting, drawing, leather work, woodwork, and cooking. Miscel-laneous a c t i v i t i e s included such services as games room, l i b r a r y , archery and house councils. Outside groups were eithe r groups associated with the House or were independent groups, who merely had the use of the f a c i l i t i e s . For example i n 1 9 3 9 , there were the Self-Help Groups (ten cr a f t groups, one drama group), Pro Rec Groups (seven groups), Lions Club, Lady Lions Club, Sea Rangers, K i t s i l a n o Red Cross and seven independent club groups. - 34 -Alexandra Neighbourhood House consisted of two b u i l d -ings. The main building, was a. large rambling place, which con-tained f i f t e e n rooms of varying s i z e s . On the main f l o o r there was the entrance h a l l * a.large s o c i a l room, a room used f o r a gymnasium, boy's club room, cheek room, o f f i c e , reception room, Kindergarten and a kitchen. On the second f l o o r there/was the auditorium with stage, g i r l ' s club room, dressing rooms, wash rooms, Superintendent's apartment, women's club room, men's club room, Superintendent's offic.e» l i b r a r y and three c r a f t rooms, one of which was quite large and occasionally used f o r meetings. The other building was formerly a small schoolhouse. It was turned into a woodworking shop and became a spe c i a l project of the K i t s i lano Lions Club. Staff..and..Membership ...c The Superintendent, had a good understanding of the function of a neighbourhood house, but he lacked professional s t a f f , which meant that he could not give the leadership to group that developed i n the Agency. In 1939» the permanent s t a f f con-s i s t e d of the superintendent, assistant superintendent, caretaker and a non-paid kindergarten teacher. During t h i s year, four s o c i a l work students were assigned to the Agency f o r t h e i r f i e l d work. There were also over one hundred volunteers contributing t h e i r -services to the various groups. With such a small s t a f f , i t was impossible to give the proper supervision and co-ordinate the numerous programmes that were developing. The lack of leader ship was portrayed i n the f l u c t u a t i n g membership. - 35 -A men's club formed during t h i s year and consisted mainly of unemployed persons. The membership reached t h i r t y and a committee from t h i s group met p e r i o d i c a l l y with a committee of the K i t s i l a n o Chamber .of Commerce. A Women's group, c a l l e d "The Self-Help Group", were having d i f f i c u l t y i n adjusting to the Agency, as they f e l t I t was a place f o r children rather than f o r adults. Prom the beginning, the younger people were given the greater share of f a c i l i t i e s , space and time, which made the adult groups f e e l neglected. The assistant-superintendent was not appointed u n t i l A p r i l , 1939, at which time, with the assistance of volunteers, he took on the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of four groups, i n order to help s e t a standard and to demonstrate proper group methods. This person, a non-professional with l i m i t e d experience, did not appear to set a very good standard, but he was not replaced u n t i l two years l a t e r . The young adult group (sixteen to twenty-three years) had a poor qua l i t y of leadership amongst themselves, and they d i d not want adult supervision. This portrays the need f o r q u a l i f i e d leadership which was not availa b l e at that time. The d i s t r i b u t i o n of membership was i n the following proportion; f i f t y per cent boys and g i r l s under sixteen years, twenty-five per cent young people and twenty-five per cent adults. Two house councils were formed; a senior house council, consisting of adults and young people, and a junior house council f o r the younger groups. This, i n i t s e l f , was a desirable step which enabled the groups, through representation to the councils, to suggest better ways and methods of improving and co-ordinating - 36 -programme. In 1 9 4 0 , the average d a i l y attendance was approximately three hundred. Active monthly membership ranged between f i f t e e n hundred and eighteen hundred. There were one hundred and twelve d i f f e r e n t groups or a c t i v i t i e s meeting weekly or d a i l y . Despite the impressive f i g u r e of one hundred and twelve d i f f e r e n t groups or a c t i v i t i e s , many groups were at loose ends because of the lack of leadership. Most of these groups were led by volunteers, many of whom did not attend r e g u l a r l y . There was a lack of consistency due to a continuous change of leadership, which usually r e s u l t s i n disi n t e g r a t i o n of groups. The Junior League and Normal School provided the Agency with most of the volunteers, without which i t would have been impossible to carry on programme. The Junior League also provided money f o r a g i r l s worker, who was sorely needed to provide a more adequate g i r l ' s programme, as the attendance of the g i r l s had f a l l e n o f f because of the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n programme. Some of the volunteer leadership appeared to come from the community and a week's t r a i n i n g programme during the Easter Holidays was provided f o r the older boys. This experiment, which was supervised by the Superintendent, apparently was successful. It was recommended that a similar t r a i n i n g programme be organized the following year, but f o r some reason i t was discontinued. Such a t r a i n i n g programme i s a good method of encouraging and developing leadership from the community. It enables the neighbours to assume more and more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s . The follow! ng year was quite s i m i l a r i n most respects except that there was a change i n s t a f f . The Junior League pro-I - 37 -vided the salary f o r a s o c i a l worker f o r a year and also provided the salary f o r a playschool supervisor f o r the summer months* The boys' worker was dismissed because he was incapable of doing s a t i s f a c t o r y work. A new boys' worker was appointed i n September and a g i r l s ' supervisor was attained at the same time. Leadership Problems The year 1942 marked the opening of Gordon Neighbour-hood House, at the corner of Nelson and Jervis Streets. It also marked the closing of Alexandra Children's Home, which was also administered under Alexandra Community A c t i v i t i e s . ^ " Mr. Morrison, the Superintendent of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, assumed the role of executive-director of both Alexandra and Gordon Houses. The appointment of one executive-director to be i n charge of both neighbourhood houses reveals the lack of autonomy or home rul e of the i n d i v i d u a l houses. This meant that the Executive Committee maintained control over the operation and management of Alexandra House, but the House Committee should have had the power over these 1. Alexandra Neighbourhood House i s one of three agencies which make up the Alexandra Community A c t i v i t i e s . The others are Gordon Neighbourhood House and Alexandra Fresh A i r Camp. The Executive Council (Alexandra Community A c t i v i t i e s ) makes al 1 necessary c a p i t a l expenditures and owns a l l physical assets. The major portion of the budget i s obtained from the Community Chest and Council. The Executive Council consists of not less than t h i r t y -s i x members and not more than s i x t y . Alexandra ^ouse Com-mittee i s one of the standing committees and i s v i r t u a l l y a . Board of Directors f o r the House. This Committee has control over the a f f a i r s , operations and management of Alexandra House. Any matter a f f e c t i n g p o l i c y or c a p i t a l funds and expenditures must be referred to the Executive Council. - 38 -areas i n order that the people of the community might have the opportunity to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s * . To ensure this r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , the House Committee should con-s i s t mainly of people who reside i n the neighbourhood. Alexandra House by this time had a membership of one hundred and twenty-nine kindergarten children, eight hundred and f i f t y - t h r e e juniors, s i x hundred and twenty-two intermed-ia t e s , four hundred and seventy-two seniors and nine hundred and f o r t y - f i v e adults. There were s i x clubs f o r boys, nine clubs f o r g i r l s and seven clubs for adults. The boys' work was c u r t a i l e d because of the lack of leadership. The shortage of men, caused by enlistment i n the services, was one of the main reasons f o r the lack of leadership. This was the f i r s t year that members were required to produce t h e i r membership cards before they could enter the House. The members had no f e e l i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward the House and they r e s i s t e d t h i s new p o l i c y . If a sense of belong-ing had been developed by the leaders, there would not have been the same degree of resistance to paying token membership fees. Not enough attention was devoted to programme development i n the clubs and there was a lack of co-ordination of o v e r - a l l agency programme. At this time the s t a f f began to r e a l i z e that q u a l i t y of work was more important than the number p a r t i c i p a t i n g . The g i r l s ' worker, es p e c i a l l y , r e a l i z e d that numbers had been stressed rather than quali t y , but she d i d not have the time nor the support of permanent professional s t a f f to i n s t i t u t e any change. Alexandra Community A c t i v i t i e s (Executive Council) Property Finance Alexandra Fresh A i r Camp Alexandra Neigh-bourhood House Gordon Neigh-bourhood House Standing Committees Temporary Programme Property Finance Personnel Committee Second Avenue Transient 1 Community Groups Junior Junior Boys G i r l s T Teen-agers Adults Playschool HOUSE COUNCIL which includes Two Board Members Two Staff Members V J 4 I X ) Chart 2 STRUCTURE OF ALEXANDRA COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES - 40 -In 1942, a senior boys club, which had been organized three years previously, withdrew from the House* It was stated that the volunteer worker, who was leading the club, resented . d i r e c t i o n from the s t a f f and had resigned. The boys had a close t i e with t h i s worker and when he resigned the boys l e f t the House. I t was stated that there was some doubt about the wisdom of the leader's Ideas as to boys' club work. The volunteer leader apparently wanted more to say on the administration of the House. He thought his club should have been consulted on such administrative problems as to the use of the side entraice f o r boys, hours f o r leaving the house and the use of rooms. This example i l l u s t r a t e s two major points worthy of mention. F i r s t i t portrays the dangers involved i n having v o l -unteer leaders i n charge of friendship groups without adequate supervision. If the leader had been supervised, i t would have been noticed that he might become emotionally involved with the group and would not be able to do an e f f e c t i v e job. This v o l -unteer should have received help to serve the group more e f f e c -t i v e l y ; or been placed i n another area where he may have been more capable. Thus, not only was the volunteer harmed, but the members were deprived of a meeting place and the opportunity to develop through a good group experience. The second point, which this example i l l u s t r a t e s , i s the lack of good administration. If there was a House Council where th i s group could send representatives with t h e i r ideas and suggestions, the s i t u a t i o n would most l i k e l y never have arisen. The representatives would have been given an opportunity - 41 -to request the use of the side door and to discuss the reasons why the House closed at a certain hour. I t may have also meant that they could have received the space which they required. The representatives could have at least reported back to the group the r e s u l t s of t h e i r queries. With such a s i t u a t i o n a r i s -ing, i t also shows a lack of co-ordination between groups. It might also reveal the lack of formulated p o l i c y on the part of the Board because of t h e i r concern over small d e t a i l s . Up to t h i s time the Board of Directors had not been able to v i s u a l i z e i t s r o l e as one concerned with the broader aspects of p o l i c y , budget and o v e r - a l l agency programme. The "Board" c a r r i e d over the same focus on minute de t a i l s of opera-t i o n as when i t was d i r e c t i n g an orphanage. For instance, i n 1939 the d i r e c t o r submitted a request to the board f o r numerous small a r t i c l e s , such as boxing gloves, kindergarten tables, two blackboards, two quarts of enamel paint and one stapling mach-ine. A si m i l a r example, taken from the board minutes of the following year, was a request from the d i r e c t o r f o r the Board's permission to purchase supplies amounting to eighteen d o l l a r s f o r the camera club. On another occasion the r o l l e r of the typewriter used i n the o f f i c e had to be replaced, an item which costs approximately f i v e d o l l a r s . A report on this was presented to the Board i n great d e t a i l , explaining that the r o l l e r had deteriorated owing to the acid on the s t e n c i l s . The Board's approval was obtained. Numerous examples, sim i l a r to those described, appear throughout these early years and i t was not u n t i l 1945 that the Board began to focus on p o l i c y , insurance, budget and s a l a r i e s . - 42 -By 1943 there were only twenty club groups i n the House. It i s not .'only i n t e r e s t i n g , but aiso s i g n i f i c a n t , to note that i n 1939 there were thirty-one club groups and each successive year there was a decrease i n number of groups. These club groups correspond to friendship groups, which are composed of members with a number of common factors such as age, inte r e s t and other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which bring people together. These groups require leadership from trained person-nel who are capable of a s s i s t i n g i n d i v i d u a l s to adjust to the group, and who have a broad knowledge of programme media through which the group can express themselves and have t h e i r needs met. With the lack of good leadership, I t i s only natural that there was a decrease i n the number of these groups. During this same period of time, there was an increase i n the number of Interest groups. Interest groups are formed around one s p e c i f i c i n t e r -est, such as sewing, basketball, etc., and t h i s i n t e r e s t i s usually the only bond which holds the group together. It i s easier to obtain leadership f o r t h i s type of group because the leader needs s k i l l only i n one area of programme. This could account f o r the increase i n number of int e r e s t groups over this four-year period. During this year there was a general decline i n attend-ance and one senior g i r l s * club and one women's club disbanded. The g i r l s * club which disbanded ranged from sixteen to nineteen years of age and had acquired a close attachment to the leader. The leader was unable to continue the following year and the g i r l s f e l t that no one could take her place, so they were l e f t on t h e i r own. The club f i n a l l y disintegrated because of the - 43 -• lack of leadership. This example once again i l l u s t r a t e s the f a c t that without good leadership a great deal of harm can r e s u l t . I t reveals the need f o r supervision of leadership to safeguard the members. With adequate supervision, there would have been a "taper-ing-off" process, i n which the leader would have made a gradual withdrawal from the group, and i d e a l l y a new leader should have been introduced a few weeks previous to her complete break from the group. At t h i s time, i t was noted that there were usually not enough persons i n the men's club to make a foursome i n cards. The rapid decrease i n number of men was mainly due to the change i n the economic conditions. The House opened i t s doors during the end of the depression years, when many men were unemployed and had a great deal of time to spare. The conditions of war r a p i d l y i changed t h i s s i t u a t i o n to one of economic prosperity. The armed services t ook the majority of the physical l y f i t men which meant there were numerous jobs available, even f o r older men and women. It was during t h i s year that both Alexandra and Gordon Neighbourhood Houses separated under two d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t o r s . The new executive-director summed-up the s i t u a t i o n at Alexandra House quite adequately. She stated that the s t a f f had done a good job, although without professional t r a i n i n g and without knowledge of the underlying principles,' they had been attempting to remedy situations that were beyond t h e i r c a p a c i t i e s . The children and young people had been allowed to come and go as they pleased, and to do what they wished, with no respect to anyone. The direct o r did not expand on the res u l t s of thi s lack of d i r e c t i o n and lim i t a t i o n s on the boys and g i r l s , but i t i s another reason f o r - 44 -the decrease i n number of adult members. One s i g n i f i c a n t force was the lack of l o y a l t y of mem-bers toward the House. Each group was working toward the achieve-ment of i t s own ends and did not worry about the o v e r - a l l programme. They took the House fo r granted and f e l t no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward i t . This was portrayed i n t h e i r resistance to payment of token membership fees. It i s evident that quantity rather than quality had been stressed. Recording the number of membership and attend-ance had been emphasized, rather than doing a good s o l i d job, even i f i t meant a s a c r i f i c e i n numbers. The s t a f f , during this period, had no contact with outside organizations and did not even know the community resources. Home v i s i t s had not been considered part of t h e i r work, which meant that they did not know the home conditions of the members. Without an understanding of the parents and home conditions, which have a dire c t bearing upon the behaviour of the children, i t i s impossible to do a good groupwork job. This also portrays a lack of i n t e r e s t i n the family u n i t . Maintaining the family unit i s one of the fundamentals In the practice of s o c i a l work; service to the family unit i s also one of the major functions of a neighbourhood house. When Alexandra Neighbourhood House opened i t s doors to the public i n 1938> there was not enough money available to make any s t r u c t u r a l changes i n the b u i l d i n g . It was not u n t i l 1944 that a complete renovation and re-decoration of the b u i l d i n g was attempted. The building had retained some of the atmosphere of the orphanage days, even though i t s function had changed. This renovation helped to inculcate new attitudes i n members and s t a f f .because of the brighter and more pleasant atmosphere. There was - 4 5 an increased f e e l i n g of pride, respect and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y among members. The shortage of labour and building materials meant that the renovation period lasted from March u n t i l November. This delay plus the.fact that the caretaker became i l l , and the loss of a s t a f f member on A p r i l f i r s t resulted i n a d e f i n i t e slump i n programme a c t i v i t y and a drop i n attendance. Lack of integration of club a c t i v i t i e s plus leadership d i f f i c u l t i e s were prevalent throughout t h i s year. For example, i n February, one leader did not attend at l e a s t three consecutive meetings and f a i l e d to n o t i f y anyone of her absence. Few clubs can hold together under such circumstances. A number of clubs were discontinued due to the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n leadership. The f a c t that some of the volunteers were not carrying the responsib-i l i t y of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r clubs and, because there was not enough cooperation between groups and t h e i r leaders the Director had to c a l l a meeting to discuss the problems. The Fairview Baptist Church allowed the use of t h e i r gymnasium f o r basketball p r a c t i c e . The lack of a gymnasium i s s t i l l one of the major problems i n the House and permission to use a gymnasium was a great asset. This meant that a better teen-age programme could be developed and i t enabled the membership to develop basketball teams to play outside groups. Another develop-ment In the teen-age department was the Teen Canteen, which was attached to the House but had i t s own separate entrance. The Teen Canteen membership was divided according to the following age l e v e l s ; thirteen to sixteen years, sixteen to nineteen years, nineteen years and up. Each of these groups had the house to - 46 -themselves one night a week and both teen-age groups had dances at the canteen twice per week. This programme was perhaps the most popular i n the House. While the teen-age programme appeared quite s a t i s -factory, the adult department had gradually decreased In member-ship since the peak reached i n 1941 and 1942, u n t i l there were only three small groups by the end of 1944. This chapter has described the numerous services rendered by the House during i t s embryonic stage* There were cer t a i n d e f i c i e n c i e s i n programme linked with a shortage of s t a f f and a poorly focused Board. This i s not an unusual occurrence i n a new i n s t i t u t i o n , and especially since Alexandra House was the only neighbourhood house i n Western Canada. The following chap-ters w i l l reveal how many of these problems were overcome through good management and professional s t a f f . Some of the problems found i n the early years are s t i l l apparent today. One of the major problems i n these early years has revolved around leader-ship which i s the key to the development of quality programmes. These problems have been overcome-but other problems emanating from the community i t s e l f are now of prime importance. - 47 -CHAPTER IV POST WAR YEARS The year 1945 i s important to Alexandra House beoause i t marks the o r i g i n of group work tr a i n i n g i n the Department, now School, of Social Work at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. The Junior League made a grant to the University to permit group work t r a i n i n g , and this became the f i r s t f u l l fledged course i n Canada. This was an important event f o r Alexandra House not only because i t has trained capable leadership f o r the House,but has also enabled students to take t h e i r f i e l d work placements at the House. This has rec i p r o c a l advantages f o r the School of Social Work and the Agency. This year also marked the end of World War II which meant that the Neighbourhood House was entering a new era. The House had originated i n the l a s t years of depression, had operated during f i v e years of war, and was now facing a period of peace and prosperity. In the same year a survey was made by the Community Chest and Council, of group work and recreation i n Greater Van-couver."*' This report gives an objective view of Alexandra House at this p a r t i c u l a r state of development. The report explained that the house programme consisted of a kindergarten i n the morn-ing, health and c u l t u r a l arts In the afternoons and early evenings, and one boy's club, l e d by a s t a f f member, was organized and met weekly. . The Teen Canteen programme was considered one of the 1.. Survey Report of Group Work and Recreation of Greater  Vancouver, published by the Community Chest aid Welfare Council of Vancouver, 1940. - 48 -strongest i n the House, although there was also an excellent pro-gramme i n the c u l t u r a l a r t s . The c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s were super-vised by part-time s t a f f and received a great deal of support from the Junior League. The House at t h i s time was supervised by a d i r e c t o r , a s t a f f of one group worker fo r teen-agers, a part-time person f o r kindergarten, a part-time person f o r c u l t u r a l arts and a l i b r a r i a n . A small budget was provided f o r a boy's group worker, but the salary was not too enticing and the p o s i t i o n was vacant. Three of the above positions c a l l e d f o r college graduates, but only one group worker had a graduate degree i n s o c i a l work. This was considered one of the major reasons f o r c e r t a i n d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the services provided by the House. A number of recommendations were made by the Community ,Chest and Council of which the following have been selected i n order of importance. The f i r s t recommendation was that the board of management should become more neighbourhood conscious i n order to give the membership a greater degree of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and Interest i n the a c t i v i t i e s . There was no house council or teen council to allow the members to express t h e i r ideas about changes and developments i n programme. Without th i s means of representa-t i o n by member clubs there was the p o s s i b i l i t y that the board of management was superimposing i t s ideas upon the members. At t h i s time there were few, i f any, community representatives on the house committees which meant that the neighbourhood people had l i t t l e to say about the operation of the Agency, Another recom-mendation was made that the nearby K i t s i l a n o area was not served - 49 -adequately and that another s t a f f person would be required to do community group work. This.would mean that f a c i l i t i e s would have to be obtained i n the area before a programme could be organized. It was not only the distance but also the a r t e r i a l roads which cut through the neighbourhood that prevented t h i s area from being prop e r l y served from the House. Third i n importance was a suggestion that the number of friendship groups should be increased. As has been stated e a r l i e r , such groups require strong, stable leader-ship and good supervision which was not then available i n the Hous The l a s t recommendation stated a need f o r more committees on f i n -ance, operation and programme, because at that time a l l the com-mittees of the House, except one, dealt with property management. The f a c t that the Board members were concerned with minor d e t a i l s of property management was exemplified i n the previous chapter,, and i t was not u n t i l this time that the Board became concerned with the broader issues of leadership, programme and operation. It was noted that a f t e r the survey by the Community Chest and Council a committee was set up f o r the improvement of the playground, and the Board members stated a willingness to allow non-board members on the committee. Committee members selected from the community were Mr. Pound (real-estate business i n area), Mr. Hersog (House member), and Reverend McLaughlan (Pairview Baptist Church i n area). Due to the pressure of busi-ness, Mr. Hersog resigned i n 1946 and Reverend McLaughlan l e f t .Vancouver the following year. Thus, there was s t i l l a lack of members from the d i s t r i c t on this committee. - 50 -The year 1947 i s important to Alexandra House because t h i s was.the year i n which there was a r e v i s i o n of the c o n s t i t u -t i o n of the Board. This marked a movement toward the attainment of autonomy or home rule of Alexandra House. A committee com-posed of representatives of s t a f f , board and membership was appointed to set up the House constitu t i o n which was to be approved by the Board. The Executive Council arranged f o r an increase i n salar i e s of the s t a f f of Alexandra House which was approved by the Budget Committee of the Community Chest and Council. The Committee members of the House saw this as a threat to the autonomy of the Agency. The constitution outlined i n the Powers, Duties and Regu-lation s of the Standing Committee of Alexandra Community A c t i v i -t i e s states: i "The House Committee s h a l l have control over the a f f a i r s , operations and management of Alexandra Neigh-bourhood. House and s h a l l have power to engage, suspend or discharge a l l members required or employed i n the operation thereof, and s h a l l regulate, decide and f i x t h e i r s a l a r i e s ; provided a l l expenditures are contained and approved i n the budget of the year. Any matter a f f e c t i n g p o l i c i e s s h a l l be referred to the Executive Council."! Pour women members of the Henry Hudson Parent Teachers' Association c r i t i c i z e d Alexandra House and a committee was formed to meet with them. This group thought that Alexandra House should be giving more service to the area north of Fourth Avenue. They also suggested that the playschool be operated i n the afternoon as well as the morning. The Committee recommended that the S o c i a l Planning Committee of the Community Chest and Council be asked to set up a committee to make a survey of the area which 1. Minutes of Board of Directors Meeting, 1947. Alexandra House was serving, or should serve, and to consider to what extent the services of Alexandra House could meet the needs of t h i s area. This year marked the formation of a new house council, which helped to co-ordinate programme of groups whose members were over sixteen years of age. The club f o r overseas war brides, which was organized i n 1945, extended i t s membership to include other young married women of the community. More emphasis was placed on the women's groups, and as they became more interested i n the neighbourhood they attempted to obtain space f o r a playground below Fourth Avenue. Despite the f a c t that they were not success-f u l , such i n t e r e s t i n the neighbourhood should have been encour-aged by the s t a f f . Three group work st;udents from the Department of Social Work took t h e i r f i e l d t r a i n i n g at Alexandra House, which helped to give some stable leadership to the groups. In 1948, the kindergarten supervisor was dismissed because she could not accept the structure and function of the Agency. The Mothers' Study Group thought an i n j u s t i c e had been done and they presented a number of c r i t i c i s m s to the Board of Directors. On the eighteen complaints submitted to the Board, the following have been se l e c t e d by the writer as the most import-ant . 1. Lack of cooperation with community groups. 2. Continual change of s t a f f , with discontinued services. 3. Poor p u b l i c i t y f o r agency and community. 4. Lack of e f f o r t to r e c r u i t volunteers. 5. No attempt to discover and meet community needs. 6. No representation of the community or member-ship on the Board. 7. There are many age groups whom no attempt i s made to serve (young adults, business g i r l s , married couples, older c i t i z e n s . ) 8. The schedule i s such that outside groups have more use of the building than membership from the community. The Board of Directors of the Community Chest and Council appointed an Interim Survey Committee to report on the f a c i l i t i e s , programme and s t a f f of the House. The composition of the Committee was representative, including the Executive Secretary of the Welfare Section, Community Chest and Council; a member of the Mothers' Study Group; a member of Alexandra Neigh-bourhood House Committee; the Chairman of Alexandra Neighbourhood House Council; and the Secretary, Group Work D i v i s i o n , Community Chest and Council. F a c i l i t i e s It was pointed out that the f a c i l i t i e s were adequate and i n good repair, and generally speaking, the space was adequate f o r a neighbourhood house programme. There was need indicated f o r another o f f i c e with telephone f o r programme s t a f f . Mention was made of the inadequacy of the gymnasium f o r b a l l games, badminton, etc., and the need f o r a larger gymnasium was to depend upon the f a c i l i t i e s of this nature i n the community. There are no such f a c i l i t i e s i n the neighbourhood and thi s i s s t i l l one of the major lacks i n the House. The analysis showed that i t would be possible to carry out a more extensive programme than the present one, If such were needed. Programme In view of the need f o r an immediate analysis, f i g u r e s were confined by the Committee to the month of March, 1948. The - 53 -committee r e a l i z e d that a true evaluation of programme l i e s with-i n the experience of i n d i v i d u a l members and that i t i s u n l i k e l y that a committee, concerned with f a c t s , could achieve an evalua-ti o n of such intangibles as discontent and happiness. The com-mittee based t h e i r analysis on the following s i x c r i t e r i a f o r neighbourhood houses set out by Clyde Murray f o r the National Federation of Settlements, The f i r s t c r i t e r i o n states that a neighbourhood house i s responsible f o r a given d i s t r i c t and that the major portion of i t s membership should come from th i s neighbourhood. There were eight hundred and f o r t y on the membership l i s t of Alexandra Neigh-bourhood House which was more than adequate f o r a programme s t a f f of three persons, two of whom had l i t t l e or no professional prep-aration. Of these eight hundred and f o r t y members, f i v e hundred and f o r t y - s i x were actually p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the programme i n March, which represents a t h i r t y - e i g h t per cent drop i n attendance. This i s a s i g n i f i c a n t drop i n membership, but i t appears, more reasonable when we see that two hundred and for t y - f o u r , or approx-imately t h i r t y per cent l i v e outside of the large area bounded by False Creek and Sixteenth Avenue, Alma Road and Oak Street. Thus, i t was suggested that the Board of Directors es t a b l i s h residence boundaries, f o r f u l l membership, within walk-ing distance of the House. It was explained that i t could not '.. become a "law", without exception, but that the boundary should be a guide i f the House was to become primarily concerned with i t s neighbourhood. The second c r i t e r i o n stresses that a l l ages and both sexes should be served i n a neighbourhood house. Numerous lacks - 54 -i n the t o t a l sex and age-groups of the membership are portrayed. Table 1 Membership of Alexandra Neighbourhood House Age Members Participants i n March Number of Groups Available Male Female Preschool 103 68 2 59 49 School 149 . 73 15 71 78 Teen-age 355 274 12 205 150 Adult 233 157 8 6 227 336 504 Male - 336 i n eighteen groups Female - 504 i n twenty-three groups Source: Survey Report of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948. Although there was a high percentage of teen-agers, there were only a small number of friendship groups. This was perhaps p a r t l y due to the shortage of male leaders. Another major gap i s found i n the adult membership, where there were only s i x men i n contrast to two hundred and twenty-seven women. It was also revealed that only four of these men l i v e d i n the neighbourhood. Outside of one women's group, there were few young adults served and no recrea-t i o n a l group was offered to single men and women i n the young adult age-group. One of Murray's c r i t e r i a states that a neighbourhood house should be "multifunctional". There was no doubt that Alex-andra House served numerous functions, although there was a need f o r the House Committee to review t h e i r services and to r a t e them as to t h e i r degree of importance. It was suggested that emphasis - 55 ~ should be placed on the needs of the membership, that Health and Welfare Agencies and functions within the neighbourhood should get second choice and other organizations of c i t y wide or purely s o c i a l nature be catered to as remaining space and s t a f f time permitted. The fourth c r i t e r i o n maintains that a neighbourhood house Is interested i n the family u n i t . The eight hundred and f o r t y members of the House represent seven hundred and three families which meant that each family was represented by only 1.19 persons. Only one hundred and eleven families had more than one active member i n the House. In the older teen-age groups, f i v e hundred and four children and teen-agers were represented by only twenty-seven mothers. Thus, the Agency could not be termed a family recreation centre. The f i f t h c r i t e r i o n emphasizes the Importance of q u a l i t a t i v e work even i f i t means a s a c r i f i c e of larger numbers. It was r e a l i z e d that through s t a t i s t i c s i t i s impossible to judge whether the !job i s , or i s not, q u a l i t a t i v e . In the younger age-range, the number and size of groups indicated a q u a l i t y programme It was suggested that through a wider use of volunteers i t would be possible to serve more people In small groups without s a c r i -f i c i n g quality programme. The l a s t c r i t e r i o n states that the neighbours should be encouraged to assume more and more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the a c t i v i t i e s . The survey explained that this i s one of the more important roles that a neighbourhood house should f u l f i l . This ^ was one of the major lacks i n the House, as there, was an absence - 56 -of neighbourhood people on the Board of Directors and a house council was not functioning at this time. It was quite clear that generally speaking, the s t a f f had been inadequate i n respect to both numbers and q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . The analysis of the programme duties of the boys' wor-ker, girls!, worker and playschool director showed that none of these staff. members had adequate time f o r home, v i s i t i n g , r e c r u i t -ing and t r a i n i n g volunteers, or maintaining community contacts i n addition to t h e i r major r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of conducting and super-v i s i n g programme. The s t a f f were commended on the excellent con-d i t i o n i n which the building and physical f a c i l i t i e s were kept, and also on the excellent f i n a n c i a l and s t a t i s t i c a l records. There was an absence of p o l i c y i n regard to what types of programme should be emphasized by the s t a f f , or which r e f l e c t e d the needs of the neighbourhood. More emphasis was required i n establishing and maintaining r e l a t i o n s with community groups, A partnership of s t a f f and volunteers was emphasized. There were apparently lacks In the r e c r u i t i n g and t r a i n i n g of volunteers. The Interim Committee made a number of recommendations, of which the following have been selected f o r further development. The f i r s t advice was to es t a b l i s h geographical boundaries, and that the needs and interests of the people from within t h i s area should determine the programme development. The geographical boundaries had been stated when the House was i n i t s embryonic stage of development, but they had not been s t r i c t l y adhered to. The r e s u l t was that nearly t h i r t y per cent of the membership had come from outside of this large area. As has been explained e a r l i e r , - 57 -there was a need f o r a house council i n order that the member — ship might assume more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s . S i m i l a r l y there was l i t t l e , i f any, representation of membership or neighbourhood people on the Board. It was also noted that there were numerous outside groups using space and f a c i l i t i e s of the House, vihich might have been devoted to the development of programme f o r the members. The inadequacies of the s t a f f were revealed i n the survey and i t was suggested that adequately trained professional s t a f f be employed as soon as possible. Q u a l i f i e d s t a f f could then cooperate and a s s i s t volunteer leaders to give quality services to the membership, under the d i r e c t i o n and assistance of the D i r -ector. There appears to have been a poor working re l a t i o n s h i p between s t a f f and volunteers, and without cooperation between a l l personnel, the programme could not be co-ordinated. The s t a f f had not maintained contacts i n the neighbourhood and, as was por-trayed i n the f i r s t chapter, t h i s i s one of the major r e s p o n s i b i l -i t i e s of neighbourhood house workers. Without a good understand-ing of the trends and developments within the neighbourhood i t was impossible to a s s i s t the community people with t h e i r problems. Another recommendation advised that written job des-cr i p t i o n s should be a v a i l a b l e . This was an important item to which the House Council had not given aay attention. With s t a f f duties defined i n writing, the s t a f f themselves would know t h e i r areas of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i t would also be of benefit to the direc t o r i n regard to appointments, dismissals and retainments. - 58 -Certain recommendations were made regarding programme• It was suggested that there was a need f o r more in t e r e s t and friendship groups f o r the teen-agers. Without adequately trained s t a f f and without cooperation between students, s t a f f and volun-teers, i t was only natural that there were only a small number of such teen-age groups. It was also revealed that there was no men's club i n the Senior Citizens programme and that such a group, or a mixed group, should be established. Another major lack i n programme was the absence of young adult groups. The survey advised that emphasis be placed on these weaker areas. The majority of the defects and lacks i n programme, s t a f f and functions of the House, which have been e x p l i c i t l y por-trayed i n t h i s survey, have been carried over from previous years. The weaknesses have been revealed In the preceding pages of this thesis. Many of the weak areas of programme cannot be a t t r i b u t e d to the f a u l t of personnel but can be link e d to the physical factors of the neighbourhood. The next and f i n a l chapter discusses improve-ments that have been made i n these areas. - 59 -CHAPTER V LOOKING to the FUTURE From 1948 to the present time there has been a con-centrated attempt to r e s t r i c t membership of Alexandra House to a reasonable area. Boundary l i m i t s were established i n 1948, which meant that any new re g i s t r a t i o n s would have to be within the area bounded by Sixteenth Avenue and the waterfront, Oak Street and Macdonald Street. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t to note that a study made i n 1951, by a s o c i a l work student, reveals that only f i f t e e n per cent of the membership came from outside of t h i s area; while i n 1948 approximately t h i r t y per cent of the membership came from outside e This i s a great improvement when one considers the d i f f i c u l t i e s attached to l i m i t i n g membership. There w i l l always be a small percentage of people who w i l l r e t a i n membership outside of t h i s area, because the neighbourhood i s becoming more and more a trans-i t i o n a l zone, and i f people form attachments to an .Agency, these attachments cannot be suddenly severed. In the l a s t few years a greater e f f o r t has been made to serve the area north of Fourth Avenue. Playschool children were met by a s t a f f person and brought i n a group to the Agency* As heavy t r a f f i c i s a serious problem f o r t h i s age group, t h i s service enabled the children to get to and from the Agency with-out danger of an accident. There has also been repeated attempts to gain the use of f a c i l i t i e s north of Fourth Avenue, i n order that this area might be more adequately served. For example, from 1948 up to the present time, attempts have been made to obtain the - 60 -use of the Baptist Church H a l l on Second Avenue, i n order that a programme might be set up i n thi s needy area, The requests have been unsuccessful, but attempts are s t i l l being made to gain the use of some f a c i l i t i e s In th i s area. An extension programme was organized at the Henry Hud-son School i n 1950, The Henry Hudson Extension Programme, at present, consists of two g i r l s ' groups, s i x to nine years and nine to twelve years. A professional s t a f f person makes bi-weekly t r i p s to the school. The small building available f o r t h i s programme i s inadequate but I t i s a step i n the right d i r e c t i o n . The need of extension programmes to serve a certa i n area does bring up the question, as to whether or not thi s area can be considered a neighbourhood, and whether or not Alexandra House i s a true neighbourhood house. This point w i l l be discussed towards the end of the chapter. Membership Prom the beginnings of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, programme emphasis has been placed on the boys and g i r l s , and as a result the adult members have f e l t neglected. Perhaps one of the reasons f o r t h i s programme emphasis f o r the younger people was due to the background work of the f i r s t d i r e c t o r . His e a r l i e r positions were confined to work mainly with children, and i t i s only natural that he understood children and preferred to work with them. This meant that the majority of space and time of personnel was devoted to the programme of the younger people. With such a background, i t i s reasonable that adults do not f e e l as welcome as the chi l d r e n . The survey of the neigh-- 61. -bourhood, which was mentioned i n the second chapter, disclosed that a large number of people i n the neighbourhood thought the House served only children. The s i t u a t i o n today i s such that the pro-gramme i s s t i l l stronger and the membership i s s t i l l larger i n the younger age ranges. Table 2 Membership of Alexandra Neighbourhood House 1948 - 1952  Members Nov. Mar. Nov. Mar. Nov. Mar. Nov. Mar. 1948 1949 1949 1950 1950 1951 1951 1952 Under 18 years mm mm 204 394 352 430 346 408 Over 18 years "* 170 169 302 339 175 199 Total 541 690 374 563 654 769 521 607 Source: Alexandra Neighbourhood House, S t a t i s t i c a l Report. The membership of those under eighteen years of age i s s t i l l larger than the adult membership. There was an increase i n adult membership during 1950 to 1951 to approximately f i f t y per cent of the t o t a l membership. In 1951 to 1952 there was a decrease In adult membership to nearly t h i r t y per cent of the t o t a l member-ship. This decrease i n membership was p a r t l y due to the d i s i n t e -gration of a large choir group and also to the f a c t that the square dance group l o s t I t s natural leader. The large number of new members i n comparison to the number of renewals makes i t d i f -f i c u l t f o r the s t a f f to b u i l d a strong, sustaining membership. In 1949 a great deal of e f f o r t was devoted to an attempt to develop a programme f o r the senior c i t i z e n s of the - 62 -neighbourhood. Circulars were d i s t r i b u t e d to the City S o c i a l Ser-vice Department (West Unit), Family Welfare Bureau and to the Catholic Family and Child Welfare D i v i s i o n . V i s i t s were made to Old People's Homes i n the K i t s i l a n o d i s t r i c t . Four new adult groups were attempted with varying degrees of success. A Men's Club was started at t h i s time and despite the f a c t that a good deal of time and e f f o r t was spent on t h i s group, i t came to an end i n March 1952 and developed into a mixed group. In 1951 and 1952 d i f f e r e n t r e c r u i t i n g techniques were used such as contacts with other agencies and home v i s i t s i n attempts to interest d i f f e r e n t men, but only a small number turned out. Thus despite a concen-trated r e c r u i t i n g attempt and a good programme which included movies, cards, checkers, dominoes, afternoon tea, and a banquet at Christmas, the Club s t i l l did not develop s u f f i c i e n t l y to war-rant the time and e f f o r t expended. Another weakness i n programme, which was stated i n the survey of 1948, was the lack of friendship groups f o r teen-agers. In the f a l l of the same year a number of new. teen-age groups were formed which helped to develop a better "house s p i r i t " . In evaluating the programme i n 1949* i t was found that there was p r a c t i c a l l y no thirteen and fourteen-year old members. The teen-agers were presented with a plan, which they rejected, but they suggested that Monday be club night f o r a l l teen-agers, on Wednes-day there should be a mass a c t i v i t y programme f o r f i f t e e n to eighteen year olds, and on Friday there should be a mass a c t i v i t y programme f o r thirteen to f i f t e e n year olds. This suggestion of the teen-agers was followed through with great success. - 63 -In September 1950, the Red Feather Sports Council was organized and th i s enabled the House members to play sports against teams of the same " c a l i b r e " as themselves, which helped to develop a greater f e e l i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward the House as well as an "esprit de corps" within the groups. A good Junior Programme has evolved over the past four years. The number of groups and the enrolment Increased to such an extent that the nine to twelve year old members and the s i x to nine year old members had to be r e s t r i c t e d to alternate days, rather than having the old system of a six-day week f o r both age groups. The personnel were then able to devote more time to the in d i v i d u a l members. This reveals an emphasis on qua l i t y rather than quantity. The Young Adult Programme Is one of the "missing l i n k s " i n the age range served by the Agency. During the l a s t two years some attempts were made to f i n d young people who might be i n t e r -ested i n a c t i v i t i e s but there has been no success. The number of young people i s i i m i t e d i n t h i s neighbourhood due to poor hous-ing conditions. The young people who do l i v e i n the area go down-town f o r t h e i r entertainment. Throughout the community there i s a lack of in t e r e s t i n neighbourhood functions and there appears to be no pride attached to l i v i n g i n the neighbourhood. These fac t o r s , plus the f a c t that i n times of prosperity fewer young people attend s o c i a l functions put on by the churches and other neighbourhood i n s t i t u t i o n s , are some of the reasons f o r th i s gap i n the age range served by the House. There i s no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between the pro-portion of boys to g i r l s i n the junior groups. However, i n the -.64 -older groups there are fewer teen-age g i r l s than boys. The stu-dent survey brought out one possible reason f o r t h i s condition; the House i s considered too "rough" f o r older g i r l s . Some attempt was made to encourage o l d e r . g i r l s to p a r t i c i p a t e but there appeared to be a number of boys who were emotionally retarded and who did not l i k e s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . This attempt to increase the number of g i r l s p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the programme was not successful. Multifunctional Role The programme of Alexandra House, as has been por-trayed i n the preceding pages, consists of a d i v e r s i t y of func-tions. In the survey made i n 1948 i t was stated that there was a need f o r the House Committee to review these services and to rate them according to t h e i r degree of importance. The survey apparently drew the attention of the House Committee to t h i s prob-lem. Periodic surveys of di f f e r e n t programmes were made and with the cooperation of the professional s t a f f many changes were brought about. Group work leadership from the University recommended that a committee be set up to study the use of the building by member-ship and a f f i l i a t e d groups and that cer t a i n standards be set up f o r admission of new groups. The membership was given f i r s t p r i o r i t y as to time and space available, while welfare and health organizations and groups within the neighbourhood gained second p r i o r i t y . Other organizations of city-wide or s o c i a l nature had been occupying much of the space and time which was needed f o r the other p r i o r i t y groups, therefore, these were reduced i n number over the four-year period u n t i l there are only three such outside - 65 -groups remaining. In 1948 each family was represented by only 1.19 per cent i n the House. By the end of A p r i l , 1952, there were f i v e hundred and eighteen registered families i n comparison to six hun-dred and f i f t e e n members, which means that each family i s repre-sented by only 1.18 persons In the Agency. Therefore, Alexandra House s t i l l cannot be termed a family recreation centre. The lack of interest of parents i n the neighbourhood i s a problem that home v i s i t i n g and s p e c i a l family events has not overcome. Emphasis on Quality During 1948 there was a changeover i n s t a f f and by the l a t t e r part of the year the s t a f f was adequate i n numbers and qu a l i f i c a t i o n s to do a qu a l i t a t i v e job. A professional s t a f f mem-ber analyzed the membership-behaviour and member-staff relations which existed previous to his employment i n 1948. He stated that a "repressive or controlled type of society" i n the younger age groups had existed f o r some time. For example, participants i n the teen-age dances were almost t o t a l l y Ignorant of who th e i r e l e c -ted committee members were, and i n some cases they did not know that a committee existed. The committee i t s e l f f e l t no r e a l r e s -p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the success or f a i l u r e of the dances. A more permissive, s e l f - r e l i a n t , democratic atmosphere i n the junior d i v i s i o n became the goal, which has helped the mem-bers to develop. Afte r a discussion of t h e i r problems, the juniors v o l u n t a r i l y decided that they would play outside Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, i n order that they might have the exclusive use of the Boys' section on Monday and Thursday afternoons. The senior boys - 66 -agreed conversely, and t h i s plan worked quite e f f e c t i v e l y . The Junior Canteen was approached i n the same manner and the respon-s i b i l i t y f o r planning and carrying i t out was assumed by the Canteen Committee. Table 5 Spe c i f i c Groups of Alexandra Neighbourhood House 1948 - 1952  Type of Group Nov. Mar. Nov. Mar. Nov. Mar. Nov. Mar, 1948 1949 1949 1950 1950 1951 1951 1952 Friendship groups 16 17 16 21 25 24 21 21 Interest groups 7 7 15 11 9 8 11 11 Inter-club coun-c i l s , committees, 6 '5 1 4 4 4 3 6 etc. Source: Alexandra Neighbourhood House S t a t i s t i c a l Report. By dividing the membership into numerous groups, the needs of i n d i v i d u a l members and those of the group-as-a-whole can be more e a s i l y met. The anonymity prevalent i n mass a c t i v i t i e s i s absent i n friendship groups where recognition and personal contact enables members to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and to develop t h e i r s k i l l and a b i l i t y i n many areas. By 1949> i t was noted that the attitudes of the teen-agers were changing from a.negative to a more po s i t i v e f e e l i n g . This i s exemplified by a "Gay Nineties Project" put on by the teen-agers f o r the adult membership. It was the f i r s t major attempt to do something po s i t i v e f o r the House. The attitudes and fee l i n g s of members portrays the qua l i t y of programme which was beginning to be emphasized. - 67 -In the f a l l of 1951 a Teen Council was established. Numerous questions were raised and problems solved by this rep-resentative body. The question of smoking was one of the issues which the teen-age representatives took to the Board of Direc-tors. Despite the f a c t that they could not convince the Direc-tors that smoking p r i v i l e g e s should be given to fourteen and f i f t e e n year olds, the representatives f e l t that they had gone to the "top" and that the s t a f f were helping them to express t h e i r ideas. Another example, which has already been mentioned, i s the Teen Carnival which was planned by the Teen Council. The members of the Teen Council supported by the groups which they represented, planned and operated the Carnival with remarkable r e s u l t s . Table 4 Individual Services to Members of Alexandra Neighbourhood House - 1948 - 1952  Conferences Nov. 1948 Mar. 1949 Nov. 1949 Mar. 1950' Nov. 1950 Mar. 1951 Nov. 1951 Mar. 1952 With individuals 100 mm 87 25 175 92 198 236 On behalf of individuals 65 mm 24 2 39 31 28 28 Total 165 181 111 25 251 123 226 264 Source: Alexandra Neighbourhood House S t a t i s t i c a l Report. Services to individuals have increased s i x t y per cent from 1948 to 1952. This indicates that more attention has been devoted to indiv i d u a l s and also reveals that the House i s serving a large number of disturbed children. Such children Require the profession-- 68 -a l l y trained leadership and quality programme which has developed over these years. Democratic Procedures The establishment of a Teen Council i n 1951 under the d i r e c t i o n of a s t a f f member has enabled the teen-agers to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s . This Council i s composed of representatives of teen-age groups i n the House, and any problems a r i s i n g i n the club, which may influence other groups, or which i s of such a nature that the leader cannot give an answer, i s taken to the Council by the representatives. This device ena-bles the members to assume more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own a c t i -v i t i e s . There are also many def i c i e n c i e s i n t h i s area. For Instance at present there i s no House Council to suggest new areas of development or to co-ordinate the o v e r - a l l Agency pro-gramme. Without such a Council, the membership are not given the opportunity of deciding i n a democratic manner what programme they wish to develop or to expand. The professional s t a f f and the Pro-gramme Committee often use the suggestions of i n d i v i d u a l members In developing programme, but i t i s not so good as having a l l groups represented i n a Council which decides major issues of programme development and co-ordination. In order to have a House Council, i t i s necessary to have groups who have developed an "esprit de corps" and who have a f e e l i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward the Agency. The absence of a f e e l i n g of belonging and group i d e n t i f i c a t i o n has been quite apparent i n the adult groups. Therefore emphasis has been placed on the development of the - 69 -groups themselves, and at present there are two adult groups who are at the stage of development where they would be interested i n a House Council. U n t i l there i s an expressed need f o r a Coun-c i l , i t i s worthless to attempt to superimpose one upon the mem-bership. The f a c t that there i s no person l i v i n g i n the e f f e c -t i v e neighbourhood on the Board of Directors i s a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r . One of the Board members has a business i n the area and a few others work i n the d i s t r i c t which means that there i s some contact with the community people. This i s i n d i r e c t contrast to Marpole Community Centre where a l l the members of the Board l i v e i n the neighbourhood, except one who owns a business i n the area. This i s an i d e a l s i t u a t i o n where the community people assume the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the operation and management of the Agency. Mr. H. Morrow, the Executive-Director of the Agency, has attempted to obtain new board members from the churches and schools within the area and has had some degree of success i n getting board members from the schools. Most of the leadership of the churches comes from outside of the neighbourhood, which Indicates that there i s a lack of people i n the neighbourhood with leadership q u a l i t i e s . Representation from the area i s import-ant, but i t i s more important to get people who are w i l l i n g to devote time and e f f o r t to the cause. In 1948 a committee with a board member as chairman was appointed to make a study of further changes to e s t a b l i s h the autonomy of the House. Revisions of the Constitution of the Board has resulted over the l a s t few years i n almost complete - 70 -autonomy, o r home rule, f o r Alexandra House. This Is a major step, as a neighbourhood house should have home.rule, i n order that the people of the community, who should be on the board, can determine the programme and function of the Agency. Another important factor i s that, except f o r the v o l -unteer leadership of the soccer teams, a l l the volunteers l i v e outside of the neighbourhood. The three soccer coaches who are from the neighbourhood comprise only s i x per cent of the t o t a l number of f o r t y - s i x volunteers. The House has been very fortun-ate i n having such a large number of volunteers from the Junior League but the p o s s i b i l i t y of obtaining leadership from the neighbourhood should not be overlooked. The teen-agers might well provide good s o l i d leadership from the community, i f a t r a i n i n g programme was organized. In the early years of the House, a leader-ship t r a i n i n g period was arranged f o r the senior boys an d i t appears to have been successful, but f o r some reason, i t was abandoned. Such a t r a i n i n g programme should be organized, and i t might even be possible to b u i l d a young adult programme from this nucleus of volunteers. One of the s t a f f has approached the teen-agers to coach S o f t b a l l teams t h i s year and the response has been quite p o s i t i v e . This i s a beginning, but a t r a i n i n g programme of a week at camp would be an added incentive to a t t r a c t suitable leadership. There i s , of course, the problem of a high percent-age of transiency i n the area plus the f a c t that young adults tend to move more frequently. These obstacles may disrupt such an attempt. Generally speaking, the membership has not assumed the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t s own a c t i v i t i e s . Some e f f o r t has been made - 71 -to obtain community people f o r membership on the Board and to interest them i n the Agency but these attempts have not been too successful. Personnel The survey of 1948 recommended that every e f f o r t should be made to obtain and employ adequately trained professional s t a f f . Since that time, the Personnel Committee has displayed increased e f f i c i e n c y i n h i r i n g f u l l y trained and q u a l i f i e d s t a f f . By the l a t t e r part of the year, there was a trained professional s t a f f 0 By 1950 there were the Director and four other pro-f e s s i o n a l l y trained group workers engaged i n serving members from six years of age to those adults who receive old-age pensions. In addition to these, an experienced kindergarten teacher had joined the s t a f f i n 1948. The attendance of these children, who are i n the age range of three to six years, increased s t e a d i l y from that time u n t i l membership had to be r e s t r i c t e d because of lack of f a c i l i t i e s . Recently more in t e r e s t has been displayed by the mothers of these children and they have cooperated quite e f f e c -t i v e l y i n order that the fees could remain at a minimum. The s p i r i t of cooperation of a l l working personnel i s remarkable and well worthy of commendation. The year 1951 - 1952 marked a change In the method of r e c r u i t i n g and placing of Junior League Volunteers. Previously, a placement representative from the League endeavoured to locate volunteers f o r s p e c i f i c jobs, which caused some anxiety. The new system i s such that the representative from the League i s the r e c r u i t i n g person who finds volunteers to work at the House. One - 72 -s t a f f member was given the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of interviewing each prospective League volunteer and o u t l i n i n g to them the various volunteer jobs which were open. They are then i n a p o s i t i o n to decide whether or not they wish to work at the House. The results of t h i s experiment have been good, as the professional worker i s much more capable of deciding whether a volunteer should be given the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of d i r e c t leadership of a group. Close super-v i s i o n enables the volunteers to present t h e i r problems to a professional worker and there i s less danger of the volunteer or the group suffering from a bad experience. The table below i l l u s t r a t e s the number of volunteers and the amount of time spent f o r the months of November and March from 1948 to 1952. In the l a s t two years the average number of hours spent by each volunteer f o r a month has been approximately seven. Table 5 Students and Volunteers at Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948 - 1952 Nov. 1948 Mar. 1949 Nov. 1949 Mar. 1950 Nov. 1950 Mar. 1951 Nov. 1951 Mar. 1952 ) Volunteers Number Hours of service > - 226 52 197 41 329 26 230 34 164 49 352 46 331 Students Number Hours of work 9 8 412 11 594 10 540 11 688 10 720 8 512 9 576 resource: Alexandra Neighbourhood House S t a t i s t i c a l Report. - 73 -Over the past seven years many group work students have taken t h e i r f i e l d work at Alexandra House. The House has been able to maintain such a large number of students each year only because the s t a f f are q u a l i f i e d professional leaders, who are capable of giving the required support and assistance through supervision. The students, i n return, have devoted a great deal of time and e f f o r t to programme development. In the l a s t two-year period, each student has spent an average of s i x t y - f i v e hours per month. This i s quite a contrast to the average of sev-en hours spent by volunteers. Naturally, some of this time has been spent i n supervision and recording but t h i s has enabled the students to perform at higher l e v e l s of e f f i c i e n c y . Through t h i s d i r e c t contact with the School of Social Work, the personnel of the House have also been helped to maintain a high standard of performance. Through the cooperation of professional s t a f f , stu-dents and volunteers, a strong programme has been developed i n most areas. New programme developments have been Instituted, with good r e s u l t s , because of the cooperative s p i r i t of members and personnel. Recommendations f o r the Future It has been revealed that a neighbourhood house should serve a neighbourhood. The one question which may Come to mind concerning Alexandra House i s j What are the boundaries of t h i s neighbourhood? I f the recognized boundaries designate the neigh-bourhood, then i t should not be necessary to have an extension programme i n an attempt to serve the area north of Fourth Avenue* - 74 -The section between Granville Street and Oak Street Is another needy but neglected area i n which only three per cent of the Agency's membership resides. This suggests that the main a r t e r i a l roads cutting through t h i s area divide i t into sections, which are separate from each other. Another fa c t o r which has already been mentioned i s that the Agency i s becoming surrounded by business and industry and because of^the lack of adequate zoning laws i n the past, business and r e s i d e n t i a l buildings are found side by side. These factors, plus the f a c t that the new Granville Bridge Project w i l l have a d i r e c t influence on the l o c a t i o n of the Agency, suggest that i t w i l l have to change i t s function or move to a new location, as there w i l l not be a neighbourhood to serve. Another function of a neighbourhood house i s to serve a l l ages and both sexes. T h i s , as has been shown, i s not true of Alexandra House, as there are certain age and sex groupings which do not use the f a c i l i t i e s . This i s not through lack of attempts to extend programme to these groups. It appears that the problem stems from the community i t s e l f , as the continual s h i f t i n g and moving of families tends to break down the f e e l i n g of the neigh-bourhood unity. There i s no pride attached to l i v i n g i n a rapidly deteriorating area and there i s a lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l o c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . This has even been evidenced i n the l o c a l churches where there has been a decrease i n the number of parish-ioners . Another factor, which i s c l o s e l y linked to the above, i s that a neighbourhood house i s interested i n the family u n i t . The figures previously stated show that Alexandra House i s not a family agency although i t attempts to serve t h i s purpose. The - 75 -lack of parents' p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n programme has been shown by th e i r conspicuous absence at s p e c i a l events. For instance, i n 1952, the teen-agers put on a Carnival to rais e funds f o r a worth-while cause, and only two parents put i n an appearance. This example indicates the i n e r t i a and apathy which Is prevalent among the adults. The l a s t , but one of the most important functions of a neighbourhood house, i s to endeavour to get the neighbours to assume more and more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s . Many attempts have been made to encourage members to assume res-p o n s i b i l i t y but, except f o r the teen-agers, there has been l i t t l e success. The transient population, linked with the apparent absence of interested people with leadership q u a l i t i e s , seem to be the major d i f f i c u l t i e s . From t h i s b r i e f review, i t might be questioned as to whether Alexandra House i s able to assume the role of a "true" neighbourhood house. Whether or not Alexandra House can function as a "true" neighbourhood house, i t s r o l e i n the neighbourhood should be reviewed. It must be r e a l i z e d that with the numerous changes taking place i n th i s area, the Agency w i l l also have to change• There are a number of roles which Alexandra House might assume i n the future. In p a r t i c u l a r , there are three p o s s i b i l i t i e s vihich could be investigated. (1) Alexandra House could be used as a "base u n i t " from which community group work could be administered. In this way, needy "pocket areas", such as north of Fourth Avenue and east of Granville Street, could be served. The area east of Granville - 76 -Street and below Ninth Avenue i s characterized by low income, crowded households, low rent and high delinquency which i s i n d i -cative of the need f o r s o c i a l s e r v i c e s 0 Such a venture would require f a c i l i t i e s within these pocket areas, to provide the needed services. With a good administration, an adequate budget and professional s t a f f , this project could be extended to other needy areas which have been studied by the Community Chest and Council. (2) The b u i l d i n g and property on which Alexandra House i s located could be sold and a neighbourhood house could be estab-l i s h e d i n another area. The Survey Report of Group Work and Recreation of Greater Vancouver, which was published by the Community Chest and Council i n 1945, stated a number of areas which should be given p r i o r i t y f o r such new developments. Setting up a neighbourhood house i n one of these areas would mean time and e f f o r t devoted to a worthy cause. The fa c t that the l i f e of the present b u i l d i n g i s l i m i t e d i s a p r a c t i c a l reason f o r moving. The s t a f f i s at present a good working unit which could be main-tained f o r such a worthy venture. (3) With such a long h i s t o r y as Alexandra House boasts, there i s bound to be a certain amount of sentiment attached to i t . If i t i s more desirable to maintain t h i s building, i t would be f e a s i b l e to devote " i t . e n t i r e l y to*;a kindergarten programme. At present, the kindergarten membership In the House has to be l i m i t e d because of the lack of space. There are a large number of children, within the extended boundaries of the d i s t r i c t , who - 77 -could be met at certa i n points and brought s a f e l y to the Agency. This would make i t more convenient f o r the mothers and would mean that t h i s service could extend over a larger area. Alexandra Neighbourhood House, through the cooperation of a l l personnel, the Board of Management, the membership and a l l other groups and individuals who have shown an in t e r e s t i n the House, has performed a service to the community which a l l may well be proud. Despite the problems encountered over the years, there has been a steady development and extension of services. In t h i s study, attention has been directed towards the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the services rendered and data has been gathered so that some remedies may be suggested. It i s evident that some of the d e f i c i e n c i e s of programme are cl o s e l y t i e d to the physical aspects of the neigh-bourhood. One of the major defic i e n c i e s i s the lack of p a r t i c i -pation by loc&l residents i n the operation and management of the House. It appears that part of t h i s problem i s due to the lack of pride and in t e r e s t of the people In neighbourhood functions, which i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of such t r a n s i t i o n a l areas of high trans-iency. Generally speaking, there i s l i t t l e i n t e r e s t displayed i n the House. In spite of the d i f f i c u l t i e s , p r o f e s s i o n a l l y trained leaders i n the l a s t f i v e years have developed a f l e x i b l e pro-gramme with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity, and which i s based on the interests and needs of members. This i s not a s t a r t l i n g revelation, as i t i s only natural that workers with an understanding of i n d i v i d u a l behaviour and interpersonal r e l a t i o n s are more q u a l i f i e d to serve the community. - 78 -BIBLIOGRAPHY A. BACKGROUND REFERENCES Addams, Jane, Twenty Years at Hull House, New York MacMillan, Cameron-Parker, G., Canadian Settlements, Toronto, 1924* Carptender, Daniel, "The Neighbourhood", New York Society f o r E t h i c a l Culture, E t h i c a l F r o n t i e r s , New York, 1948. Coyle, Grace, L., Group Experience and Democratic Values, New York, The Women's Press, 1947. Fry, Luther, C , The Technique of So c i a l Investigation, New York, Harper, 1934. -Hader, John, Lindeman, Edward, Dynamic So c i a l Research, London, Harcourt, Brace, 1933* Holden, Arthur, C , The Settlement Idea, New York, MacMillan, 1922. -Kennedy, Albert, J . , Farra, Kathryn, Social Settlements i n New  York City, Philadelphia, Columbia University Press, 1935. Maxwell, Jeanj McDowell, John; We Believe, National Federation of Settlements, New York, 1950. Pimlott, J. A., Toynbee H a l l , London, Dent, 1935. Simkhovitch, Mary, K., The Settlement Primer, New York, National Federation of Settlements, 193b. Spalding, Henry, Social Problems and Agencies, New York, Benziger, Wald, L i l l i a n , D., The House on Henry Street, New York, Henry Holt, 1915. Webb, Sydney and Beatrice, Methods of Social Study, London, Longmans Green, 193^7 Woods, Robert, A., Kennedy, A.,.. J., The_Settlement Horizon, New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1922. " General Report of the Cleveland Settlement Study, Research Depart-ment of the Welfare Federation of Cleveland, 1946. 1911. London, The National 1929. - 79 -BIBLIOGRAPHY SOURCES FOR THIS STUDY Minutes of Meetings (a) Minutes of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, Board of Directors Meetings. (b) Minutes of Staff Meetings. (c) Minutes of Alexandra Children's Home, Board of Directors Meetings. II Reports and Surveys (a) Survey Report of Group Work and Recreation of Greater Vancouver, published by The Community Chest and Welfare Council of Vancouver, 1945» (b) Annual Reports of Alexandra Neighbourhood House 0 (c) Monthly Reports of Alexandra Neighbourhood House. (d) Staff Reports of Alexandra Neighbourhood House. (e) Community Chest and Welfare Council, Sur-vey Report on Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 1948. I l l Other Documentary Material (a) Correspondence concerning Alexandra Neigh-bourhood House* , (b) Programme S t a t i s t i c s . (c) Friendship group records, (d) Material from City H a l l on Granville Bridge Project and the surrounding area. IV Interviews (a) Mr. H. Morrow, Director of Alexandra Neigh-bourhood House. (b) Programme Staff of Alexandra Neighbourhood House. (c) Mr. Charles Bailey, a teacher at K i t s i l a n o High School. (d) Mr. F. Neumann, Engineer, The Vancouver City H a l l . 

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