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A comparative review of the programme of a neighborhood house and a community centre with reference to the implication for public-private cooperation Alexander, Harold Alfred

Abstract

In an attempt to prove that cooperation between a public and a private agency will give a more efficient recreational programme for a specified area, the study, although strictly limited, investigates the area, and membership distribution at Alexandra House and Kitsilano Community Centre. After stating the function of a public and a private recreational agency, and describing three experimental programmes, the historical development and administration of the two agencies is outlined. Next, the study analyses the Junior teenage programme of Alexandra House, and the teenage programme at Kitsilano Community Centre on the basis of facilities, activities, leadership and programme development. The method used was to study the records of the respective agencies with particular reference to the teenage programmes mentioned. Programmes exhibiting cooperation in other cities were also studied with a view to their application to the local scene. Interviews and discussions with officials followed. The writer also drew upon his personal experiences as a social worker at Alexandra House. The study reveals facts which are important to the conclusions drawn and the recommendations made. Namely, that the area known as "Kitsilano" has not been defined, that transiency on the part of membership effects the programme, that Kitsilano High School is a common meeting ground for members of both agencies, that patterns of cooperation on the part of public and private agencies is possible, that Alexandra House, being an older agency than Kitsilano Community Centre, has worked through some of the problems facing the Centre, that administratively the two agencies are quite different. The analysis of the respective programmes points up that the two agencies are meeting the recreational needs of a large number of teenagers in different ways but that gaps in services do exist. The conclusions drawn are that the two agencies should cooperate in instigating research: to define the "Kitsilano" area, to ascertain the needs of the area in definite terms, to establish the division of labour between a public and a private agency, and to interpret a total programme of services to the public. It is further recommended that patterns of cooperation should be established along the lines of the Cleveland experiment, the Los Angeles Youth Board, and the New York City Youth Commission.

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