Transition to Common Work: Building Community at The Working Centre

Transition to Common Work: Building Community at The Working Centre

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Overview

For social workers, activists, bureaucrats, and engaged citizens in third-sector organizations (NGOs, charities, not-for-profits, co-operatives), this practical and inspiring book provides a method for moving beyond the doldrums of “poverty relief” into the exciting world of community building.


The Working Centre in the downtown core of Kitchener, Ontario, is a widely recognized and successful model for community development. Begun from scratch in 1982, it is now a vast network of practical supports for the unemployed, the underemployed, the temporarily employed, and the homeless, populations that collectively constitute up to 30 percent of the labour market both locally and across North America.


Transition to Common Work is the essential text about The Working Centre—its beginnings thirty years ago, the lessons learned, and the myriad ways in which its strategies and innovations can be adapted by those who share its goals. The Working Centre focuses on creating access-to-tools projects rather than administrative layers of bureaucracy. This book highlights the core philosophy behind the centre’s decentralized but integrated structure, which has contributed to the creation of affordable services. Underlying this approach are common-sense innovations such as thinking about virtues rather than values, developing community tools with a social enterprise approach, and implementing a radically equal salary policy.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771121606
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Joe and Stephanie Mancini established The Working Centre in the spring of 1982 as they were completing their respective university degrees and have made a long-term commitment to developing a community-based response to unemployment and poverty. This creative and intentional community spirit continues to foster inclusive and affordable access-to-tools projects that are deeply rooted in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. In November 2014 Joe and Stephanie Mancini each received the Benemerenti Medal for their impact on the local community through The Working Centre. The Benemerenti Medal is a papal honour that recognizes civil and military daring and courage.


Joe and Stephanie Mancini established The Working Centre in the spring of 1982 as they were completing their respective university degrees and have made a long-term commitment to developing a community-based response to unemployment and poverty. This creative and intentional community spirit continues to foster inclusive and affordable access-to-tools projects that are deeply rooted in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. In November 2014 Joe and Stephanie Mancini each received the Benemerenti Medal for their impact on the local community through The Working Centre. The Benemerenti Medal is a papal honour that recognizes civil and military daring and courage.

Table of Contents

Foreword Frances Westley vii

Foreword Kenneth Westhues xi

Acknowledgements xvii

Part 1 The Working Centre Takes Root

1 Introduction: Beyond Us and Them 3

2 Building Community: The Working Centre's Roots 11

3 Liberation from Overdevelopment 29

Part 2 Community Engagement

4 The Virtues 49

5 St. John's Kitchen: Redistribution through Cooperation 65

6 Searching for Work at the Help Centre 83

7 The Nuts and Bolts of an Alternative Organization 99

Part 3 Toward a Philosophy of Work

8 Ethical Imagination: The Working Centre's Approach to Salaries 119

9 Community Tools 131

10 Small Is Beautiful: Re-embedding Reciprocal Relationships in Daily Work 147

11 Conclusion: Transition to Common Work 163

Map of The Working Centre Buildings and Projects 175

Map of The Working Centre Locations in Downtown Kitchener 179

A Thirty-Year Chronology of The Working Centre 183

People of The Working Centre 187

Notes 191

Selected Bibliography 207

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