CREW works with Faith & the Common Good to promote the importance of neighbourhood based resiliency. FCG’s faith site-based resilience is a model for providing community support in Toronto’s neighbourhoods.

Extreme weather events are no longer once-in-100-years occurrences, thanks to climate change. Take the City of Toronto; it has experienced three super storms in the last 12 years alone. But extreme weather impacts are predicted to increase and the government clearly can’t do it all.  So what happens to the vulnerable residents of our communities? Here’s where faith groups are stepping up and exploring how they can be of service within their neighbourhoods.

Helping those in need is in the DNA of faith communities—with outreach programs regularly being run by strong networks of committed volunteers (Out of the cold, food banks etc). Now, faith groups across the GTA and beyond are working with a broad range of community partners to prepare their places of worship in becoming extreme weather hubs.

In 2015, a national interfaith organization called Faith & the Common Good piloted a project in Toronto to explore how eight diverse faith communities across the city could be better utilized as neighbourhood service centres during extreme weather emergencies.

Faith & the Common Good is a national, interfaith network founded in 2000 on the belief that their diverse faith congregations and spiritual communities can be powerful role models for the common good. Their network is composed of people of faith, hope, and spirit who, despite differences in theology, dress and culture, share a calling to protect our ecosystem and a passion for community service.

Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) is their most popular program. A practical program accessible to all faith traditions, GSS assists faith communities with both the educational and spiritual dimensions of greening as well as the “how to” side of audits, retrofits and generally reducing a faith community’s footprint. They have developed a whole resource kit – with workshops, case studies, posters, guides, environmental services, awards, certificates and more– to help faith groups become community leaders in working towards a more sustainable future for all.

On average each year, they work with close to 600 faith communities, from over 14 different spiritual traditions, to host almost 1,000 green events and activities that reach more than 10,000 Canadians. With 1 of 3 Canadians attending worship regularly, they believe that galvanizing faith groups to be neighborhood sustainability role models is crucial for a greener, healthier, more resilient Canada.

Visit the Faith & The Common Good website.