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August 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

On Thursday, August 31, Community Shared Services (CSS), formally known as Black Creek Shared Services, will suspend operations.  The incorporated entity will remain alive, in hopes that the sector and funders will see fit to revive it in the near future.

However, services such as Accounting, IT, Evaluation and Grant writing, developed over its three years CSS’ existence will remain accessible to meet your needs. Please go to the Services-Direct Contact tab for direct contact information for our excellent service providers.

It has been a pleasure for us to get to know some of you well, to participate in activities and events, support your administrative needs, and to learn from you all.

While evidence and feasibility studies had indicated that capacity-building services and collaborative program work are both needed and necessary, we found that demand did not necessarily follow. Nor do the smaller and medium-sized organizations have time or headspace to consider new approaches on an extended basis. We did our best in the 18 months we were funded, and it simply was not enough time to change decades of practice.  There are no pockets of money for service organizations in this sector, and although there is still great enthusiasm for what we are doing, there is no funding to support us while we grow something sustainable.

Thank you very much to those who participated in our constellation project developments, and to those who purchased services from our expert providers.

Thank you to our Board of Directors, who have believed in this concept and worked very hard to make it a reality. Sincere gratitude to François Yabit and Northwood Neighbourhood Services for acting as trustee for our “start-up.”

Thank you to the vision and persistence Jamila Aman, who conceived the idea, and to her fellow executive directors including Sunder Singh, Mahad Yusuf, Susan Doyle, and Morris Beckford, who helped develop the concept.

Finally, thank you to Ontario Trillium Foundation and United Way Toronto and York Region for their generous support.

All the very best to each of you.

Debra Chandler
Executive Director