The Region of Peel is considering converting Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School pool in Malton into a community development hub.

Community hubs are a social investment.  They are gathering places that help communities live, build and grow together.  They are critical for diverse communities like Mississauga’s neighbourhood of Malton.

With that view in mind, the Region of Peel is considering converting Malton’s now-dormant Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School pool into a community development hub.  Mississauga Ward 5 Coun. Carolyn Parris presented the idea to the Peel regional council on April 5.

The proposed hub in Malton would be youth-focused.  It would include a youth facility with a drop-in centre and an area on the main floor for social and health service agencies, also mainly directed at youth.

No community hub is like another— each brings together a variety of different services, programs and/or social and cultural activities to reflect local community needs. Assessments of Malton’s local needs have already been conducted, and a draft report describing the methodology—consultations with community members, focus groups, analysis of local statistics, etc. — was issued on March 20, 2018.

According to data collected from various sources, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Malton’s residents are under the age of 19, 25 per cent of youth are unemployed, and 28 per cent of Malton’s youth are not involved in any afterschool activities because of costs and transportation needs.

Mississauga’s neighbourhood of Malton is home to many newcomers to Canada, whose financial situation is often very precarious, and needs for services that help with integration to the community at large, sizable.

Peel regional council has committed to the community development hub in Malton in principal, subject to the 2019 budget.  It promised two thirds of the capital funds, with the City of Mississauga kicking in the remaining one-third funding.

Malton’s Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School pool has been vacant, and not serving any purpose.   Converting it into a place where local kids can come and learn, play and develop is an investment with a potential great return on many levels for the City of Mississauga.  “The failure to invest in youth reflects a lack of compassion and a colossal failure of common sense.” —Coretta Scott King