ARC is designed to support co-op communities think about their futures — to take time to discuss more than the day-to-day challenges. We do this by encouraging members to think about the kind of community that they really want, and then talk about how to achieve that. We bring in topic-matter experts, so that co-ops can make action plans that are grounded in reality.
ARC uses a variety of methods. We offer in-person and online activities — different ways to interact, including workshops and formal meetings. We also offer a website and a phone line to provide information and accept input from members. This means that members can be part of the process and have their voices heard, even if they cannot attend traditional meetings.
ARC has several modules including everything from visioning to implementation, and an optional annual refresher so that co-ops can reaffirm or re-calibrate what came out of the ARC sessions. Program delivery will be customized to fit each co-op community’s needs.
This comprehensive program is designed to be flexible for everyone. People with time constraints, limited childcare arrangements, shifting or remote work schedules, or health issues limiting access to communal spaces. All can benefit from virtual sessions and other activities that can be completed at their leisure.
Some of the various topics that co-ops could use ARC to explore include:
- maintaining or increasing support for low-income households (without government assistance)
- diversifying membership (seeing the larger community better reflected within the co-op)
- improving environmental sustainability
- partnering with organizations that provide services outside the co-op’s ordinary scope of activities
- renewing co-op buildings and property
- adding more homes to the co-op through infill or redevelopment
- promoting options for aging-in-place
- determining which model would work best to manage the co-op
- working on reconciliation with First Nations communities