Blog Archives

Event at Rexall Place? Park at DECSA!

Are you a fan of the Edmonton Oilers?

Would you like to support the important work done by the programs at DECSA?

Then grab your Oilers tickets and come on down to DECSA (11515 – 71 St), where you can park for only $5! We’re only a 10 minute walk from Rexall Place. We’re a community-based, non-profit charitable organization, so you can be sure your money is going somewhere good.

And if you’re a mega-fan of the Oilers, you can buy a Season Parking Pass for only $150! You can pay using cash, cheque or PayPal.

You also have the option of donating $150 to DECSA – the money will go towards our programs, and you’ll have purchased a Season Parking Pass for one of our clients! This is a fantastic way to support DECSA, while also giving a great gift to someone who will appreciate it.

If you would like more info on our event parking, or to purchase a Parking Pass for yourself or a client, please call 780-471-9649.

Come, Come to the DECSA Marketplace!

Have you heard about DECSA’s Marketplace?

It’s our place for local vendors to sell their products and services, right here at DECSA!


You don’t want to miss this great monthly opportunity to shop for local crafts, clothing, artwork and other unique items!


The Marketplace sometimes includes a hot lunch for $5, as well. Be sure to check our Facebook page for all the details!


We look forward to seeing you at our monthly Marketplace – bring a friend or two!


If you would like to be a vendor at our Marketplace, please call 780-471-9655 to register a table!*

  *Registering a table is $10.

Free Pancake Breakfast at DECSA this Wednesday!


DECSA is hosting its 9th Annual Community Pancake Breakfast this Wednesday, July 8th, from 7:30-10-30 am, come rain or shine!

It’s our way of giving back to our clients, community, agency partners, service providers and neighbours.

Bring your friends, family and colleagues down to our front lawn at 11515 71 St NW for a delicious free breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, strawberries with whipped cream, coffee and orange juice.

You can also look forward to seeing local firefighters, games & face-painting for children and free library cards courtesy of EPL.

“I’m looking forward to my first DECSA pancake breakfast – to get out there and connect with people in the community,” says Shirley, a breakfast committee member. “I’m excited to engage with EPL, the firefighters and the First Responders.”

“I love seeing the people – young, old, and in-between – enjoying themselves with good food and conversation,” says Velma, a member of DECSA’s team.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday for a morning of free breakfast and fun for everybody!


The Value of a Library Card

PancakeStill wondering if you should attend our 9th Annual Community Pancake Breakfast on Wednesday, July 8 from 7:30 – 10:30 am? Wonder no more!

Alongside DECSA staff and volunteers serving a delicious breakfast of free pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee, orange juice, and strawberries with whipped cream, there will also be staff from the Highlands branch of the Edmonton Public Library offering free EPL library cards!

We asked Margaret, one of our friends at the Highlands branch, to tell us about the value of a library card. This is what she had to say:

Why sign up for an EPL membership? Here are the top FIVE reasons:

  1. DIGITAL RESOURCES Edmonton Public Library has an extensive and diverse digital collection that Edmontonians can access from a computer, tablet or even a smartphone. Everything from language learning to video streaming is available in a variety of formats, at your fingertips with a library card!
  2. COMPUTER ACCESS Not only does every EPL branch in the city offer free WiFi, we all also have free public access computer stations.
  3. BOOKS AND ENTERTAINMENT Many people think of libraries as synonymous with books, but we are so much more than that! EPL is Edmonton’s largest lender of all things information and entertainment related. In addition to books, your library card grants you access to movies, CDs, audiobooks and video games which are available in many languages.
  4. ME LIBRARIES If you have an EPL membership you can sign up to ME Libraries and access over 10 million titles from 300 libraries all over Alberta!
  5. IT’S FREE!! Library cards are absolutely free for all Edmonton residents. Even without a library card you can come into the library to enjoy the space and take part in one of our popular programs. Did I mention these are all FREE?

If you have any questions our friendly library staff is always willing to help you find what you are looking for. For more information about the Edmonton Public Library or our programs and services, please visit the Highlands Branch at 6710 – 118 Avenue or online at

We invite all of our clients, agency partners, service providers, and neighbours to come together in the spirit of community on July 8 for a morning of good food and festivities.

We hope to see you there!

Our thanks to Margaret at EPL for contributing to this blog post.

Our Newest Member

Please join us in welcoming this lovable new member to DECSA!

But first, let’s share the story of how our newest member came to be here at DECSA…

The doll was donated by Ventures client James B, who began crafting the dolls while incarcerated. Many years ago, the first prototype was a life-size replica of Mr. B himself to fill his prison bed, which enabled a crafty escape.

DECSA_DollyPosterV4Since that time, many smaller versions of the doll – a combination of recycled materials, handmade garments and baby clothing – have become a symbol of Mr. B’s creativity and industriousness. He now sells the dolls alongside original poetry he composed while in prison.

In the Ventures Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program, Mr. B is free to make his business bigger and more productive through smart business planning.

This doll still needs a name, so if you have an idea, please drop by our Community Hub and add it to the list, or email your idea to

Our BIG THANKS to James B for the wonderful gift and to all friends of DECSA for contributing name ideas!

5 Reasons to Support Small Businesses

In case you haven’t heard, every month we host an indoor marketplace here at DECSA, where small businesses have a chance to sell their products at an inexpensive venue. If you didn’t already need an excuse to come shopping at DECSA, we’ve put together 5 more reasons why you should support small businesses.

1.They tend to offer personalized customer service. When was the last time you walked into a big box store and the cashier knew your name? Small business owners are often the face of the company and are therefore more invested in making sure their customers are satisfied with their shopping experience. earrings-276924_1280-2
2.They are more likely to give back. Small businesses often have strong relationships with members of their community and are more likely to support local causes.
3.They can offer unique merchandise. A locally owned clothing store probably won’t have hundreds of the same dress in stock, meaning that the chances of encountering someone wearing the exact same outfit as you are highly unlikely.
4.They contribute to the local economy. When money is spent in the community, it stays within the area, benefitting everyone who lives there.
5.They help with environmental sustainability. Small businesses are often located downtown rather then on the outskirts of a city, which cuts back on sprawl and pollution.

Don’t forget to stop by the DECSA Marketplace between 10am-3pm at 11515- 71 Street!

Open House

Yesterday, October 23rd, was our Open House, and are so thankful for what turned out to be an awesome day.  We enjoyed meeting new people, as well as reconnecting with some more  familiar faces. It was the perfect opportunity for participants and staff alike to share what we do here at DECSA, and present it in a creative and interactive way.  Seeing as there is such a sense of community here at DECSA, we wanted our guests to be involved in the experience, rather than just display each program’s information.

The Ventures program invited two of their successful participants to bring their businesses with them- Chipman 1/4lb. Fish and Chips , who served his food truck fare to hungry guests, and author David O’ Riordan who sold his books inside. The Assets for Success program engaged guests by offering a variety of scheduled activities including “Jeopardy” and “Speed Interviews”, which were a hit for everyone involved. One guest even cut a hallway conversation short by saying “Quick though, because I’ve got to get back to Jeopardy!”  Transitions participants turned their space into a virtual tour of what is offered in their program, and created colourful displays representing topics such as Anger Management and Career Development. They even provided cookies baked during their Basic Shelf workshop!

Attendees were able to enter their names for a chance to win one of two door prizes: a leather jacket, or a yoga mat. Light refreshments were also provided, with the punch apparently stealing the show! When asked how he rated the Open House, one guest responded : “It’s a 9/10”. He then took a sip of his punch and added: “Oh wait, no. Now it’s a 10/10”

How do we feel our Open House went? As staff member Joe puts it : “Our  Open House event’s positive outcome was the  result of a great team effort.  I was proud to be able to welcome most of the incoming guests and to encourage them to sign the guest book at the table decorated with a beautiful flower bouquet.   The whole atmosphere was very friendly.  The display of our programs’ information was informative and inviting.  This kind of in-house networking, the interior decorations, the openness of staff to answering any questions, to offer a tour of the building, etc. was really impressive.  Everything was very well organized and performed in a nice, synchronized way.  It was good to see a substantial number of visitors representing various services and agencies in the community.”

A huge thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, supported, or promoted our Open House yesterday. We couldn’t have done it without YOU!

Come Visit Us!

In addition to offering many specialized programs for DECSA members to enroll in, we have a Community Resource Centre that is available to the general public anytime Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can call ahead to book an appointment for something specific or walk in to use our facilities at any time. Feel free to come say hello while perusing our educational resources, using the computers, accessing our free Wi-Fi, using our photocopier, fax machine, and telephones.

We also provide on-site supports for persons with documented disabilities are always happy to help in any way we can!

We hope to see you soon!