Announcements

Poverty Reduction Consultations

The province is currently engaging in consultations regarding their next 5-year cycle of their poverty reduction strategy.  The following is from the Ministry’s website:

Public Consultations

To develop a renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy, we continue to need your advice, guidance and expertise.

Public and online consultations for a renewed strategy will begin the week of August 6th. There will also be opportunities for people to provide additional input by organizing their own consultations in their communities and submitting their individual ideas. Check back here to have your say through an online feedback form and a toolkit to facilitate your own consultation.

Consultations will seek feedback on, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Elements of the current strategy that have worked well or need improvement
  • Refining execution of current policies, programs and initiatives
  • Continued barriers to success
  • New models of collaboration and partnership
  • Areas of special priority and urgency

Until online consultations start on August 6, you can send your thoughts on the following two questions to povertystrategy@ontario.ca.

  1. Based on your experience and perspective, what areas and/or specific initiatives do you believe have worked well in the first five years of the Poverty Reduction Strategy? Please share specific examples of success that you think should be continued or expanded.
  2. What do you think are the top three priorities to overcome poverty?

If possible, please try to limit your responses to 500 words or less per question.

An Ambitious Target

In our first Poverty Reduction Strategy, we set an ambitious target of reducing child poverty by 25 per cent over 5 years.

We set ambitious targets with the belief that we cannot and should not limit ourselves by lowering our expectations on what we think we can achieve. Despite our progress and due to an uncertain economic climate, it is unlikely that the target will be met. The ambitious target gave us something to strive toward, raised the bar for success, and set the foundation for future work.

One of the key considerations in the new strategy will be the views of stakeholders and Ontarians about the value of such a bold, stretch target. Has it helped to spur progress? Should it be maintained or altered for the future? Let us know what you think at povertystrategy@ontario.ca.

Collaboration Makes It Happen

The provincial government is one of many key contributors to building solutions to this deeply interdependent challenge. Everyone plays a role in building a good, strong economy and in reducing poverty. One of the biggest lessons of the first five years is that many innovative models for collaboration and partnership exist that result in some of the most creative and effective ways to address poverty.

Share your views on the importance of collaborative models working together. Tell us about any specific examples from which you think everyone can learn at povertystrategy@ontario.ca.

Bad Meth Warning

THERE IS SOME BAD CRYSTAL METH CIRCULATING IN LONDON

 We’ve had reports of EPSOM SALTS being passed off as crystal meth.

 Injecting this mix has resulted in serious side effects requiring hospitalization including;

  • Blurred and distorted vision
  • Seeing coloured spots
  • Dizziness
  • Burning sensation from the inside out
  • Shallow or trouble breathing
  • Very slow heart rate
  • High fever with no sweats
  • Severe dehydration

 Please call 911 if you or someone you are with experiences these symptoms

Rental Market Report

Here is the Spring 2013 Ontario Rental Market Report:

2013 ONTARIO Rental Market Report

Some interesting highlights that impact on homelessness:

  1. London has a relatively reasonable vacancy rate of 3.1%, which should minimize upward pressures on average market rent in the private sector.
  2. Yet a bachelor apartment average rent is $582, or 96% of an Ontario Works cheque for a single adult.
  3. This represents a 2.2% increase since 2012.

It is clear that for individuals on social assistance, market rents continue to be well outside their grasp, leading for the pressure to find affordable housing.

National Homelessness Conference

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) is planning a National Conference on Ending Homelessness (October 28 – 30, 2013) and have just launched their conference website (www.caeh.ca/conference). They are hard at work on the preliminary program (which you can find here – http://www.caeh.ca/conference/program/).

They are offering a Lived Experience Scholarship to 20 Canadians (more information at http://www.caeh.ca/conference/scholarships/).

They also have a ‘Homelessness Research Call for Abstracts’ out.

United Way announces a Financial Literacy Community Strategy

Seeking agencies interested in working with financial institution volunteers to build financial literacy in London & Middlesex

In October of 2011, United Way London & Middlesex commissioned a research report through the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) entitled Payday Lending in London. The outcomes of this study identified that payday lenders are prevalent in London; individuals are borrowing from payday lenders to pay for basic needs and are often unclear on the long term repercussions. Although the study was focused on payday lending, a need for a community-wide financial education program in London and Middlesex County was identified.

Over the past six months, United Way has worked with service providers and traditional financial institutions to explore local opportunities to developing a financial education and mentorship program. United Way is pleased to announce a community strategy that is focused not only on financial literacy but enhancing opportunities for individuals to interact with volunteers from traditional financial institutions. One of the key components of the strategy is the provision of financial literacy workshops. These workshops will be co-facilitated by financial institution volunteers and Family Service Thames Valley, and will focus on critical moments in one’s life and provide information that can help individuals and families make reasonable financial decisions.

United Way is seeking to engage social service agencies interested in working with financial institution volunteers to not only host workshops but provide feedback and support cross-sectoral training methods.

If your organization is interested in taking part in the initial stages of this financial literacy community strategy, please contact Kate Cowan, Community Planning Specialist at United Way London & Middlesex.

United Way will be hosting a discussion with agencies interested on May 1, 2013 at 8:30 am at The TD Training Room (220 Dundas ST, 2nd floor). Please RSVP to Kate Cowan at (kcowan@uwlondon.on.ca) or 519-438-1723 ext. 249.