OUR FIVE YEAR POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN

Background:

  • The United Way’s new framework has been four years in the making. It supports the work of the Community Poverty Roundtable and is aligned with the Sault Ste. Marie Poverty Reduction Strategic Action Plan that was developed with input from the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the District of SSM Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) and agency CEOs, and was endorsed by the Mayor and Members of Council in August 2016.
  • The vision of the Community Poverty Roundtable is to reduce the impact of low income on the health and well-being of individuals and families in our community.
  •  After looking at what other community partners were already doing as part of the community plan, the United Way decided to focus efforts on two priority areas: essential services and workforce entry.
  • Essential Services deal with the immediate needs such as information, referrals and emergency support to avoid homelessness.
  • Workforce Entry focuses on ensuring awareness of programs for workers and employers and ensuring access to supports needed to successfully complete an appropriate level of education and enter the workforce. Failure to complete high school is an obvious risk factor for poverty and homelessness.
  • The United Way will continue to fund the following programs: Options Navigator, Community Assistance Trust, Community Housing Support Worker, Northern Ontario Health Grant, Volunteer SSM and 211 (Information Referral Services):

o The Options Navigator provides one to one support to address barriers to education and employment.

o Community Housing Support Worker provides help to people in housing crises to prevent homelessness.

o Volunteer Sault Ste. Marie, a division of United Way SSM and district, works closely with community agencies and organizations and undertakes a leadership role carrying out the responsibility to make available programs and services to the volunteer sector. Volunteer SSM engages in Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, Community Christmas for Children, and Community Assistance Trust Program with association to Information & Referral Program and Community Liaison Program.

o Community Assistance Trust Program assists our most vulnerable citizens with eyeglasses, utilities, home heating, rent, baby safety items and Northern Health Travel Grants.

o Northern Health Travel Grant assists individuals who are eligible for the grant for medical transportation by advancing money for the travel costs.

o 211, helps individuals to navigate the complex network of human services quickly and easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 211 telephone helpline and website provide a gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and related government services. Funding from the United Way helps to ensure that the database is up to  date.