CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: September 27, 2016

FIVE YEAR PLAN: Poverty Reduction Strategic Action Plan

FOCUS: Essential Services and Workplace Entry

Q1. What has changed this year?

  • The United Way, Sault Ste. Marie and district is beginning a five-year process that focuses on addressing the root causes of poverty.
  • Community partners have been invited to submit multi-year proposals for activities that support two community priorities: essential services and workforce entry.
  • Donors are being asked to consider making pledges for five years to support a fundraising target of $6,250,000.

Q2. Why is the United Way making this change?

  • For 59 years the United Way has engaged individuals and mobilized collective action to make the greatest possible impact to improve lives in our community.
  • Poverty is the root of many of the problems that the United Way has tried to address in the past.
  • The problem appears to be growing. More than 15,000 individuals and families in Sault Ste. Marie and district now live in poverty.
  • The United Way is taking bold action and beginning a 5-year process to address the root causes of poverty.

Q3. Will the United Way continue to support community partners that have received funding in the past?

  • The United Way will continue to work with, and support, a variety of community partners to achieve the outcomes that have been identified in the plan.
  • Community partners have been invited to bring forward their expertise and apply for funding for activities that support those outcomes. It is anticipated that many
    who received support in the past will continue to work with the United Way;however, some community partners will no longer receive funding from the United Way.
  • The United Way has given community partners three years notice about the proposed change in direction.
  • Some of the community partners that were receiving funding from the United Way may be eligible for funding from other sources.

Q4. When will the United Way know which community partners will receive funding from the 2016 campaign?

  • The deadline to submit proposals is November; decisions will be announced in January 2017.

Q5. Why did the United Way choose to focus on essential services and workforce entry?

  • After looking at what other community organizations were already doing as part of the Sault Ste. Marie Poverty Reduction Strategic Action 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.
  • Failure to complete high school is an obvious risk factor for poverty and 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.

Q6. What about other issues such as mental health or loneliness?

  • Some of these issues may be related to poverty and addressed in the proposals submitted by community partners.
  • Some of the community partners that were receiving funding from the United Way to address other issues may be eligible for funding from other sources.

Q7. What happens if I make a five-year pledge to the United Way and my financial situation changes?

  • You can adjust your donation at any time by contacting your employer or the United Way office.

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.
    • Failure to complete high school is an obvious risk factor for poverty and 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.
    • The United Way will continue to fund programs such as the Options Navigator, Community Assistance Trust, Community Housing Support Worker, Northern
      Ontario Health Grant, Volunteer SSM and 211 (Information Referral Services):

>>> The Options Navigator, provides one to one support to address barriers to education and employment.Community Housing Support Worker, provides help to people in housing crises to prevent homelessness.

>>> 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.

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

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

>>> 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.