What We Do

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Our Focus

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. The United Way, Sault Ste. Marie and district is taking bold action against poverty, beginning a five-year process to address root causes of poverty by working with multiple community partners on strategies which reduce the impact of low income on the health and well-being of individuals and families in our community. The United Way strategies are aligned with, and support, the Sault Ste. Marie Poverty Reduction Strategic Action Plan that was developed by the Community Poverty Roundtable over the past four years and endorsed by the Mayor and Members of Council in August of 2016. The United Way will focus on two of the priority community issues identified in the Sault Ste. Marie Poverty Reduction Strategic Action Plan: Essential Services and Workplace Entry.

Vision

United Way of Sault Ste. Marie and district addresses poverty and the well-being of all our citizens by building barrier-free, diverse, healthy, inclusive, accepting, poverty-free communities where all citizens have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Mission

“To improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action”

Our Strategies

From Poverty to Possibility is the National focus of United Way Canada. At the United Way Sault Ste. Marie and district, our two main focus areas to reduce poverty in the community are Essential Services and Workforce Entry.

Essential Services

To provide a variety of services that will address the community’s immediate needs in case of emergency and extraordinary circumstances in addition to facing barriers to service.

The outcomes we are eager to achieve by providing essential services to the community are:

  • members of the Sault Ste. Marie community have increased knowledge of how to access support services
  • the 211 database for Sault Ste. Marie is up to date
  • support services in Sault Ste. Marie are more accessible to the community
  • immediate needs of low income community members are met

Workforce Entry

To address the barriers to employment and education in the community by providing necessary support accordingly.

The outcomes we are eager to achieve by prioritizing workforce entry in the community are:

  • all members of the Sault Ste. Marie community have access to supports needed to enter the workforce
  • employers have increased knowledge of employment programs and supports available
  • children and youth have the supports necessary to successfully complete an appropriate level of education

Funded Partners – Essential Services

Algoma Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Centre, Addiction Services
Canadian Hearing Society, General Support Services & Hearing Care Counselling
Canadian Mental Health Association, Counselling Program
CNIB, Home Based Support & Vision Mate Programs
Canadian Red Cross Society, Community Kitchens
Credit Counselling Service, Money & Debt Management & Education Programs
John Howard Society, Discharge Planning
Sault Search & Rescue, Project Lifesaver
Women In Crisis, 24 Hour Crisis Line & Walk-In Service
United Way Essential Services, Community Assistance Trust
(Emergency Assistance), Outreach , Volunteer Services, 211,
Volunteer Income Tax Program, Northern Health Travel Grant

Funded Partners – Workforce Entry

Canadian Hearing Society, Employment Supports
Credit Counselling Service, Financial Education Programs
John Howard Society, Options Navigator
Ken Brown Recovery Home, Job Search Training
Learning Disabilities Association, Journey to Success & Social Skills
Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Cadet Program
United Way, Bursary Program
Sault Ste. Marie YMCA, Youth In Action

Funded Programs – Essential Services

Community Assistance Trust

Community Assistance Trust (CAT) will only provide assistance in an emergency or extraordinary circumstance when there is no other resource for funding available in Sault Ste. Marie & district for their specific need. Assistance is provided for rent, utilities, home heating, eyeglasses, prescriptions for children, emergency dental and baby safety items. Community Assistance Trust will only provide assistance once in a 24 month 

Northern Health Travel Grant

Advance funding will be only be issued to those who are deemed low-income. Client must not be in receipt of Ontario works or Ontario Disability Support Program. Clients must meet the eligibility criteria for a Northern Health Travel Grants

Community Housing Support Worker

Community Housing Support Worker works with tenants and housing providers to preserve tenancy in non-profit and co-op housing to prevent homelessness.

For more program information go to www.volunteerssm.ca

Workforce Entry

Our second priority is to address the barriers to employment and education in the community by providing support necessary accordingly.

The outcomes we are eager to achieve by prioritizing workforce entry in the community are:

  • Secured access to supports needed to enter the workforce for all members of the Sault Ste. Marie community
  • Increased knowledge among employers of employment programs and supports available
  • Attained supports necessary to successful education completion for children and youth

Funded Programs – Workforce Entry

Options Navigator

Located in the Gore St. area, the Options Navigator is engaged and committed in working towards a safe and healthy neighbourhood. The Options Navigator walks the neighbourhood meeting with residents and works with them to identify barriers to employment, education and well being.

211

Every hour of every day someone in Sault Ste. Marie & district is looking for services, from finding an after school program to securing care for an aging adult. 211 is an easy to remember phone number providing free confidential information for non-emergency services. United Way supports the data accuracy with the assistance of the SSM Innovation Centre.

United Way Bursary Program

The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie and district Bursary Program is available to students who are enrolled in a post-secondary program at Sault College who have been accepted to their program of choice, demonstrate financial need and significant involvement in their community and who::

  • is graduating from secondary school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario or the district of Algoma from White River to Elliot Lake or;
  • is returning to Sault College for the 2nd & or 3rd of their program and has graduated from a secondary school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario or the district of Algoma from White River to Elliot Lake or;
  • is a mature student who has attended high school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario or the district of Algoma from White River to Elliot Lake and are currently living in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario or the district of Algoma from White River to Elliot Lake.

Applications are available the 2nd week of March annually on this web site and at Sault College Financial Aid Office.

District Grants

District donations are separated from Sault Ste. Marie donations and are reserved for the District Grants program. This District Grants program is available to registered charities in district communities which offers programs or services that support United Way’s two strategic focus areas: Essential Services and Work Force Entry. The program is administrated by a Volunteer Committee which consists of representatives from North Algoma, East Algoma, and the United Way Board of Directors.

The District Grant Application will be posted to this web site annually December 1st.