LOCAL LOVE IN ACTION, A SYSTEM-CHANGING GRANT AND ADDRESSING YOUTH VIOLENCE
2018-2019 Annual Report
We love where we live. Vibrant communities. Strong people. World-leading quality of life. Despite this abundance and prosperity, poverty is hurting us. But thanks to you, we’re changing that. Our refreshed investment model—a dynamic network of agencies bolstered by partnerships with 62 anchor agencies that target the places and people hit hardest by growing income inequality—is having real impact. After our merger with United Way of Peel Region, we’ve now completed our first year as United Way Greater Toronto, working with communities across Peel, Toronto and York Region. That perspective is enabling an amplified voice on the common problems we face in the GTA, while strong ties to individual communities help us understand how challenges manifest themselves differently. With knowledge and experience from our work across communities, we’re bringing the greatest of our successes and adapting them to respond to issues in a local way. From homelessness prevention, to workplace development for the next generation, to new economic opportunities in neighbourhoods often left behind, we’re putting your support— your local love—into action.
- To take on poverty, we must disrupt it at a systems level. Thanks to the Jalynn H. Bennett Social Change Fund, Systems Change Grants help civic partners collaborate and innovate on issues like food security and mental health. Almost $1.4 million enables seven projects to engage 44 community partners, including a 360° Kids initiative that ensures young people receive timely support, reducing the likelihood of homelessness.
- In response to youth violence, we announced a $1.94 million investment to build on strategic work that gets at underlying causes. These dollars expand successful programs that address the cycle of violence, connect young people to opportunity and coordinate community efforts. Programs like: Career Navigator™, netWORKS and FOCUS (Furthering Our Community by Uniting Services), an early intervention and prevention partnership between the City of Toronto, Toronto Police Service and community agencies. With over 2,700 youth now on better paths because of these programs, Career Navigator and netWORKS are moving into Peel and York Region.
- Neighbourhood Development Grants mark the expansion of our Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy into York Region. This $400,000 investment over two years supports two agency-led coalitions, catalyzing community networks and helping residents make the change they want to see in neighbourhoods in Georgina and Markham.