November 8, 2019
Windsor, ON – More than two years ago, United Way started having conversations with key community stakeholders and partners and reviewing community data, and the consensus that emerged was that childhood poverty is an issue we can’t ignore. Especially when in some neighbourhoods as many as 1 in 2 children are living in poverty.
Together, with our experienced volunteers, donors and partners, we are forging ahead to build our new path. This will mean changes to how, where and why we invest in specific strategies and programs. Millions of dollars have been invested locally to treat the effects of poverty, but most of those investments do not address the root causes. Solving the problem of childhood poverty requires targeted investments to overcome barriers and create opportunities, building hope and demonstrating a belief in the potential of all our children. This will prevent children today from growing into adults who live in poverty tomorrow.
Our current investments with a number of dedicated partners end on March 31, 2020 and we will fulfill those commitments. All donations collected will continue to support programs focused on children, youth and families in Downtown Windsor, West Windsor and Leamington until new community-designed solutions are determined. Examples include After-School Programs, The Food Security Network, and Mental Health Counselling.
We want to help children from the time they’re born until they find a career. Over 50 community partners are standing shoulder to shoulder with us in this vision and they agree that we need to work differently. Our future investment strategy will be part of a community-led funding process which will involve co-designing solutions in partnership with service providers and residents in West Windsor, Downtown Windsor and Leamington, that help children be more successful and achieve their potential.
We know that change is difficult, but we are prepared to work differently and work with our partners and the residents to make the greatest impact. Our strategy is a considered response to the most pressing community needs and is not the result of a change in the level of community support which has remained firm at over $5 million in recent years.
All residents, service organizations, and systems leaders have strengths, expertise that can help achieve the greatest impact for our community’s kids. United Way will share more about our new investment strategy and how community organizations can get involved in the coming months.
“We can easily become overwhelmed by the complexity of this issue. United Way is committed to making childhood poverty unignorable in our community and to take new action to ensure no child is left behind,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way. “One child living in poverty is too many. Thousands of children living in poverty is #UNIGNORABLE.”
Media Contact: Karen Brady, Marketing & Communications Manager
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