Who does Circles® Muskoka help?
People Living in Low-Income
People Who are Unemployed or Underemployed
Rural and Remote Residents
About Circles® Muskoka
For the nearly 8,000 Muskoka residents living in poverty, isolation is one of the resulting threats that makes every day a challenge. When someone is isolated, they face increased mental, physical and social health risks, and are less likely to seek the resources and help they need. Isolation entrenches someone in poverty and makes a life full of potential seem out of reach.
By taking a three-pillar approach to reducing poverty and providing programs for both those living in poverty (Leaders) and those looking to help (Allies), Circles Muskoka enables one-on-one mentor relationships where Allies support Leaders with their goals, skill-building, offer support and increase social capital.
This project fosters a community-based initiative that creates relationships across economic boundaries to help move Muskoka residents out of poverty and into one of opportunity.
Local Issues Addressed:
Partners: YWCA Muskoka (Project Lead), CAP Canada, Faith Baptist Church Huntsville, The Hub Huntsville, Muskoka Community Church, YMCA Employment Services Huntsville
Circles® Muskoka Impact
November 2020 – June 2021
Increase in Getting Ahead participants
of Circle Leaders felt they had an influence within the Circles community
of Circle Allies felt a connection with their Leader, even virtually
“I feel like I am part of a community and am gradually growing since the death of my husband that left me heart broken and financially insecure.
The Circles community has made me welcome and I feel part of something, which has helped me with my grieving and move on and do things I need to do. I have never committed to a group of any kind and Circles has helped me commit weekly and to thrive with my goals.”
“Circles is a great program to interconnect people in the community who wouldn’t otherwise do so. Those seeking to improve their life situations – be it financial, work satisfaction, social connection, health improvement and other aspects of life – are being supported by members of their community who can help support them in their improvement goals.
“It’s rewarding to see goals reached by Circle leaders and it’s satisfying to be able to have a part, no matter how small, in helping them along the way. The Circles program is also serving to raise awareness in the community of the challenges of those living in poverty or low income.”
“Being a part of an inclusive community of people that I now consider extended family members I have really benefited from Circles. I have learned so much during my time with circles, I learned that I do belong within my hometown. I have also been working at my goals and recently landed a full-time job. I also attended the YWCA Women in Business Program and a Mindfulness course and am working on launching my own life-coach business.
“Circles has helped me to develop a voice that I have been able to use to defend myself and others on an ongoing basis … I have grown so much and I have Circles to thank for a lot of the growth I have done. I want you to know that I now have a voice and I actually feel heard, I am able to speak up for the issues that are important. Circles has changed my life for the greater good.”