Every day, our communities face new and evolving challenges caused by poverty and social exclusion. Despite the incredible work done by frontline charities across Simcoe Muskoka, there are gaps that swallow up too many of our most vulnerable.
To address that gap, United Way Simcoe Muskoka is funding six multi-year, cross-sector collaborative projects across our communities. By bringing together partners from all sectors – public, private, faith and charities – we know these projects will be able to not only meet the needs of our most vulnerable but provide a life of potential for our residents.
It is through these projects that we will drive long-lasting, systemic change throughout Simcoe Muskoka and make a difference for years to come.
These projects will be starting in the fall of 2020. Take a look at what our communities can expect from these life-changing new projects or click the button below to support one of the Community Collaboratives.
Sub-Region: South Simcoe
Establish a community hub for vulnerable transitional-aged youth (ages 15-28) in South Simcoe to provide a multi-location service for youth during a complex, critical time as they grow up and transition to adult services.
Demographics: Transitional aged youth and their families, LGBTQ+ youth
Issues Addressed: Social isolation, mental health, addiction, precarious employment, access to housing, transportation, food security
Sub-Region: Barrie & Area
Develop and run a low-cost furniture store for individuals and families referred by community partners who can’t afford retail prices, helping clients make their housing into a home. This project will also divert much of the household furniture that ends up in our landfills and provide mentoring and training in furniture repair for individuals facing employment challenges.
Demographics: Low-income and underemployed individuals, individuals transitioning into housing, out of homelessness or fleeing domestic violence
Issues Addressed: Employment, furniture poverty, social isolation, environmental waste
Sub-Region: South Georgian Bay
By creating a cloud-based poverty screening tool and case management system, this project addresses poverty as a vital component of the community’s health. This system will allow the network of social service agencies and primary care partners to collaborate and respond to immediate urgent needs of individuals to better serve them with the aim of moving individuals and families out of crisis to stability and, when possible, self-sustainability.
Demographics: Low-income individuals and families
Issues Addressed: Social isolation, knowledge of community services, overall social and physical health
Sub-Region: North Simcoe
The partners of The GOOD Project will train, place and support participants into long-term employment through support in basic literacy skills, adult upgrading, employability skills, securing employment, workplace retention, overcoming barriers, health, wellness and food security. The project also hopes to increase the number of Living Wage Employers in North Simcoe.
Demographics: Individuals and families living in poverty
Issues Addressed: Employment, job training, living wage employment, food insecurity, literacy, mental well-being
Sub-Region: Orillia & Area
This project will reconnect Indigenous peoples with their culture, each other, their community and to life. It includes knowledge sharing, self-reflection and practical application for individuals and organizations. The project will also provide training for people and organizations on culturally safe services for Indigenous community members affected by poverty and will incorporate Safer Spaces diversity and inclusion training.
Demographics: People of Indigenous descent, experiencing or at-risk of poverty, struggling with mental health and addiction
Issues Addressed: Mental health, suicide, social isolation, racism, access to healthcare, healing and wellness, integrating Indigenous knowledge to provide a holistic approach
Circles Muskoka brings together the community to support individuals and families living in poverty with enough reason, relationships and resources to thrive. This project will bolster the capacity of Circles Muskoka and allow the delivery of programs to vulnerable residents.
Demographics: Individuals living in low-income, unemployed or underemployed, rural and remote residents
Issues Addressed: Employment, job training, social isolation, community navigation, self-esteem and mental health