Today many of us have joined the Tamarack Institute’s End of Poverty AGM. Over 70 communities across Canada have come together (700 adults/92 people with lived experience and 350 youth). The conference is using an interactive Howspace digital platform. Check it out! It is very dynamic.
- Tamarack officially launched their new name – shifting from “Cities Reducing Poverty” to “Communities Ending Poverty”. This recognizes the work being down in rural communities as well as cities.
- Mayor Naheed Nenshi, City of Calgary was the keynote speaker. He leads Calgary’s Enough for All poverty reduction strategy and roundtable. Their motto is “My neighbours’ strength is my strength. My neighbours’ success is my success. My neighbours’ failure is my failure.” Mayor Nenshi spoke to the fact that we are “all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat”.
- Women, people living in racialized communities and in poverty are hardest hit by COVID.
- People living in poverty are at higher risk to COVID.
- The pandemic has widened the income gap.
- People with Lived Experience Perspective: a video was featured which included members of our Community Voices.
- Rural Communities reducing poverty workshop: our Indigenous-led Giiwe Circles team of Diane Giroux, M’Wikwedong IFC and Carlos Sanchez-Pimienta, Queen’s University gave a powerful presentation on its trasformative model.
- Giiwe gave a strong message that we need to invest more in relationships and building trust if we are to address reconciliation issues, and Indigenous homelessness.
- Giiwe creates a safe space to discuss very uncomfortable and sometimes “messy and slow” issues. But if we stay with those feelings we can transform how we work and be more successful in the work we do; and more importantly in improving Indigenous peoples’ lives.
Yesterday, we took time to recognize Missing and Murdered Indigneous Women and join the Calls for Justice.
- Human rights and Indigenous rights abuses and violations condoned by the Canadian government have resulted in the denial of safety, security and human dignity. They are the root causes of the violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA.
- The Calls for Justice come from the National Enquiry – Reclaiming Power and Place and call upon all Canadians and sectors to end systemic violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA.
- Food Secure Canada has released its comments on the Federal Budget 2021.
- Meals2Motels: is a partnership to provide meals (hot and frozen) to individuals and families sheltering in motels (Owen Sound and Chatsworth).
- 92,840 meals have been delivered in the last year.
- January 2021 was the busiest month with over 1,200 meals delivered. February was the largest single week with 370 meals delivered.
- 252 hampers with multi-purpose kettles were created and all but 39 pre-positioned/distributed at motels.
- On Fridays the people receive Friday’s supper (hot), Saturday lunch supper (cold) Sunday lunch and supper (frozen).
- On Mondays United Way staff make an extra run with a Monday lunch.
- Many partners deliver this program – the YMCA Housing, M’Wikwedong and the Women’s Centre shelter people in motels and maintain a daily number. OSHaRE cooks and assembles meals, along with frozen meals prepared by the St Aiden’s Frozen Meal program. Habitat for Humanity (Apr to Nov 2020) and the United Way (Nov to now) deliver the food daily.
- Grey County funds the daily mileage cost and staffing costs have been covered by the partner organizations.
- For more information on this initiative: United Way of Bruce Grey 519-376-1560, Y-Housing Joan Chamney, 519-371-9230, OSHaRE Colleen Trask- Seaman, 519-376-3899.
- Good Food Box: Hanover Good Food Box started up at John Diefenbaker Secondary School led by Dawn MacKay (email@example.com). With the school closed they are working in partnership with the Salvation Army Hanover to provide a location. (see attached poster).
- The Sponsored Box program is underway. Agencies and community donations can pre-pay for boxes. When sponsored boxes are purchased, tokens are distributed. Tokens may be used by customers at any GFB location but they must submit their tokens in advance of pickup.
- Agencies interested in purchasing tokens or receiving community donations for their clients may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Donations to purchase Good Food Box tokens for households in need can be made through OSHaRE (email@example.com). A $200 donation will provide a household with a monthly Good Food Box for 1 year.
- Frontline organizations in Ontario will soon have access to free, rapid, self-administered COVID-19 screening tests through a new program called Stop the Spread and Stay Safe. The program, run by the Canadian Red Cross in partnership with the Government of Canada, is now accepting pre-registration from organizations in Ontario.
- To qualify, organizations must be a charity or non-profit, or an Indigenous community organizations with five (5) personnel (staff and volunteers) who work in close proximity to each other or have direct contact with community members.
YOUTH AND MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS
- Sick Kids-led study (Feb 2021) found more than 70% of children aged 2 to 18 years expressed feeling lonely, overwhelmed, sleepless, worried, sad, irritable, anxious or stressed during the first wave, with isolation posing a significant risk factor.
- Education Minister Stephen Lecce is set to announce an $80 million fund for school boards to hire up to 1,000 additional mental health workers for the next two years.
- Tamarack has been supporting youth outcomes through its Youth Futures Initiative. Tamarack Institute and the Government of Canada, through the Goal Getters program, have committed to a 5-year pan-Canadian project to develop collective impact and system-wide solutions for youth as they build and act upon plans for their future
Stay well, Jill