To keep the CYN membership up to date on the implementation of our 2012-2015 work plan over the summer months, the Ending Poverty priority presents its Summer Update Edition, which makes for great reading at the beach or poolside.
Social Awareness and Youth Engagement – On June 28, over 200 camp counselors partook in the Poverty Budget Challenge, an activity that helps illustrate some of the difficult economic choices families living with low income must make. During the follow-up debrief and discussion, the youth expressed an increased understanding of these choices and how they might impact their approach to programming activities over the summer.
Healthy Families – The pilot sites for the Basic Needs Beacon continue to develop standards for coordinated acquisition of basic needs. London Food Bank has been a key partner in helping move toward a city-wide system of communication and collaboration for basic needs. Over the summer, the first neighbourhood pocket guides will be evaluated to assess their impact and to refine strategies and directions for the potential development of future guides.
Food Security – Members of the Food Charter are developing a proposal for a farmer’s market food voucher pilot. The concept was presented to the Ending Poverty table in June. At the meeting, members provided valuable insights and challenging questions regarding stigma, sustainability, and impact. The team is working through the proposal to address these issues.
Circles – Community leaders interested in exploring the implementation of Circles in London are arranging a meeting to discuss next steps. The Ending Poverty team will ensure that the CYN membership is aware of new information and opportunities as they develop.
Income Security – Over the summer, we are working with partners to review low income families’ ability to access childcare. Additionally, the team is preparing for the release of the OW and ODSP recommendations from the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario.
Matched Savings and Microloans – The Matched Savings and Microloans program continues to bring in new program participants. Current participants in the Matched Savings program include single parents, newcomers, and trades people. The Microloans program has helped launched small businesses in a number of different sectors, including photography, jewelry making, and realty signage. The challenge over the summer is to increase program referrals. For more information, contact Program Manager Heather Haldane at ac.seirtsudnilliwdoognull@enadlahh.
Education, Literacy and Employment – The first cohort of the Glen Cairn Wraparound Project have graduated elementary school and are starting high school this fall; this milestone was celebrated by giving students ‘Huskies’ backpacks to remember the school and the project (and to lug around heavy high school textbooks!)
Over the summer, the project steering committee will be meeting to reflect on the successes and challenges of the first two years of the project, and developing strategies for strengthening home, school and community connections in year three. The inclusion of a representative from the Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee on the project’s Steering Committee will help strengthen parental capacity and involvement to help the students achieve greater educational outcomes.
The Ending Poverty team wishes all CYN members a safe and happy summer!