United Way Announces 2023-2024 Community Investments
For Immediate Release – January 17, 2023
Falling short of the 2022 campaign needs target will result in some changes to the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton funding portfolio in order to fund as many local priorities as possible.
Last evening the volunteer Board of Directors approved the 2023 – 2024 Community Investments to 28 programs in Sarnia-Lambton. This funding portfolio maintains 25 existing funded programs, an increase to 1 funded program, a decrease to 1 funded program, the elimination of two funded programs and funding to a new program through the Critical Services Grant Fund.
The volunteer United Way Board of Directors with the assistance of the volunteer Community Investment Committee changed its local Community Impact agenda after Covid 19 struck. “The needs in our community changed quickly with the pandemic and the United Way had to position themselves to respond as quickly as possible”, said Gerry Whitcombe, Community Investment Committee Chair. “Poverty and housing issues have been on the rise over the years and Covid made those issues even worse”, he added. As a result, the Board set the following 3 priority areas for the volunteers to follow during their review of funding requests.
Poverty to Possibility – approximately 44% of available funding
Healthy People, Strong Communities – approximately 31% of available funding
All That Kids Can Be – approximately 25% of available funding
The volunteers identified which programs fit into one of the priority areas and then had to work within the Board approved budget of each priority area. “The volunteers also review the future measures for success of the programs and review the past successes of those programs which received funding during the last funding cycle,” said Whitcombe. “Collaboration and partnerships with other service providers is a very important part of our review process, even more so with reduced funding available. Working together not only avoids duplication and inefficiencies but creates more of a possibility of success for the clients when service providers work together. All of the volunteers deserve a big thank you for their time and dedication to this process, and we want to thank the thousands of Donors as well” Whitcombe added.
Youth Life Skills (John Howard Society), and Transitions Facilitator (Community Living) will not receive funding for 2023-24. The Youth Life Skills program withdrew their application as their services were being duplicated through the opening of the youth wellness hub and other drop in type centers which are now available in our community. The Agency will still support youth through partnerships with these other service providers and will offer their expertise should any community agency need it. Community Living (Transitions Facilitator) unfortunately had to be cut from the funding portfolio. “Although this program does amazing work, our available funds and funding priority targets just does not allow us to continue to fund this program,” said Whitcombe. The United Way is committed to working with this Agency to assist them in finding other funding for this program.
The sole increase of $8600 was awarded to the YMCA Resource Houses program. This program services children in geared to income housing neighborhoods with before and after school snacks and in some instances, lunches to take to school. The increased need and cost of food both contributed to the need for additional funds. The YMCA Autism Summer Camp will see a decrease of $13,000.
The Board of Directors also approved a one year Critical Services Grant of $15,000 to River City Vineyard for the purchase of 50 hospital grade mattresses for their shelter expansion. “This expansion will be for the “hard to house” homeless population that generally live on the streets and have no other options of where to sleep,” said Whitcombe. They generally suffer from addiction, mental illness, or both and have a hard time securing and staying in long term housing. We want to keep them safe and off the streets not only for their own good but the communities as well.
United Way of Sarnia-Lambton is proud to be taking part in the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund, a collaboration between United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and Community Foundations of Canada. The Community Services Recovery Fund will support a vast array of Community Service organization’s as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Community Services Recovery Fund aims to support the adaptation and modernization needs of non-profits and charitable Community Service Organizations facing immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic as they continue to support communities. Community Service Organizations can apply from January 6, 2023 until February 21, 2023. Locally, $332,814 will be available through this funding stream. For more information or to apply, visit www.theunitedway.on.ca or contact Pamela Bodkin at [email protected].
For further information, please contact:
Dave Brown, Executive Director (519) 336-5452 Ext. 7 or email [email protected]
Gerry Whitcombe, Volunteer Community Investment Chair 519-466-6135
Community Investments 2023 to 2024
Big Brothers Big Sisters Matching Program 80000
Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Bunch 20000
Big Brothers Big Sisters Go Girls & Game On 30000
BGC (Boys & Girls Club) Out of School Programs 81667
BGC (Boys & Girls Club) Summer Program 12000
Canadian Red Cross Meals on Wheels 31000
Canadian Red Cross Transportation 58000
Canadian Red Cross Homeward Bound 30000
County of Lambton COVID-19 School Food Delivery 16650
Family Counselling Centre Counselling 87000
Family Counselling Centre Distress Line/Tel Check 50782
Family Counselling Centre Suicide Prevention 20000
Habitat for Humanity Handyman Program 15000
Inn of the Good Shepherd Income Tax Clinics 28000
John Howard Society Rapid Housing 70000
Lambton Elderly Outreach Transportation 55000
Lambton Elderly Outreach Meals on Wheels 16600
New Beginnings, ABI & Stroke Recovery Community Integration 20000
North Lambton CHC Opening Doors (Sarnia & Forest) 60000
Rebound Early Intervention & Prevention 50000
Salvation Army Rent/Utility Assistance 40000
Salvation Army Dental Assistance 17000
Salvation Army Medical & RX Assistance 10000
Salvation Army Hearing Aid Assistance 10000
YMCA Resource Houses 93600
YMCA Autism Summer Camp 30000
Walpole Island First Nation Warming Shelter 55000
Additional Community Investments
United Way Direct Community Services 170000
Donor Option to Other Agencies 90000
River City Vineyard Critical Services Grant 15000
Federal Government Community Services Recovery Fund 332814