As Southwestern Ontarians grapple with financial challenges United Way campaigns across the region are reporting a growing – even desperate – need for the programs they support as their yearly fundraising drives kick in.
Calling area needs “urgent,” Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO, United Way Elgin Middlesex pointed to London for All, an ambitious poverty-reduction strategy led by the United Way. Instead of dealing with problems such as food security and housing affordability in isolation, the plan takes a wider approach by “getting all the right players at the table” to work on each recommendation.
Many people seek out help for immediate needs, like a hot meal, but Ziegner said “the long game” is critical when dealing with both the scope of the issues contributing to area poverty and how intertwined they are.
“It’s about building resilience with individuals and families more broadly,” said Ziegner. “To ensure communities are removing barriers to employment…If people have access to transportation to get them to the job. If people have access to affordable child care, so that they can work and provide for their families, and build a sustainable income.”
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