Influence systems and policies through advocacy and by strengthening relationships with governments, corporate partners, community organizations and community networks.
As United Way wraps up the final year as lead agency for London For All, the City of London’s roadmap to end poverty in a generation, we’re celebrating more than a few successes.
A powerful example happened late last year. Acting on a London for All recommendation to eliminate the need for predatory lending, City of London Social Services implemented direct deposit for Ontario Works clients. More than 6,000 cheques were direct deposited into clients’ bank accounts or, for those without one, disbursed as payment cards. As a result, over $102,000 in service fees was diverted from payday lending businesses.
It’s simple solutions like this that showcase United Way’s ability to get the right partners working together to influence systems and policies. Other London for All successes include $555,420 invested in mental health and addiction services, 891 new licensed child care spaces, 1,374,048 subsidized bus rides for low-income Londoners, 19 Living Wage employers, and 159,000 kg of fresh food rescued and distributed to local agencies through the London Food Coalition.
“The work accomplished through London For All belongs to our entire community,” says Roxanne Riddell, Project Coordinator and Community Impact Specialist at United Way. “Together we have created positive changes towards ending poverty.” In total, 60 community partners and over 100 volunteers, including 38 people with lived/living experience, worked together on implementing 112 strategies over three years.
London for All wraps up in June 2020 with a report back to the City and the community.