December: Information Sharing Edition 2.0
 In this edition: 

  • Happy Holidays from P2P!
  • Upcoming Webinar Opportunity: Tax Relief for Extreme Poverty or Sickness
  • Ontario Unveils New Comprehensive Plan to Combat Poverty
  • Windsor Recreation Centres to Remain Closed to January 15th
  • City After-School Programs Cancelled
  • Empowering Women for Employment (EWE) Program - Intake 3
  • Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Ontario Workers, Workplaces and Families
  • Food Insecurity and Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic Well-Being of Millennials at Risk Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • In the News
  • Local COVID-19 Information & Resources
Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a peaceful and safe Holiday Season, from all of us at Pathway to Potential

Upcoming Webinar Opportunity: Tax Relief for Extreme Poverty or Sickness
Pathway to Potential is hosting a Lunch & Learn webinar to provide information on the Tax Relief Program for Extreme Poverty or Sickness, available to City of Windsor residents

The Lunch & Learn will be held on Monday, January 11th, 2021 from 12:00-12:30 pm. 

Please RSVP below by Friday, January 8th to let us know you would like to attend.

The intention of the program is to provide temporary relief for those property owners who may qualify for tax relief due to extreme poverty or sickness. Please note that the tax adjustment applies only to single family residential homes.

For more information on the program, including eligibility and application forms, please visit the Tax Rebates and Relief page on the City of Windsor website. 
Property Tax Relief Lunch & Learn
Zoom (a link and meeting invite will be emailed before the webinar date)

01/11/21 12:00pm - 01/11/21 12:30pm

Join us to learn more about the Property Tax Relief program for extreme poverty or sickness.
I will attend
Not attending
Ontario Unveils New Comprehensive Plan to Combat Poverty
The Ontario government released its new Poverty Reduction Strategy which will help more people get back to work and participate in the province’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The five-year strategy outlines key initiatives that will help connect people experiencing poverty with education, skills training, health and other supports, while helping people keep more of their hard-earned money.

The new strategy Building a Strong Foundation for Success: Reducing Poverty in Ontario was developed after extensive consultation, including an online survey and engagement with Indigenous partners and municipal committees. It is focused on:

  • Encouraging job creation and connecting people to employment - making investments in education, employment services, and training programs so people can get the skills and experience they need. 
  • Connecting people with the right supports and services - improving access to supports that address health and well-being and enabling access to education, training, and employment, leading to increased community participation.  
  • Making life more affordable and building financial resiliency - reducing the cost of living, protecting consumers, and helping people keep more of their hard-earned money.
  • Accelerating action and driving progress - using evidence and working across sectors to support economic recovery and developing integrated solutions that better connect the province’s health, social, and economic systems.
Windsor Recreation Centres to Remain Closed to January 15th
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Windsor-Essex, City Council has voted to extend the temporary closure of municipal recreation centres into the New Year.

By proactively keeping temporary closures in place, the Windsor City Council is doing all it can to reduce the risk that recreation facilities would become the site of future outbreaks. All recreational programming and rentals will remain closed until at least January 15, 2021.

Outdoor recreation offerings like trails, outdoor sports courts and parks, as well as skating and tobogganing (as soon as conditions allow) remain the best options for residents looking for safe and healthy activity.
City After-School Programs Cancelled
The Windsor-Essex County Medical Officer of Health has ordered all area elementary and secondary school students to transition to online/remote learning only as of Monday, December 14, and that means after-school programs operated by the City of Windsor will close as well.

The City has been offering programming, but with the closure of schools and in an attempt to do all we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are cancelling after-school programming. Recreation staff are reaching out directly to parents to let them know. 

The City will continue to monitor the health unit’s recommendations and orders to ensure our community response to COVID-19 measures remains coordinated. We regret the inconvenience this will cause but trust everyone understands the escalating COVID-19 situation locally and the need for action.

Visit the City of Windsor newsroom to read the full announcement.
Empowering Women for Employment (EWE) Program - Intake 3
The Empowering Women for Employment (EWE) Program is currently recruiting for Intake 3 

  • WHAT?  The EWE program will be offered online through a remote training platform, includes 8-weeks of employable skills training, and a 5-week work placement

  • WHEN?  The next intake starts January 4th - February 26th, 2021, training is Monday - Friday from 10:00am-2:30pm.  

  • WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  Newcomer Women (Permanent Residents or Convention Refugees), Language Proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark 5+), Highschool Completion (In Canada or Outside Canada) 

Download a program flyer here.
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Ontario Workers, Workplaces and Families
The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction has partnered with McMaster University’s School of Labour Studies and Department of Political Science to investigate the experiences of low income Ontarians during COVID-19. The study seeks to understand if the policy responses from various levels of government have been appropriate and effective.
Eligible study participants will be 18 years of age and older and not retired, living in Ontario. Participants can optionally volunteer to do a follow-up survey. If you are interested in participating you must complete the survey by December 31st, 2020.
For more information, and to complete the survey, click the button below:
Food Insecurity and Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Canadians living in households that experienced food insecurity (insecure or inadequate access to food because of financial constraints) during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were significantly more likely to perceive their mental health as fair or poor and to report moderate or severe anxiety symptoms than Canadians in food-secure households.

Approximately one in seven Canadians (14.6%) were estimated to live in a food-insecure household in May 2020.

A new study by Statistics Canada, released in Health Reports, is the first to examine the association between household food insecurity and self-perceived mental health and anxiety among Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also estimated that 9.3% of Canadians living in food-insecure households reported having recently accessed free food or meals from a community organization.

Access the full report here.
Economic Well-Being of Millennials at Risk Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Households in Canada are experiencing a profound disruption in their lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many facing chronic job loss and financial uncertainty. In the midst of the pandemic, the economic well-being of younger households, especially those with a major income earner in the millennial generation, is at greater risk since they:

  1. depend more on wages and salaries as a source of income; 
  2. face higher entry costs related to housing; 
  3. have higher and increasing debt relative to income; 
  4. work in industries deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and 
  5. have less equity in financial and real estate assets from which to draw upon when needed.

The study entitled Inter-Generational Comparisons of Household Economic Well-Being is based on the latest estimates from the Distributions of Household Economic Accounts (DHEA), up to reference year 2019. Based on historic trends, the study describes the likely impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on inter-generational household economic well-being.

Read the summary reported in The Daily by Statistics Canada.
Windsor Food Bank Adapting during Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic
When COVID-19 began, local food banks started booking appointments or operated drive-thru pickups to safely provide people with food. But the arrival of cold weather has meant they've had to get creative yet again. 

Two weeks ago, the Unemployed Help Centre (UHC) started running a conveyor belt to hand out "food hampers" to people so that staff can remain contact-less with customers.

The transition, CEO of the UHC June Muir told CBC News, has meant that staff don't need to wait in the cold or directly interact with customers. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Muir said the food banks have serviced 113,000 families, with more than 6,000 being first time users.

Read the full article by CBC News Windsor.
Windsor Receives $5.5M in Provincial Funding to Help Homeless Population
The City of Windsor will receive $5.5 million from the provincial government to help homeless people and other vulnerable populations.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls said that brings the city’s total “social services relief funding” from the province to $13,727,631.

The $5,548,600 can be used to improve the delivery of critical services, protect homeless shelter staff and residents, renovate and purchase shelter facilities, add to rent banks, create longer-term housing solutions and support plans to prepare for potential future outbreaks and emergencies.

Read the full news story by the Windsor Star.
Province Announces Pandemic Funding for Windsor
The City of Windsor has been awarded over $19 million in new funds under the Safe Restart Program to support the ongoing financial impacts to municipal operating budgets associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional $14,406,000 has been awarded in Phase 2 application-based funding to address the City of Windsor’s 2020 municipal operating pressures.

Unique to the City of Windsor, losses associated with Detroit-Windsor Tunnel operations, Windsor International Airport and reduced casino revenues have contributed to the City’s fiscal pressures. Funds were awarded to 48 municipalities in Ontario based on applications that were submitted earlier this fall to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing.

Read the full announcement on the City of Windsor website.
Ontario Expands Funding for Supportive Housing
The Ontario government is investing over $47 million to provide supportive housing for individuals with severe mental health and addictions challenges who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The funding will also support the creation of a new Back to Home program to help patients transition from hospitals to permanent housing.

This funding is part of the government's $176 million investment in the Roadmap to Wellness, a comprehensive plan to build a fully connected mental health and addictions system across the province.

For more information, please read the full news release.
Ontario Increasing Mental Health and Addictions Services
The Ontario government is providing over $147 million to immediately expand access to the provincial mental health and addictions system for people of all ages and address capacity issues in response to COVID-19. This funding builds upon the $176 million provided earlier this year as part of Roadmap to Wellness, the government's comprehensive plan to deliver high-quality care and build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.

The impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including prolonged physical distancing, widespread financial uncertainty, and being constantly inundated with new information about the virus, have made life increasingly difficult for many people and families across Ontario, especially among those living with mental health and addictions challenges. With the arrival of the holiday season, this investment will address the increasing demand for services during these difficult times.

Through this investment, the government will add more staff, accommodations, virtual supports, housing and short-term accommodation, and other supports to continue providing safe in-person services where appropriate, including supports specifically for Ontario's frontline workers.

Read the full announcement in the Ontario Newsroom.
Canada’s 2021 Food Price Report
Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 predicts annual food expenditure could go up by as much as $695 compared to 2020.

The 11th annual edition of Canada’s Food Price Report forecasts an overall food price increase of 3 to 5% for 2021. The most significant increases are predicted for meat at 4.5 to 6.5%, bakery at 3.5 to 5.5%, and vegetables at 4.5 to 6.5%. 

“Families with less means will be significantly challenged in 2021, and many will be left behind,” says Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, project lead and Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

Read the full report here.
Local COVID-19 Information & Resources
With COVID-19 cases rising, the Province of Ontario moved Windsor-Essex to Grey-Lockdown status of the COVID-19 Response Framework to prevent further spread.

City of Windsor services will be modified beginning Monday, December 14. Learn more here.
Drive-Thru/Walk-Up Food Hub Locations:
Unemployed Help Centre of Windsor Inc.
6955 Cantelon Dr., Windsor, ON
P: 519-944-4900
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
9:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex
1551 Wyandotte St. W., Windsor, ON
Tuesday & Thursday
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
For food hamper deliveries/referrals call UHC's Food Assistance Helpline:
519-944-4900 ext. 3

For more information about Drive-thru/Walk-up Food Hubs and Food Banks, please visit the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association website.
Municipal Social Investment Efforts
City of Windsor
Stephen Lynn
519-255-5200 ext. 5302
Teresa Falsetta Aflak
519-255-5200 ext. 6809
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