2007 Agency Report - United Way of South Georgian Bay

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2007 Agency Report - United Way of South Georgian Bay Powered By Docstoc


Georgian Triangle Housing Resource Centre
P.O. Box 683, 275 First Street Collingwood, On L9Y 4E8 Phone:445-0643 Fax: 445-1516 Email:info@housinginfo.ca Website: www.accesstohousing.ca

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Georgian Triangle Housing Resource Centre has now been in operation for six years. We are proud to be a part of United Way of South Georgian Bay. The funding provided by United Way has enabled the agency to continue to offer Georgian Triangle area residents assistance with their housing problems. Homelessness in rural areas like the Georgian Triangle takes on a different meaning than it does in urban areas. The term „hidden homelessness‟ is used. Those who are homeless in rural areas generally are not as visible as they are in urban areas and because there are no emergency shelters for those experiencing homelessness it is much more difficult to measure. Those without permanent accommodation are forced to find temporary accommodation usually with friends or relatives, motels, tents and cars. Service demand in 2006 assistance remained high with 1430 people who were in need of affordable rental housing. This number includes adults (955) and their children (475). Of that number 429 were without any form of permanent housing. The highest percentage of the clients served is the working poor. With the registry listings available these people have been able to acquire the housing they need. The Centre encourages landlords to register their properties directly to give those who are seeking accommodation a better opportunity to acquire accommodation. In some situations staff is able to mediate between landlords and tenants as well. The Centre also assisted 135 families to either stay in their current accommodation or keep utilities on through funds available from the County of Simcoe Rent/Energy Bank. This fund is available to help prevent evictions and utility cut offs. Our website, www.accesstohousing.ca has our registry listings along with a great deal of other housing related information receives an average of 3000 hits a month. As well as assisting those in need of housing, the Housing Resource Centre staff is active in raising awareness in the communities of the problems area residents are experiencing when trying to find affordable rental housing. Staff also provides information on a regular basis to developers who express interest in developing rental housing and works with the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness on issues that are county-wide. Respectfully submitted by Gail Michalenko, Program Manager

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Georgian Triangle 129 Hurontario Street Unit 201 Collingwood, Ontario L9Y 2L9 Phone: 705-445-2330 Fax: 705-445-8627 bbbsgtri@aol.com

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Georgian Triangle is extremely fortunate to be a United Way Member agency. United Way assists us in providing the highest quality mentoring relationships to the children of the Georgian Triangle. We are the proud recipients of our 3rd consecutive Agency Growth Award presented by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and will continue to find new, innovative ways to ensure that every child reaches their full potential. Our traditional program, matching Big Brothers and Big Sisters to Little Brothers and Little Sisters is the foundation of our agency. At any given time we have between 40 and 45 Traditional matches and 2 children are paired with a couple in our Couples for Kids program. We have 75 children matched through their schools with In-School mentors who include many business people, young retirees, stay at home parents and high school students who are mentoring elementary students through the Co-op education program at Collingwood and Stayner Collegiate. We also have a student through the Katimavik program and she is helping to build the self esteem of local children. In 2006 we joined forces with the Rotary Club of South Georgian Bay to take on their Sandparent program. This is a literacy based match which sees senior volunteers matched with children in the Early Years. We have between 30-40 ongoing matches and several volunteers have followed their little ones into Kindergarten! All children in our traditional program and who are on our waiting list for a Big, are able to attend a week of summer camp. We also have activities throughout the year such as, Halloween activities at Rounds Ranch, Waterworld, Christmas parades and parties, and Golfing to name a few. A BIG Homework Club works with a group of children in Collingwood. High school volunteers work one-to-one with children from our program to make homework an enjoyable experience. Cops, Kids and Communities is a partnership with Collingwood and Huronia West OPP detachments. Children attend activities with OPP personnel who are volunteering their time to make this highly preventative program a success. Please take a moment to view photos of these great outings on our website www.bigbrothersbigsistersgeorgiantriangle.org All of our volunteers participate in a screening process which includes safety training, and our staff provide ongoing support throughout the match. This would not be possible without the United Way. You are making the difference in the lives of local children. On behalf of the board of directors, staff and families of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Georgian Triangle, please accept our heartfelt appreciation for your ongoing support. Sincerely, Debbie Kesheshian Executive Director

Promoting a new perspective on disability!
There was a lot of excitement around Breaking Down Barrier in June with the adoption of the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres (CAILC) new logo and slogan. The logo consists of four figures that represent physical, intellectual, sensory and psychological disabilities united in the goal of Independent Living. Over the past year Breaking Down Barriers provided services to 175 consumers of which 77 participated in the Peer Support Program. Staff organized and facilitated programs that promoted consumer participation in the community. To do this Breaking Down Barriers developed new community partnerships with local groups, businesses, municipalities and agencies. New Peer Support partnerships include:  Programs with Libraries in Collingwood, Stayner and Creemore  Personal growth course facilitated by the Elizabeth Fry Society  The Simcoe County Association for the Physically Disabled starting with a joint “Fun Day” picnic  Wheelchair curling on a weekly basis with Curling Club of Collingwood  A volunteer driven Sports Club “The Georgian Bay Breakers” for track and field and Boccia Ball. Ongoing Peer Support Programs were:  Diabetes Information Group  Lunch, Laugh and Learn  Personal Power building self esteem  Discussion Groups about living independently with a disability Breaking Down Barriers welcomes the challenge of promoting a new perspective on disability for its consumers. We are proud to be a member agency of the United Way and are appreciative of the grant for the Peer Support Program

Louise Pope, Executive Director

During the Fiscal year of April 01, 2006 - March 31 2007, CNIB provided the following services directly to clients at home, work, school or community. In Simcoe/Muskoka, 972 clients received 7365 individual contacts and 9950 hours of service. In addition to the 81 clients served during service days in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, 157 clients received 1045 individual contacts and 755 hours of service In South Georgian Bay from the following programs; Registration and Referral/ Support Services: Provides information and advocacy support for resources available from CNIB as well as resources focusing on social issues such as concessions, housing, finances and leisure pursuits, available from partner community resources. This is the first point of contact for anyone wishing to access CNIB's programs and services. Staff work closely with each individual to identify needs and goals, and make referrals to appropriate resources - either within CNIB or with community agencies. Assistive Technology Services: Provides information about the availability, selection, use and purchase of devices best suited to individual needs, through demonstration, assessment, training and technical support. Child and Family Services: Provides supportive counselling, service coordination, information, advocacy and programming for children and their families. Early Intervention Services Specialists work with children from birth to school age and their families to assess developmental needs associated with vision loss, taking into consideration additional disabilities. Computer Training: Provides instruction on how to use current computer programs to access information and communicate independently. Consumer Products Support: Provides a unique retail experience in a supportive and interactive environment that allows people with vision loss to become familiar with devices prior to purchase. Independent Living: Provides life-skills training to help manage the essentials of daily living, with an emphasis on maintaining independence - from safe and effective methods of cooking and doing household tasks such as laundry, to banking, writing and personal care. Low Vision Services: Provides functional assessments of visual abilities, information and training in the use of low vision devices, and instruction on how to maximize residual vision. Indoor and Outdoor Travel: Provides instruction on how to move safely around your home, or travelling outside. In addition to providing individualized vision rehabilitation programming for persons living with vision loss in South Georgian Bay within people‟s homes, CNIB has faithfully provided monthly service days at the Legion for the community of Collingwood. From September of 2006-September 2007, 75 people attended. (Service days don‟t run in June, July December or January) Service days in Wasaga Beach generally are not well attended and therefore we provide 2 service days annually. We had 6 people attend these service days. Robert Hickey, Manager Services Operations - CNIB Central Region

Deaf Access Simcoe provides support services to culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing individual and their families in this community. As well, we educated the hearing community about access and communication strategies. Our staff are all fluent in American Sign Language to ensure effective delivery of all programs. This past year has marked many exciting achievements:       Our name change (May 2006) Implementation of our three year strategic plan Focusing on co-location with the Canadian Hearing Society in Barrie Expanded services to include 1 day a week direct service in two locations: Orillia and Collingwood Provided 10 workshops in Collingwood through Outreach program Focused on infrastructure and exploring benefits for staff

2006 – 2007 Outcomes       Provided 109 hours of employment services to 8 culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people Provided 302 hours of interpreting to culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people requiring communication access Instructor training in Simcoe County and look forward to having qualified resources in the community. Provided 364 hours of general social service counselling to 58 people Assisted 3 people with information and purchase of technical devices Provided consultation and training to 97 people regarding communication barriers experienced by culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people

For the year 2006/07, we provided assistance to over 63 individuals (hearing consumers not included). With the ongoing support of the United Way of South Georgian Bay, culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people are participating in their community. Respectfully Submitted Louise Gagné Executive Director

The Elizabeth Fry Society
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County continues to run a satellite office in Collingwood. Our program facilitator offers anger management, stoplifting (anti-theft) and substance abuse programs. These programs are available to men, women and youth and can be run in either a group or individual format depending on the needs of the client. The Extrajudicial Sanctions and Extrajudicial Measures programs continue to operate in the area. A full time youth worker has recently been hired specifically to work in the Georgian Triangle. The youth worker works primarily out of the Collingwood office but is able to travel throughout the area to meet with clients as needed. Our Restorative Justice Program is now running throughout Simcoe County as well. Volunteers are currently being trained to facilitate these sessions within the community. Youth Justice Committees continue to operate as well, and the agency currently has nine volunteer community members trained and screened to run the meetings. Our 27 bed residential facility continues to house women in transition. Located in Barrie, women from the Georgian Triangle often call Joyce Kope House home. Additionally, the Grocery Assistance Food Bank is also located out of our Barrie site but services clients throughout the county.

HOME HORIZON TRANSITIONAL SUPPORT PROGRAM 275 First Street, Unit 10 Collingwood, Ontario L9Y 4E8 705-444-0040 Ext. 246 homehorizon@communityconnection.net
Georgian Triangle Residential Service Inc

Home Horizon had a very productive 1st year. Home Horizon has 3 units operational as of April 2007, and has had families in the units utilizing the services. Home Horizon is also maintaining a waitlist of families in need of the service. At the time of writing, Home Horizon has provided housing services to 10 families with 15 children; has provided referral/counselling services to 48 families with 54 children on an outreach basis and has approval for a fourth unit in the 2008 year. That is a total of 58 families and 69 children. It has been a productive and fulfilling year thanks to the funding provided by United Way.

St. John Ambulance-Barrie Simcoe Muskoka Branch St. John Ambulance is a proud member agency of the United Way of South Georgian Bay. We have an active Quad Division (3 Youth levels and 1 Adult = Quad) in Collingwood, with 12 active members. St. John Ambulance has been able to provide First Aid coverage through our Medical First Responder members for 22 events over the summer months for a total of over 300 volunteer hours. One of our youth members, Jennifer Howell, completed her 12th and final Proficiency and received her Grand Priors award in Toronto in June. Few members are able to obtain this level of accomplishment, and we are very proud of her. Our new Orientation program has been working well and we have started our fall recruitment drive. There were 3 potential new members that have attended the last 2 Orientation sessions and we are hopeful that between the recruitment drive and the Orientation process we can breathe some new life into this struggling division.

Literacy Definition "The ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities at home, at work and in the community - to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential." (Literacy Skills for the Knowledge Society: Further Results from the International Adult Literacy Survey, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Human Resources Development Canada and the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada, 1997)

Some people in Ontario need help with literacy, math and other skills to reach their work or other life goals. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program helps people whose literacy skills fall below the Grade 9 level. Georgian Literacy provides basic reading, writing, numeracy and introductory computer skills for entry-level positions in the workplace which require fundamental skills, such as general maintenance, cleaning services and general labour positions. Our program is focused primarily upon unemployed adults with special emphasis on those who are on social assistance. The program is, however, also open to employed

Ontarians who need to improve their literacy skills in order to maintain or upgrade their work skills. No fees are charged to clients and learners for LBS services. Our Services  daily, small group at the Collingwood Learning Centre  1:1 program in Collingwood  Small-group with low-level learners in Collingwood  Small-group program in Wasaga Beach at the Public Library on Tuesdays funded by the United Way of South Georgian Bay  English as a Second Language (ESL) services Adults in need of basic skills upgrading must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an LBS program:  be at least 19 years of age (we may make exceptions for 16-19 year old students who have the maturity to benefit from adult education)  be out of school  be without the literacy skills needed to meet everyday needs (Four out of 10 adult Canadians, age 16 to 65 - representing 9 million Canadians - struggle with low literacy. (Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey, Statistics Canada and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2005)  have English or French as their first language (* we do offer English as a Second Language services for adults who are not able to attend full-time ESL programming in Barrie) Delivery services include information and referral, assessment, training plan development, training, and follow-up. Volunteers play an important role in service delivery. Georgian Literacy attracts students from the geographic region that encompasses Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Clearview (Stayner, Creemore) and the Town of the Blue Mountains.

 The High School Assistance Dog Program was introduced at Jean Vanier Catholic High School, beginning in February 2007. Students entering this program are deemed to be at risk of not graduating from high school. This program consists of two components:

o “Young Minds” Early Puppy Training Program - youth are matched with C.O.P.E. puppies 2-9 months of age and are taught how to care for and train them on 90 service dog commands that involve such tasks as: turning on lights, opening and closing doors, retrieving out of reach items etc. The youth and puppies work together, both in the high school setting and on “public access” field trips in the community. L.E.A.D - Leader Education Assistance Dog Program – youth are matched with C.O.P.E. dogs over 9 months of age and learn how to become therapy teams while continuing to reinforce and practice the service dog commands. The youth/dog teams also help elementary school children with reading and math skills (Reading Buddies, Math Partners) and provide therapeutic interactions with those in healing at hospitals and in retirement/nursing homes.


 As a direct result of the curriculum of the program, these students: o Are given an opportunity to attain skills and attributes useful in everyday situations, involving dogs and people alike o Develop and practice patience, self-discipline and vocational skills o Demonstrate improved school attendance, grades and behaviour o Have increased skills in communication, employability and parenting o Show an improved sense of responsibility, empathy, self-esteem and disability awareness  L.E.A.D program commenced at Jean Vanier Catholic High School in February 2007, with 7 students enrolled in the program  Early Minds Puppy Training introduced to Jean Vanier Catholic High School in September 2007, with 9 students currently enrolled.  In Simcoe County, 40 students are currently enrolled in the High School Dog Assistance Program.  98% of youth who have completed this program, have either graduated or are still in school.  4 C.O.P.E. service dogs were placed their partners/families living with disabilities.  Events, Display booths and activities in 35 locations  Regular media coverage in newspapers, radio and television  Fully prepared and have full funding in place to start the L.E.A.D - Leader Education Assistance Dog program at Jean Vanier Catholic High School at the beginning of 2nd semester (Feb.).  To raise, train and deliver each service dog to their career life partners costs over $22,000  During their training period, each dog touches and enriches the lives of over 40 people Jane Boake Founder/Executive Director

YMCA Collingwood & Wasaga Beach
The YMCA is a place that is open to all and no one is refused membership at the YMCA due to their financial circumstances. Through the YMCA Membership Assistance Program, we provide financial assistance to families and individuals whose financial circumstances make them unable to pay for their membership. Program participants contribute what they can. Our objective is to provide Assisted Memberships to those in our community, to increase physical activity, and provide opportunities for children and youth to live healthier lives. In the past year we have seen the need for Membership assistance go up by 28%. The largest increase in demand for the program since it started. Currently we serve 500 individuals in our community through this program. This past year we lowered our monthly membership fees to encourage family participation and make it more affordable for members to participate in programs as families. Currently the Collingwood YMCA provides Membership Assistance to 1 in 4 children/youth. 49% or 230 of those served by the Membership Assistance Program are children and youth. The families that receive help with their membership fees remain grateful for the opportunity to be able to have their children in a safe and fun environment. It gives them the opportunity to be in a supervised environment after school. Our values driven programs are free to all members; and children and youth can participate in an unlimited amount of programs through the year with membership. ONE out of every 5 members at the YMCA participates in the Assisted Membership Program. Our commitment to this community is stronger than ever. Our sincere thanks to the United Way of South Georgian Bay, for their commitment to our community.

Mailing Address: 200 Hume St. P.O. Box 592 Collingwood, on L9Y 4E8

Located in The YMCA of Collingwood 200 Hume Street Phone: 444-8578 Fax: 444-8503

Community Action Program For Children – Young Parent Room
The Young Parent Room Program is just completeing another successful year due to the continued support of the United Way of Southern Georgian Bay. So far this year we have have had an average of 15.2 parents and 19.7 children visit us per month. Our Lunch and Learn program continues to be popular with our particpants. On Wednesday‟s we come together to prepare a nutritious lunch following all aspects of the Canada‟s Food Guide. We eat family style with parents, children and community

partners before we do a workshop. This year, some of the workshops we have done with our community partners are as follows:       Stop Smoking, SMDHU Budgeting, TRACKS Healthy Relationships, My Friends House Lets Grow Screening, Infant Development Sexual Health/Birth Control, SMDHU Rhyme Time, OEYC

Supper club continues to be well attended and we are now planning for holiday celebrations. The staff and young families of the Young Parent Room thank you for your support. Karen MacKay Young, Coordinator CAPC/CPNP, Collingwood

Community Connection
Community Connection‟s mission is to help people find the community, social, health and government services they need, and support the work of human services professionals in meeting the needs of the people they serve. In 2007 the agency re-established its mission and redefined agency services through four distinct programs. By the end of 2007, the Community Resource Centre of South Georgian Bay was home to 23 organizations and/or programs, sharing occupancy overhead costs such as reception services, high speed internet, telephone equipment, common meeting rooms and kitchen facilities. During the year, almost 10,000 people visited the centre either through agency visits or community meetings. The 211 call centre continued to be busy, receiving an average of 50s calls each and every day from people living in Collingwood, Clearview Township and Wasaga Beach. During 2007, Community Connection continued to play a significant role in the development of system side of 211 at the provincial and national levels. Data and technology services continued to be busy in 2007, with the agency maintaining databases to support 211 as well as a variety of service providers including local municipalities, regional health organizations and several provincial websites. Local online directories at CommunityConnection.net and 211SimcoeCounty.ca provided a self help information venue. Funding from United Way of South Georgian Bay supports all of our programs. Respectfully submitted, Pamela Hillier

The Georgian Good Food Box
Early in 2003 the Collingwood Jubilee Committee conducted a social audit on the South Georgian Bay area. It was really noticeable that many families struggled with putting food on their tables. With the cost of hydro and other basic utilities on the rise, the number of Salvation Army food Bank clients had risen from 3416 in 1997 to 9484 in 2002. With social funding being cut, the committee knew they had to do something because the food banks are not enough. The idea of the Georgian Good Food Box was brought to the table late in 2003 and all members thought it was a great idea. The Jubilee Committee visited other Good Food Box locations and made plans for our very own. Things took off with a bang, and the Georgian Good Food Box Committee was formed. The research paid off: we're providing people in the surrounding communities with not only a basic need, but a healthy nutritious one. Today we are packing in the communities of Collingwood and Stayner, and we serve Collingwood, Stayner, Wasaga Beach, Creemore, and New Lowell. Many schools and churches participate in providing an ordering place for parents and members. Our program is open for everyone! We're packing around 500 boxes a month with our volunteers. During the months leading up to the 2006 Christmas Season the Georgian Good Food Box collected donations, and from that money we were able to purchase 118 Good Food Boxes, which were in turn donated to 3 of the local Food Banks in Collingwood, Stayner, and Wasaga Beach, and other local agencies. The Georgian Good Food Box did not experience the same growth spurt in 2007 as was experienced in 2006, however there was a new component added to the box during the summer season. Every month during the summer, we offered free advertising to all farmers that belonged to the Simcoe County Farm Fresh Association, which turned out to be a large success. There have been many customers that have asked why we don‟t support local farmers during the summer months, and this avenue of advertising was chosen in order to meet that demand. One of our Board members (Wilma Davies) teamed up with a local Church (Church of the Nazerene) to produce a Community Kitchen Program to which the Georgian Good Food Box has donated 2 large boxes each month since its June inception. The Community Kitchen program (the first of its type in the South Georgian Bay region) has been a huge success, and Wilma has shown the participants what they can do with all of the contents of the Good Food Box. Although we are experiencing financial difficulties at this moment in time, there is a large demand for the Georgian Good Food Box program, and we continue to be the largest Good Food box program in Simcoe County. Ivan Collins, Program Co-ordinator

Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank We have had a very successful year in 2007 with many monatary and food donations from individuals, businesses, groups, churches as well as a donation from the United Way. We are operating with approximately 70 dedicated volunteers who pour their heart and soul into serving the clients who come to us for help. We are serving over 700 clients on a regular basis made up of approx. 210 adult females, 210 adult males and 280 children. There are 183 families (two or more people sharing accomodations) of which 68 are single mothers, 10 are single fathers and 1 single grandmother. Of these families, 139 have children under 18 years of age. As well, there are aprox. 100 single males and 42 single females. We are open Tues. & Thurs. from 10am - 1:30 pm and also Thurs. eve. from 7pm-8:30 pm. On average, we give out approx. 150 food hampers per month. Clients must register and provide proof of residence, income and expense as well as information about their family. Clients are allowed to come once per month for a hamper, however, they may come in each time we are open for bread & dented cans if available, as well as to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with some goodies and conversation. A regular food hamper will consist of enough food to feed each family member three meals per day for 3 days per month as set by the Ontario Food Bank Association. We were provided a grant from the United Way for $2000 which we are using to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables. We try to have fresh bananas, apples, potatoes, carrots and other items when available at very good sale prices. We appreciate the support we have had from the United Way. Sincerely, Sue Connell, Volunteer WASAGA BEACH MINISTERIAL FOOD BANK STATS – DECEMBER 31 2007 Boxes of Food for Families or Singles given out in 2007: MONTH BOXES FAMILIES SINGLES ADULTS 2007 January 131 73 58 176 February 139 73 66 182 March 147 85 62 196 April 154 86 68 208 May 150 86 64 207 June 138 84 54 192 July 134 71 63 179 August 133 74 59 191 September 123 71 52 176 October 143 70 73 196 November 170 96 74 243 December 149 91 58 216

CHILDREN 103 108 142 115 123 120 98 107 110 107 142 134

TOTAL PEOPLE 279 290 338 323 331 312 277 298 286 303 385 350