Recent Publications

4 Toolkits to Help Your Neighbourhood Strategy off the Ground

By: Deepening Communities
In this resource, you will find 4 tool kits from various neighbourhood strategies across Canada. 
Thomas Homer Dixon

The Cost Of Poverty In Toronto

2016 Report
This report was originally published on the Toronto Social Planning Council website by Alexa Briggs, Celia Lee, and John Stapleton on Novemebr 28, 2016 and is re-posted here with permission. This report estimates the price of inaction. Regardless of the strategy used to address poverty, it asks, “What does it cost us to allow poverty to persist in Toronto?” It estimates how much more we may be spending in the health care and justice systems simply because poverty exists, and how much we lose in tax revenue, simply because poverty exists. This preliminary analysis conservatively estimates that the overall cost of poverty in Toronto ranges from $4.4 to $5.5 billion per year. This estimate is largely comparable, with the exception of intergenerational costs, with estimates of the cost of poverty in Ontario at $32 to $38 billion and for Canada at $72 to $85 billion. There is no definitive measure of the full economic impact of poverty. However there is a body of work in Canada that provides estimates of the cost of poverty in the key areas of health and justice. These estimates also measure in dollars the lost economic opportunity for current and future generations who live in poverty. Until now, these estimates have been national and provincial. With this report, Toronto leads the way in estimating the cost of poverty for a Canadian city. It would be far too simple to say that a large investment in eradicating poverty would result in saving governments and taxpayers five or six billion dollars a year. Nevertheless, this exercise provides an estimate of the scale of lost opportunity – the opportunity to spend limited funds differently, with more productive results. Success metrics in poverty reduction tend to focus on social returns, to the exclusion of monetary ones. It is true that dollar impacts are challenging and sometimes unpopular to quantify. Yet when return on investment is unaccounted for in dollar values, decision -makers are left with only one side of the balance sheet to consider. Spending on poverty reduction is viewed as a “sunk” cost. Social and economic returns are both critical. City halls, provincial legislatures, and Canada’s parliament are guided by both their social purpose and their budgets. How we measure outcomes shapes budgetary allocations. While fiscal return is not the primary indicator of success in poverty reduction, it is useful to have a notion of potential gains when determining what we can afford to spend. Access the Report

Moncton Social Inclusion Plan

A Quality of Life for ALL Monctonians
It's a fact that social inclusion is an important determinant of health, and we all know that with barriers to such determinants, like experiencing social exclusion, people are more likely to experience poor health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So I begin with the question of what is social inclusion? Social inclusion is your right to be useful, respected, accepted, and equal regardless of age, ability, gender, culture, or religion. Social Inclusion means we are all equal, we all have the same rights- to take responsiblity for our lives. On the other hand, social exclusion is the process whereby certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills. In our community, many individuals suffer with difficulty in Moncton and its surrounding area because basic needs are not being met. These individuals are typically of low socioeconomic status. Because individuals of low socioeconomic status are not given the same opportunities as their peers, they are often mislabeled and socially excluded from participation within our community. Many times, however, these individuals are simply not havinf their basiv needs met. Many of these individuals may be too worried about when their next meal is or where they are going to sleep that night to even worry about what they need to look like, what their role within the community is, or how to be motivated to achieve an improved quality of life. They are surviving, not living to their full potential. The City of Moncton's Social Inclusion Plan's vision that " All citizens of Moncton enjoy a great quality of life available in the city", along with our mission " The City of Moncton will work strategically with community and government partners to improve the quality of life of its most vulnerable citizens." Reflects itself within the goals, objectives and actions presented in our plan. Our social inclusion plan articulates around five elements, similar to the hierachy of needs coined by theorist and psychologist Abraham Maslow. Each pillar of our plan corresponds to our pyramid for social inclusion. There isn't necessarily an order of importance; however, we have determined which steps are the most inclusive and sustainable to deliver long term results. As Psychologist Abraham Maslow mentions, without the bottom layer of the hierachy met, individuals cannot reach the next level. Each level, once met, allows individuals the ability and motivation to keep moving forward, contribute, and be an active citizen within their community. It's clear that with safe, quality, and affordable housing, we have better opportunities for the other pillars identified, thus, in turn; we have better opportunities for quality of life and inclusion. Another important aspect of this plan is its components of inclusion and diversity, this is essential to the health of our citizens. This involves diversity in who are represented and included at all levels and the development of cultural competence ( the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies) required to meet the needs of our citizens. As a city, capacity-building must be inclusive, allowing a wide range of people- not just traditional community leaders- to participate in finding solutions and creating new initiatives. We all have important knowledge to contribute about the realities of our own lives and experiences. In addition to this, participation is necessary to the democratic process and to a health public system. A great city will recognize each individual's strengths and help them to excel in those areas providing them with a sense of worth. Inclusive city values diversity, promotes respect, equal treatment and opportunties. The work of building an inclusive city is not easy; results will not occur overnight. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage, because this work is about transforming attitudes, behaviours, and polivies. It requires strategies that operate at multiple levels, including the individual, group, and institutional levels. We continue to look forward to our ongoing work with the community in addressing the various objectives and goals, identified in our social inclusion plan. This plan has given our city the opportunieis to implement actions that can ensure everyone has a choice in order for them to progress to higher levels of development, achievement, and innocation. But most importantly a bette quality of life, for all. I encourage you all to view our Social Inclusion Plan @ https://www.moncton.ca/Assets/Residents+English/Social+Inclusion/Social+Inclusion+Plan_ENG.pdf  
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Moncton Social Inclusion Plan

A Quality of Life for ALL Monctonians
It's a fact that social inclusion is an important determinant of health, and we all know that with barriers to such determinants, like experiencing social exclusion, people are more likely to experience poor health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So I begin with the question of what is social inclusion? Social inclusion is your right to be useful, respected, accepted, and equal regardless of age, ability, gender, culture, or religion. Social Inclusion means we are all equal, we all have the same rights- to take responsiblity for our lives. On the other hand, social exclusion is the process whereby certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills. In our community, many individuals suffer with difficulty in Moncton and its surrounding area because basic needs are not being met. These individuals are typically of low socioeconomic status. Because individuals of low socioeconomic status are not given the same opportunities as their peers, they are often mislabeled and socially excluded from participation within our community. Many times, however, these individuals are simply not havinf their basiv needs met. Many of these individuals may be too worried about when their next meal is or where they are going to sleep that night to even worry about what they need to look like, what their role within the community is, or how to be motivated to achieve an improved quality of life. They are surviving, not living to their full potential. The City of Moncton's Social Inclusion Plan's vision that " All citizens of Moncton enjoy a great quality of life available in the city", along with our mission " The City of Moncton will work strategically with community and government partners to improve the quality of life of its most vulnerable citizens." Reflects itself within the goals, objectives and actions presented in our plan. Our social inclusion plan articulates around five elements, similar to the hierachy of needs coined by theorist and psychologist Abraham Maslow. Each pillar of our plan corresponds to our pyramid for social inclusion. There isn't necessarily an order of importance; however, we have determined which steps are the most inclusive and sustainable to deliver long term results. As Psychologist Abraham Maslow mentions, without the bottom layer of the hierachy met, individuals cannot reach the next level. Each level, once met, allows individuals the ability and motivation to keep moving forward, contribute, and be an active citizen within their community. It's clear that with safe, quality, and affordable housing, we have better opportunities for the other pillars identified, thus, in turn; we have better opportunities for quality of life and inclusion. Another important aspect of this plan is its components of inclusion and diversity, this is essential to the health of our citizens. This involves diversity in who are represented and included at all levels and the development of cultural competence ( the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies) required to meet the needs of our citizens. As a city, capacity-building must be inclusive, allowing a wide range of people- not just traditional community leaders- to participate in finding solutions and creating new initiatives. We all have important knowledge to contribute about the realities of our own lives and experiences. In addition to this, participation is necessary to the democratic process and to a health public system. A great city will recognize each individual's strengths and help them to excel in those areas providing them with a sense of worth. Inclusive city values diversity, promotes respect, equal treatment and opportunties. The work of building an inclusive city is not easy; results will not occur overnight. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage, because this work is about transforming attitudes, behaviours, and polivies. It requires strategies that operate at multiple levels, including the individual, group, and institutional levels. We continue to look forward to our ongoing work with the community in addressing the various objectives and goals, identified in our social inclusion plan. This plan has given our city the opportunieis to implement actions that can ensure everyone has a choice in order for them to progress to higher levels of development, achievement, and innocation. But most importantly a bette quality of life, for all. I encourage you all to view our Social Inclusion Plan.  

Disability Supports and Employment Policy

By Sherri Torjman and Anne Makhoul
Published by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, the primary objective of this study was to explore the issue of access to disability supports and links to paid employment. The presence of a policy typically involves a commonly accepted or understood set of procedures, which are often made public on a website, in a booklet or in some other widely accessible format. Anyone involved with that system – whether as user or provider – can readily describe how the processes work. They can articulate the nature of the good or service, the eligibility criteria to qualify for those provisions, the application procedures, and the associated expectations or requirements This is not the case when it comes to work disability policy. Unfortunately, there are no such distinctly defined provisions within the diverse set of programs and measures that comprise the work disability landscape. Rather, there are several major streams into which individuals fall depending upon their relationship – in, temporarily out or none at all − with the paid labour market. The work disability policy ‘system’ (the term is used advisedly) consists of various programs and services whose purpose is to enable persons with disabilities to find a job, maintain their employment or re-enter the labour market. In short, the way in which individuals came to the world of disability and their link − or not − to the paid labour market are major factors in determining access to disability supports. The system is complicated but perhaps far more so than it needs to be. The way in which the system of disability supports is constructed and organized seriously impedes access to its provisions. The findings of this report are presented in the following sections: disability overview barriers to employment pathways to employment disability supports key problems policy strategies selected federal and Ontario programs (Appendix C) Access the full report here  

Cities Connect - August 2016

This month we we bring you resources to help you shift your poverty reduction lens to a more human rights focus: 
Experts By Experience - an in-depth guide to the Belgian experience on meaningfully including people with lived experience of poverty, in the every day work and planning at various public service offices.Reframing Poverty as a Matter of Human Rights - Maytree's Elizabeth McIsaac provides an overview of the strategies and policies for rights-based poverty reduction in Canada, beginning with the need for common language and goals.Charity is Good, Justice is Better: how Cities Reducing Poverty members in Windsor, Ontario are mobilizing youth and applying the human rights lens to their work.Dignity for All is organizing this year's ChewOnThis! campaign for October 17th. Find out how you can get involved.Tools and Resources: evaluation and assessment of human rights work, guides to the rights-based poverty reduction approach, the case for the human rights approach, and more.

Access this month's Cities Connect here
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Cities Connect - June 2016

In June's edition of Cities Connect, you'll find:Stories of success in Saint JohnInformation regarding our newest webinarFood security in Toronto, and why charity alone can't fix itProposed changes to Nunavut's income assistance programs...And more! Access Cities Connect here Not subscribed yet? You can sign-up for Cities Connect by following this link!

Still Working on the Edge

Updating Ontario's Labour Legislation
The Ontario government has launched a review of the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act, during which it will undertake “consultations on the changing nature of modern workplaces”.  Members of the Workers’ Action Centre have spent the past year, building upon previous research, identifying key problems workers are facing in the labour market and developing priorities for change. At this historic moment, WAC’s new report, Still Working on the Edge, brings workers’ voices, experiences and recommendations to this conversation, contributing knowledge that will be essential to updating Ontario’s labour legislation from the ground up. Read the Report

Youth Rights! Right Now!

Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide
A human rights approach embraces the idea that all young people have a fundamental, legal right to be free of homelessness and to have access to adequate housing. National level governments ratify international human rights treaties and report on compliance to international human rights bodies, but all levels of governments are required to comply with ratified treaties. In fact, the implementation of these commitments often happens at the ground level through policies, programs, community services and with support from local officials. Every day dedicated policymakers, educators, social workers, volunteers and young people are improving the lives of homeless youth. To help with this important work, this guide brings human rights to the forefront of decision making with an aim to assist in the identification of systemic causes of homelessness and human rights solutions. This Guide is for: National policymakers developing a national strategy to end youth homelessness Advisory Board members developing a community plan for youth homelessness Young persons at-risk of experiencing homelessness with a desire to engage in developing strategies to address it Social workers at local shelters or other places of refuge for homeless youth Members of a Band Council directing efforts to end homelessness in their community Download the Guide Developed by: Canada Without Poverty, in partnership with A Way Home Canada, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless). Funding was provided by Maytree and The Laidlaw Foundation.

Eviction Prevention

Toolkit of Promising Practices
Introduction The Eviction Prevention: Toolkit of Promising Practices has been developed by the Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg, and is meant as a guide for organizations looking to help tenants develop long-term, stable tenancies. The toolkit provides a scan of tools from organizations undertaking prevention work; and provides a report that reviews homelessness and intervention models in Canada, provides case studies of five programs, and reviews programming and best practices in eviction prevention. The full report and this toolkit provides: information for understanding the nature of evictions, an overview of the costs of eviction, an operational definition of a ‘stable tenancy’, a catalogue of the tools currently in use, with examples and resources, and; some guidance on how to select tools, and undertake eviction prevention.