United Way Supports Grassroots Community Projects Through Its Neighbourhood Fund

United Way of Peterborough & District announced the recipients of the organization’s Neighbourhood Fund launched in February 2018. A total of $25,000 will be shared between twelve (12) citizen lead, grassroots projects. United Way also announced that it will be supporting the Precarious Employment Research Initiative with $2500. To date United Way Peterborough has released $100,000 in new funding into the community.

“From projects directed to creatively addressing issues related to poverty to encouraging neighbours to build relationships to supporting an indigenous sweat lodge to a magazine that gives voice to marginalized – United Way wanted this funding to bring together citizens to address concerns that were important to them” Said Jim Russell CEO.

“It’s the grassroots, hyper local nature of these projects that got our board, volunteers and staff excited said Robbie Brooks Vice-Chair of United Way’s Community Impact Committee. It’s our privilege to support citizens to take leadership in bringing change and connection to their community.”

United Way Peterborough’s funding model is based on extensive engagement and consultation with the community. The Innovation funding stream was developed based on advice from close to 2000 donors, partner agency representatives, volunteers and community leaders.

Full list of funded projects:

Sacred Fire ($2,500)
A small grassroots group of Indigenous community members working together to maintain a sacred space created within the City of Peterborough. It is the hope of this project to bring isolated people together to remember who we are as Anishinaabe people. To help individuals and families connect with each other in meaningful ways.

DBIA/Warming Room  ($2,500)
The DBIA/Warming Room initiative is one that can be found in other Canadian and American cities. The program will see marginalized individuals of all ages, including youth, will be recruited and hired to clean and maintain sidewalks of their downtown in order to tackle certain perceptions. This will provide various opportunities of employment, life skills, motivation, a sense of community belonging for marginalized individuals. More details will be announced shortly.

Neighbours Fighting Poverty ($3,000)
The purpose of the Awesome Bridging Team is to pursue the continued learnings from our cross-cultural interactions among middle and low-income participants. Trust will continue to be slowly grown, class and cultural divides bridged, towards a neighbor to neighbor long-lasting relationship. The Awesome Internship Program pilot will provide training and a hands-on learning opportunity for people living in poverty to grow their skills as co-facilitators.   The Interns gain leadership, program-planning, public speaking, and facilitation skills in the following opportunities.

McDonnell Street Neighbours ($1,500)
A group of neighbours working together to create opportunities to grow a sense of neighbour spirit, establish a neighbourhood association and run several activities designed to consult with our neighbours on ways to better our collective lives while addressing some of the challenges we all face.

Wild Eats ($5,000)
Leta Brownscombe Co-operative Homes is an eighty-unit non-profit housing provider located in the north end of the City. Home to over 200 people of all ages representing many different ethnic groups. Their community garden will serve Co-op Members interested in growing healthy food for their families. The youth, through the Co-op’s Kids’ Committee, will be designated a large and a medium planter box (sizes A and B) which will be used for educational purposes such as workshops on sowing, fertilizing and harvesting methods.

The River Magazine ( $2,500)
The River Magazine is a community-based arts publication that provides a platform for creative expression for those living in poverty or on a low income in the City of Peterborough.

Carol’s Place ($1,500)
Carol’s Place is a newly formed non profit (Dec. 22nd, 2017) which is working towards building a 24/7 community hub for those that are marginalized, living in poverty and/or isolation.  This was a dream of the late Carol Winter who wanted a warm place for everyone to go at any time and who fought everyday to bring awareness for those who could not speak for themselves.

Men Supporting Men ($2,000)
A peer lead volunteer group geared strictly towards men who may be struggling in theirpersonal lives for any number of reasons. We meet weekly at space provided by the John Howard Society and we offer a non-judgemental, safe place to discuss anything including; legal problems, financial concerns, drug and alcohol abuse, parenting, marital issues or any other concerns we may have. We bring in guest speakers to address the group such as lawyers (criminal or family}, financial planners, addiction counsellors and financial aid workers who answer questions our attendees may have.

Youth Advisory Committee (PYS) ($1,000)
This funding would go towards organizing a day that showcases the artistic talents that Peterborough youth have to offer. This art festival, which we are naming “Voice: Youth Art Expo” would be an afternoon that allows youth in Peterborough to display their work, anything from singing, to poems, to short films or writing, which gives them their own unique voice within the community.

Summer Street Festival ($2,000)
The intention of the Summer Street Festival is to enhance the NeighbourPLAN Program in the neighbourhood of Jackson Park Brookdale (in Northcrest Ward). The festival will enhance the NeighbourPLAN Program led by GreenUP by supporting the broad goals of connecting residents to their neighbours and their community that will in turn create a more livable, active and inclusive neighbourhood. The Summer Street Festival will introduce educational elements and social activities at the event that meaningfully enable interaction and community building for a wide demographic, from children and youth, to parents and elders.

Creating Space ($1,500)
Creating Space is a community arts studio which fosters diverse connections, resilience, and social change in Nogojiiwanong-Peterborough by making art of all kinds, telling stories, and learning together among people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life. We uplift the diverse identities in Nogojiiwanong-Peterborough and highlight local resilience, strengths, interconnectedness, and potential for bridge-building between community members.

Peterborough Precarious Employment Research Initiatives  ($2500)
The Precarious Employment Research Initiative (PERI) is focused on understanding the employment and working conditions that working people face in our community.  The results of this research will be of interest to many, including workers, people seeking work, service providers assisting people looking for and keeping work, the business community, the education sector, health and social service providers, researchers and the media.


 For more information, please contact;

Lisa Smith, Director Philanthropic Impact

United Way Peterborough & District

T: 705-742-8839 ext 29

E: lsmith@uwpeterborough.ca


 About United Way Peterborough & District: United Way Peterborough & District inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and stimulate policy and attitude changes that lead to the improvement of people’s quality of life in the City and County of Peterborough. United Way’s community investment focus is on helping individuals and families move from poverty to possibility and to build strong, healthy communities. For more information on United Way’s work in the community, please visit uwpeterborough.ca.


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