United Way Announces New Reaching Home Investments totalling $264,907

United Way Peterborough & District CEO Jim Russell announced the most recent funding recipients supported by Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. As the Community Entity, United Way Peterborough & District manages funding on behalf of the Government of Canada to support local homelessness initiatives.

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. This program provides funding to urban, Indigenous, rural and remote communities to help them address their local homelessness needs.

A total investment of $264,907 was distributed to 3 community partners. This funding has been provided in addition to the ongoing Reaching Home partnerships that the United Way holds with local agencies such as the John Howard Society of Peterborough, Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough, Canadian Mental Health Association of Haliburton, Kawartha, and Pine Ridge, Fourcast and YES Shelter for Youth and Families.

The Community Advisory Board, a group of community members with knowledge of our local homelessness system, reviewed a number of strong applications received in response to this Request for Proposals. Successful projects were selected based on their alignment with local priorities, as well as potential for both short- and long-term impacts. A portion of the investment also includes the Community Capacity and Innovation funding stream, which is intended to support innovative approaches to reducing and preventing homelessness through the use of data, collaboration, and research.

“We are working to reduce homelessness and housing insecurity by making targeted investments in local initiatives. Through the United Way, One City Peterborough, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre and Peterborough Drug Strategy are addressing systemic issues in Peterborough and helping to ensure people in the community have a safe and secure place to call home,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

“With the help of the Community Advisory Board, we are proud to award Reaching Home funding to three different innovative responses to our community’s biggest priorities:

• Ensuring that people experiencing homelessness have a warm place to stay overnight during the winter
• Reducing the overrepresentation of Indigenous People within our local population experiencing homelessness through culturally appropriate supports
• Collaboration between agencies within the homelessness-serving sector, other sectors, all levels of government, and most importantly including people with lived and living experience of homelessness when developing solutions

Although this funding period only runs until March 31st, 2024, these projects will each create deep, long-lasting impacts in our community,” said Jim Russell, CEO of United Way Peterborough and District.
“Each time we have Reaching Home funding available, we begin the process by asking the community to identify priority areas for investment. The three funding recipients complement one another as well as the existing community programs to ensure that we minimize gaps in service delivery,” added Russell.

Taking place between September 2023 and March 31st, 2024, the three funding recipients are:

One City Peterborough, for their project titled Trinity Centre. $200,000 in Reaching Home funding will support renovations of the former Trinity United Church in order to update the facilities for use as a service location. Renovations include updating walls and doors for fire code, installing air conditioning, updating washrooms, and upgrading the kitchen to commercial grade.  These building upgrades are necessary to support the increased traffic that Trinity will face as it is converted to a service location for local homelessness and social programs. After running a drop-in program at Trinity last winter, One City Peterborough is preparing to offer further programming out of the former church starting later this year. The impacts of this Reaching Home investment will last long beyond the funding period as community agencies are able to come together and offer collaborative programming in a centralized and accessible location.

Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, for their project titled Reaching Home Support Program. $51,957 in Reaching Home funding will increase Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre’s capacity to provide housing support to Indigenous People who are currently or at risk of experiencing homelessness. With a focus on cultural connections and supports, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre will hire a Housing Coordinator to help unhoused individuals secure housing. In addition, this project will help prevent Indigenous People from losing their housing by supporting individuals through landlord communication and advocacy, providing emergency support such as food and clothing, and supporting individuals in areas of financial literacy.

Peterborough Drug Strategy, for their project titled Community Symposium on Housing and Homelessness. $12,950 has been awarded through the Community Capacity and Innovation stream of Reaching Home to support this event. By bringing together people with lived and living experience of homelessness, people who work in the homelessness serving sector, and decision makers, this event will provide the opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration, networking, and resource sharing. Through presentations and workshops, participants will work together to determine what gaps currently exist within the community’s homelessness response. In addition, the participants will identify priority action items and opportunities for further collaboration in order to collectively address systemic issues related to homelessness in Peterborough.

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