Hot! Evidence as guide

TheGlobeandMail.com – commentary/letters   (The Awful Truth About The Helping Industries – Oct. 13).
Oct. 16 2012.    Susan McIsaac

When it comes to investing for community impact, Margaret Wente is right that evidence should be our guide (The Awful Truth About The Helping Industries – Oct. 13).

According to Statscan, more than 750,000 children were prevented from falling into poverty in 2010 thanks to child benefits and other programs targeted to low-income families. In Ontario, an innovative approach to child benefits was instrumental in taking 20,000 children out of poverty rolls, even as unemployment soared.

In Toronto, United Way has targeted investments to neighbourhoods where evidence shows there is the greatest need. The results are beginning to show. Commenting on a 19-per-cent drop in crime rates across priority neighbourhoods since 2005, Toronto Police Chief William Blair cites United Way’s investments as integral to this progress.

There are no easy answers to complex social issues. But we must continue to build on evidence about what works in achieving stronger communities.

Susan McIsaac, president, United Way Toronto

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