• Michelle Kungl’s incredible journey

    … her experience highlights the problem most people on social assistance face when they try to work or receive income from other sources. More than 900,000 Ontarians rely on social assistance, including more than 490,000 on ODSP. Barely 10 per cent of individuals receiving ODSP have employment income… the government has already increased the amount individuals and families can deduct from their earnings for disability-work related expenses from $300 to $1,000 a month.

  • On accessibility, Ontario needs less secrecy, more action

    They want to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to jobs, education, public services, restaurants and stores as anyone else in this province. They want buildings and bureaucracies alike to be designed with the challenges of living with a disability in mind. This is what the AODA promises to accomplish… If the government is sincere in that commitment, it should stop fighting… advocates and start working alongside them to ensure that this good law is being enforced

  • A perfect storm: homelessness, mental health, criminal law and no shelter beds

    We are told that the cost of rent is a function of the market. There is widespread public support for benefits for people who cannot work because of disabilities. At a minimum this should include enough money to pay rent and buy food. Instead, my clients are being warehoused in jails while their friends sleep and die on Toronto’s streets.

  • Despite ‘deplorable’ conditions, police and health officials are ignoring residences that offer services to vulnerable residents

    The investigation confirmed hospital and community groups were making referrals to unlicensed homes because no other “proper housing” was available. “The alternative for these individuals is living in a shelter or on the street” … adding that the problem stems from the housing shortage in Greater Toronto.

  • Resistance to Innovation in the Social Sector, from 1992 to 2017

    … the sector is not so much facing crisis as it is emerging from hiding. Taking risks, innovating, and affecting systems change, are as elusive as ever… It is thus understandably difficult and rare to sustain a long-term campaign of change amidst shifting sands, political priorities, and turnover… The commitment to scaling and sustaining innovative programs requires boldness, vision, and a willingness to take risks based on short pilots.

  • It’s time to fix solitary confinement. Here’s how

    … here is the minimum that pan-Canadian standards must accomplish in order to be meaningful… “Solitary confinement,” or “segregation,” … is an amorphous concept in Canada… With a consistent definition and proper training, prison staff will be able to better track how long inmates are being kept in solitary… Stop putting mentally ill people in solitary… Require independent oversight… Legislation, not guidelines

  • Four Principles that Can End Chronic Homelessness

    … success rested on four critical interventions: permanent supportive housing; rapid rehousing; a Housing First approach; and not criminalizing people experiencing homelessness… 70 communities, including Bergen, invested in a “problem-solving toolkit” designed to offer flexible solutions that respond to evolving challenges… The toolkit offers solutions based on four categories: data analytics; human-centred design; quality improvement; and facilitation.

  • To solve Canada’s social housing problem, we should look to Britain’s privatization schemes

    … the needy would be able to rent newly-built, city-owned houses at subsidized rates for a fixed period of 10 to 15 years. The houses would then be offered for sale at a discount, with the tenants having first dibs at becoming owners of their own homes — something that is beyond reach for most renters… tenants will be likely to set aside the money they’ll need for the ultimate down payment 10 or 15 years hence, invest in their property’s upkeep, and develop a commitment to the safety of the neighbourhoods

  • Forces of Change: Reshaping How Non-Profit Organizations are Governed, Managed, and Resourced

    There is a growing awareness that “underinvestment in administration is unproductive” (Mowat NFP, 2015) and that “belt tightening has its limits and at some point starts to damage vital organs” (Broadhead, 2010)… Board roles and responsibilities have expanded and become more sophisticated… Governance decisions will increasingly be made outside the single organization board… Increasing expectations for more variety and greater input is fundamentally changing the relationships with stakeholders.

  • Don’t let social housing crumble

    … allowing the corporation’s units to keep deteriorating and be shut down would lead to higher health-care spending, rising crime and a host of other social costs… investing in repairs would create thousands of jobs, spur private investment, and generate billions of extra dollars in federal and provincial taxes. For both social and economic reasons, the provincial and federal governments must commit money for much-needed repairs before this crisis deepens.