• The road out of poverty starts with care

    The community benefit agreement has been established to help young people, a concept endorsed by all three levels of government, Zanotti said. “This partnership … is ensuring through policy at Queen’s Park that 10 per cent of apprentices hired through Crosstown are young people from our priority neighbourhoods who are facing multiple barriers, youth who might need that first job, or need to complete their education. This will be the new model of public investments.”

  • Poverty-law lawyer Vince Calderhead’s mission to change the justice system

    Mr. Calderhead, 63, is a social justice litigator who has spent more than 30 years working on behalf of the poor as a legal-aid staffer in Nova Scotia. He is nationally renowned for his unique approach to poverty law – an approach that for years has centred on pressing courts to strike down legislation that violates the protections he sees impoverished people as entitled to under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • Unpacking the Social Innovation Strategies of Canadian Foundations

    the social innovation behaviours of foundations can offer insight into what actors that seek to do social innovation need, and what actors that seek to fund social innovation consider. We interviewed 38 staff and board members from 18 Canadian philanthropic foundations operating in all regions of Canada… to understand what foundations mean when they use the term social innovation and how, if at all, they are acting to promote it.

  • 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.