Opportunities Waterloo Region

Mobilizing solutions to poverty

[p]Over ONE MILLION more dollars returned to our regional community in 2012! [/p][/b] [t][b]INCREASING ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION: The Canada Learning Bond[/t][/b]
[p]More than 24,000 children in Waterloo Region are eligible to receive up to $2,000 in free money for post-secondary education. Only 5,000 children are receiving it. [b]We want EVERY eligible child to benefit![/b] [/p]
[s]Having education savings changes the question in a student’s mind from: “Should I go?” to “What should I study?”[/s] [t][b]COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS SERIES CELEBRATING 10 YEARS! [/t]
[p] -	Mobilizes solutions to poverty          - Educates and informs[/p]
[p]-	Community engagement                  - Networking opportunities[/p][/b]
[p][i]“The best investment of an hour plus that I have made in a long time” ; “…it has always been a great learning experience.”[/i] [/p] [t][b]INCREASING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, FRESH FOOD [/t]
[p] Sprouting Seeds with Seniors: The Good Neighbour Garden 
[i]–Increasing food security, physical activity and social well-being [/i] [/p][/b]

[s] [i]“I wanted a community garden for a long time.  I just didn’t think it would be possible!”[/i] [/s]
[s] [i]“The Good Neighbour Garden has brought out many qualities within the local community.  Not only has it brought neighbours together, it has also given people a chance to fulfill an interest that they didn’t have an opportunity to satisfy in the past”[/i] [/s] [t][b]AWARENESS OF LOW-INCOME VOICES (ALIV(e)[/t] [/b][s]
[p]Opportunities Waterloo Region believes that people who experience the effects of poverty should have opportunities to empower themselves and have a say in decisions that impact their lives.[/p]
[p]ALIV(e) is a collaborative group of individuals dedicated to bringing an active and positive voice to low-income individuals and families struggling with poverty in Waterloo Region.[/p] [t]COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP SPROUT ACCESSIBLE COMMUNITY GARDENS![/t]
[p]The Diggables Community Collaborative – a partnership between the Healthy Eating and Active Communities Team at Public Health, the Waterloo Region Community Garden Council and Opportunities Waterloo Region - have been successfully increasing access to affordable, fresh food through community gardens since 2008![/p]

Opportunities Waterloo Region initiates and develops community-owned solutions for people in poverty, providing them with opportunities to prosper and reach their fullest potential.

Facts About Poverty in Waterloo Region

Almost one third of the employed population are earning less than a living wage ($14.00 per hour an under) 3,015 people are on the community housing waiting list and wait up to 6 years Just less than 50% of the population earns below $25,000 per year 15,210 adults and children received Ontario Works (social assistance) 2,797 people used an emergency shelter In one month (March, 2010): 6,148 households representing 14,575 people received emergency food assistance and 42,497 meals were served.

Approximately 50,000 people live in the deepest poverty. Fortunately, Waterloo Region has abundant resources to actually overcome poverty! What we need is a consolidated effort — a community action plan resulting in sustainable prosperity for all. We’re already known as leaders. By working together (business, government, social profits, and people), we can significantly prevent, reduce — maybe become Canada’s FIRST community without poverty!