Your investment is helping to lift people from poverty – and this helps break cycles that keep generations of families from being successful. When everyone has the opportunity to succeed, our entire community reaps the benefits. Here is just a sample of some of the results we've seen in our region.
- The City of Edmonton’s Homeless Commission is championing Edmonton’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. In the first three years of the plan, homes were found for more than 1,750 people, with 85% of the residents having retained their housing.
- There has been a reduction in the number of people experiencing homelessness. The homeless count is now 2,421 – 658 fewer than in 2008, or a reduction of 21%.
- Through Homeless Connect, Edmonton’s twice-per-year service drive, 3,000 people experiencing homelessness, and those at risk of homelessness, received free dental care, haircuts, hot meals and medical care. They also received a “Personal Care Kit” with donated items such as deodorant, shampoo, first aid items and soap.
- Every month of the past year, approximately 15,000 nutritional hampers were provided to people through the Edmonton Food Bank or one if its affiliates.
- Because of United Way’s 2011 Coats for Kids and Families program – supported by partner Page The Cleaner – nearly 11,000 coats were collected, cleaned and distributed to local people in need.
Apprehension was in the voices of a senior couple that were in need of food bank support. At their appointment, the husband stressed that it was extremely difficult to do, but that financial setbacks left no other option. Counselling was provided, along with a hamper of food.
Shortly after the interview, the food bank received a phone call from the gentleman.
Overcome with emotion and hard to find the words, he said: “We arrived home and unpacked the food you gave us. I want you to know, this is the most food we have had in our home for months. We’ve been living on very little. Thank you for what you did for us today.”
Many people live with challenges like this every day. Supporting United Way not only helps provide basic necessities, but also helps people access financial literacy programs and skills training, turning poverty into possibility.
- Research shows that children with proper nutrition have better academic outcomes and improved behaviour. During the 2010-2011 school year, E4C served nutritious lunches to approximately 2,000 children every day in Public and Catholic schools, positively influencing student behaviours, attendance and concentration.
- The Boys and Girls Club of Fort Saskatchewan’s Youth Development Program provides 600 youth with a safe, supervised place to go after school. Through the program, youth learn valuable life skills and gain skills and experience that will aid them in being successful in life.
- For the start of the 2011 school year, United Way’s Tools for School program – supported by Staples – distributed more than 12,100 backpacks with basic supplies for students in need.
- E4C’s Kids in the Hall Bistro Program is a social enterprise and helps at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24 gain knowledge and skills for success in educational or employment settings. In 2011, 221 youth accessed outreach services and 28 entered the employment training program.
- The Centre for Family Literacy’s Books for Babies distributed approximately 600 high quality, age appropriate books to 250 families to support shared reading in the home and the development of early language and literacy skills.
I started as a Big Sister 13 years ago to an enthusiastic and cheerful six-year-old girl. I will never forget our first outing. We went to the playground close to her house and she wore a long pink satin evening gown with high heel shoes. I asked her if she should wear those shoes and a dress to play, and in a very enthusiastic voice, she assured me that she was allowed to wear this outfit on special occasions.
I was very touched that she thought our first outing was a special occasion, and it was.
We know through experience and research that kids do better with positive role models in their lives. They go further in school, develop better relationships with peers and family, and are less likely to be involved in high-risk behavior. Supporting a child is a gift that gives them the chance to be all that they can be.
- Strathcona Shelter Society provided safe, supportive accommodations for more than 650 women and children at risk of domestic violence. This helps to ensure that women and children who experience abuse are sheltered, protected and educated about domestic violence and the options available to them.
- The Canadian Paraplegic Association’s Client Services program helped 79 people who suffered spinal cord injuries to successfully transition back into the community.
- The Support Network’s 211 Information and Referral Program responded to 47,324 calls in 2011, providing 68,457 referrals to access information and support on basic needs, employment, parenting support, counselling, healthcare, legal matters, and more.
- In 2011, The Canadian Red Cross in Edmonton and Area assisted 555 individuals and families with direct aid after a disaster. Basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and personal hygiene items were provided.
- At Operation Friendship Seniors Society, The McCauley Seniors Drop In served more than 98,000 meals to nearly 500 seniors in the Inner City of Edmonton in 2011. These meals help to ensure that low-income seniors have access to nutritious meals daily.
- 11,216 English language students were helped through the Transition School for Newcomers to Canada - up from 3,709 assisted in 2004. The school is a hub of resources that provides short-term support for newcomers, immigrants and refugee youth with limited English skills and gaps in their formal education.
At 14 years old, Sam was before his third Attendance Board hearing and on the brink of expulsion from school. His peers were stealing from vehicles and had family members who were involved with gangs. Sam’s school resource officer was worried that, without intervention, his behaviour would lead to more serious criminal activity.
He was referred to Pohna, a program that started in response to a rise in gang-related activity in the Capital Region.
Pohna promotes positive development and addresses the conditions that draw young people into gangs, enabling them to avoid this lifestyle. Today, Sam has a new set of friends, who are involved in sports and recreational activities. When we work toward the well-being of our community members, we help build positive environments for safe and caring neighbourhoods.
For a look at past results, DOWNLOAD OUR 2010 RESULTS DOCUMENT.