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From poverty to possibility

Feb13

Why is #LongestNightPeel so Important in our Community?

Written by // Anita Stellinga Categories // Strong Communities, Impact, From poverty to possibility

Why is #LongestNightPeel so Important in our Community?

Not a week goes by that I don’t hear about someone who has become homeless and their life has been turned upside down. The reasons are many – family breakdown, job loss, trauma, mental health, addictions, poverty, displacement and isolation. In Peel Region, homelessness and poverty, for the most part, are invisible. United Way wanted to dig deeper to understand who is impacted by poverty so that we can drive solutions and supports. We learned and saw that people were living in their cars because they couldn’t afford housing. Many individuals were the working poor, precariously employed, working hard to make ends meet, but no matter how hard they worked, they couldn’t afford their housing costs.

Oct17

It’s the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty!

Written by // Jennifer Turner Categories // From poverty to possibility

It’s the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty!

October 17th is an important day that is recognized worldwide. It’s Eminem’s birthday. It’s also the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Eminem is taking the day off today, (presumably to eat his mom’s spaghetti) but I’m sure if he was around he would have asked me to write this blog post about the intersection of poverty reduction and policy solutions.

Feb16

Meet Chuck

Categories // From poverty to possibility

#LongestNightPeel

Meet Chuck

Meet Chuck.

I'm already uncomfortable just thinking about spending the night in my car. On Friday night when I sleep in my truck I'll be relatively comfortable - compared to other people in our community. This point became incredibly clear to me a couple weeks ago.
 
I was walking home very late and noticed a car parked on our road. It was an older Toyota, and as I approached I noticed it was full of clothes and other personal effects. They filled the backseat past the bottom of the windows. As I walked by I noticed I couldn't see the passenger seat headrest. Seeing movement in the vehicle, I realized someone was in the car, on the passenger seat, underneath all those belongings, and trying to get a good night sleep. On my street. Just doors away from my house. A clear reminder of just how close to home poverty can be.
 
I’ve been a supporter of United Way for a long time. This was just another reminder of the important role the organization plays in our community.

 

Feb13

Meet Gary

Categories // From poverty to possibility

#LongestNightPeel

Meet Gary

Meet Gary.

I’ve supported United Way for many years. However, I avoided signing up for the #LongestNightPeel fundraiser last year because I’ve have pneumonia twice. After a family vacation where I met many people that are homeless I realized this was just an excuse. People in crisis don’t have a choice – regardless of their health history. I am fortunate to have a warm home. That is when I decided to commit to #LongestNightPeel.
 
I expect that I will be cold and lonely on February 17. I have always said I can fall asleep quickly anywhere, but I doubt I’ll get much sleep.  
 
I have several friends who have used United Way funded programs. I am glad those services were there for them when they needed help – even when I didn’t know they needed it. I am glad that United Way of Peel Region is the charity of choice for my employer, The City of Mississauga.
 
United Way provides a safety net to the people in my community. I want to continue to help it expand. Donating to United Way is efficient for me – they know where to invest to make the biggest impact. I hope that by working together our community will be able to win the fight against poverty.

 

Feb10

Meet Jeff

Categories // From poverty to possibility

#LongestNightPeel

Meet Jeff

Meet Jeff.

I was looking for a way to get involved in my community and a colleague connected me with United Way of Peel Region. When I talked to a member of the staff, I realized this was the perfect way for me to get involved. I love that United Way of Peel Region is building a collaboration model amongst various agencies that help people because that is very similar to the way we do business at RBC.

Giving back is one of my core values. I am proud to work at RBC, a company that is committed to making a real difference in the lives of Canadians. Behind financial support, I also volunteer both as a member of the United Way Campaign Cabinet and as a coach for my daughters softball team.

I decided to participate in #LongestNightPeel to gain a better understanding of what homelessness looks like in Brampton. My two daughters, aged 9 and 8, are very community minded. I want to foster that interest. They’re very excited to join me on February 17. Even if they aren’t able to spend the entire night in our car, it will give them a better understanding of the challenges facing other children their age and why it is so important to give back.

If we can make people aware of the opportunities and challenges in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga I believe we can make Peel a better community for everyone. I truly believe people want to help, but everyone gets so busy. Opportunities like #LongestNightPeel are a great way to slow down and realize how lucky we are and how great it feels to help people get back on their feet.

 

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Would you like to be a contributor to this blog? Reach out to tford@unitedwaypeel.org for more information.