At the very core of our mission is a strong commitment to supporting a network of frontline agencies that works to make a real difference in people’s lives every day. United Way helps people to be healthier — and communities to be stronger — by supporting the social services they rely on.
United Way builds Toronto’s ability to respond to current and emerging challenges by supporting the social fabric of our city — the network of agencies and programs people turn to when they need help. Ultimately our goal is to ensure wherever people live in Toronto, whenever they need support, a United Way agency or service is there to provide the opportunities they need to build a better life.
The last four years have been difficult for our city. Despite our best hopes the recession that first hit in 2008 continues to undermine Toronto’s prosperity. Too many people are struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment remains high and there has been a steady increase in precarious employment, as part-time and contract work replace full-time jobs. This growing economic vulnerability comes at a time of record personal debt and rising bankruptcies. For those who are hurt by a weak economy a full recovery is still a long way away.
Our city also faces challenges beyond economic vulnerability. There is need for a variety of programs and services that enable people to build better lives. Seniors, newcomers, people with disabilities, women fleeing abuse and countless others are in need of a strong social safety net that fosters greater resiliency at a community level.
United Way works to strengthen our community by investing in a city-wide network of health and social service agencies that provides vital programs and services. The foundation of this investment is core funding — our multi-year financial commitment to member agencies for both programming and operations. Core funding offers frontline agencies the stability and flexibility they need to respond to emerging community needs. Community grants, supporting a wide variety of programs, are another investment tool United Way uses to support social services.
United Way also invests in frontline agencies by working to improve their capacity to serve our community. Initiatives like governance training and leadership development play an important role in strengthening the sector. United Way connects community agencies with support from leaders in the business and non-profit sectors—because we believe strong and adaptable agencies are a vital part of healthy, resilient communities.
Photo at top: Participants of the Immigrant Women Integration Program at Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development take part in a one-year training course focused on leadership and community engagement.