Over 200 Advocacy Groups Demand Immediate Increase to Social Assistance

A coalition of 230 social services and community groups have called on the Provincial government and Premier Doug Ford to double Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates. In an open letter, the group says that current crises around poverty, homelessness and mental health can all be tied to years of under-funding in social services, and doubling the rates would be a good start to begin a redress. Continue reading “Over 200 Advocacy Groups Demand Immediate Increase to Social Assistance”

HOPE House Celebrates the End of a Successful Capital Campaign

An in-person ceremony commemorated the completion of the capital campaign to buy and renovate the old Norfolk United Church, which you may know as the headquarters for HOPE House. Part of that ceremony was the official rename of the church as the David Barr Memorial Building, a rechristening of sorts that marked both the beginning of a new era at HOPE House and the continuation of their efforts to help Guelph’s most vulnerable. Continue reading “HOPE House Celebrates the End of a Successful Capital Campaign”

GUELPH POLITICAST #298 – What About Your Friends?

There are a lot of groups and organizations in Guelph that are dedicated to helping the poor, the homeless and the disenfranchised, but there are maybe only one or two groups that are doing that work without the formal or financial backing of governments, non-profits or institutions. One of them is Your Downtown Guelph Friends, and they’re now crowdfunding for assistance, so what makes this group of young people so dedicated? Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #298 – What About Your Friends?”

GUELPH POLITICAST #239 – On COVID-19 and Local Poverty

Eliminating poverty has been made more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increased number of people who have found themselves jobless, and the difficulty in delivering services to people when physical distancing being a priority. But no matter how complicated you think your life is now because of the pandemic, it’s made the life and routine of people living in poverty in Guelph almost twice as hard. Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #239 – On COVID-19 and Local Poverty”

Downtown Friends Want More Done on Homelessness

Winter is coming. It’s a cheap joke and a reference to one of TV’s biggest hits, but to a group called Your Downtown Guelph Friends it’s a reminder that there are a lot of people who fear the winter months because they live on the street. On Saturday, the Keep Our Friends Warm Rally sought to made the idea loud and clear, that the City’s not doing enough to get people the shelter they need. Continue reading “Downtown Friends Want More Done on Homelessness”

GUELPH POLITICAST #160 – Paul Tavares, Homelessness Advocate

Homelessness is a hot issue right now. In the midst of an incredible winter cold spell, it’s probably quite timely that we should think about the people who have no choice but to live out in the elements. But one man is living out in the cold voluntarily, and he’s hoping that his example will galvanize more attention to the plight of homelessness in Ontario. Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #160 – Paul Tavares, Homelessness Advocate”

GUELPH POLITICAST #158 – John Clarke, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

Even under the best of circumstances, the Ontario Public Interest Research Group and the Government of Doug Ford would be on opposite sides of any policy debate. But a few weeks ago, it was announced that changes were coming to university funding that would put the existence of groups like OPIRG at stake. It’s almost enough to make you want to rebel… Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #158 – John Clarke, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty”

“We Hear the Urgency.” Mayor’s Task Force Wraps With Plan of Attack on Homelessness

Help is coming, and it must be a community-wide effort. These are the messages that Mayor Cam Guthrie wanted his Task Force on Homelessness and Community Safety to leave their second meeting with. Exactly when people in need will start seeing the outcome of these deliberations is still a question though. Continue reading ““We Hear the Urgency.” Mayor’s Task Force Wraps With Plan of Attack on Homelessness”

Local Poverty Advocates Concerned About Ontario Gov’s Move on Basic Income Pilot

Yesterday’s announcement that the Progressive Conservative government was reforming social assistance, while ending the Basic Guaranteed Income pilot started by the previous government, caught those combating poverty by surprise. In a word, the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination is “dismayed.” Continue reading “Local Poverty Advocates Concerned About Ontario Gov’s Move on Basic Income Pilot”

The Annotated Market Squared Column About the “Upside Down” of Guelph

Back in May, I posted a fairly consequential column to GuelphToday.com. Called “We need to talk about Guelph”, this piece took on a life of its own and started a really positive and intricate discussion about the tremendous need in our community. When the column was shared on the “Overheard at Guelph” Facebook page, someone said that they had wished that links had been included to some of the things discussed, and I thought, “Hey, I can do that…” Continue reading “The Annotated Market Squared Column About the “Upside Down” of Guelph”