SDG Council Approves Funding for United Way and SDC

Article by Jason Setnyk
SDG Council Approves Funding for United Way and SDC
Councillor Andrew Guindon and Councillor Bryan McGillis at an SDG Council meeting, February 20, 2024 (Photo : Jason Setnyk)

Cornwall, Ontario – At a meeting on February 20, 2024, SDG Counties Council approved funding requests from two key organizations, the United Way of SD&G and the Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area, aimed at assisting vulnerable individuals and enhancing social development in the region.

The United Way’s Last Resort Fund, established in 2023 to provide aid during the pandemic, has been granted $130,000 to continue its mission in 2024 (minus $18,000 previously approved). This fund offers financial assistance to individuals in precarious situations, ensuring they can access stable and safe housing. The funding comes after the City of Cornwall’s approval of a $200,000 request for the same program and will be sourced from the Working Reserves, which had a balance of over $7 million at the end of 2022. The Financial Services department is currently awaiting data from 2023 to ascertain the new year-end balance.

“Addressing the housing crisis in both rural and urban communities is a complex challenge that demands strong partnerships and innovative solutions. We thank the United Counties of SDG and the City of Cornwall for investing in the Last Resort Fund and for their willingness to collaborate with community organizations to assist our most vulnerable residents,” said Juliette Labossière, Executive Director of the United Way of SD&G.

In addition, the Social Development Council, which lost its provincial funding in 2023, has been awarded $66,979 to support its efforts in aiding the community’s most vulnerable residents. This funding mirrors the amount approved by the City of Cornwall and will also be drawn from the Working Reserves. These approvals align with Council’s Strategic Plan, which emphasizes the importance of partnerships and collaboration with municipalities, senior levels of government, and regional partners. By supporting these initiatives, Council aims to provide a safety net for those in need and foster a stronger, more supportive community.

“The Board of Directors of the Social Development Council is excited to have the SDG County Council endorse and support our ongoing social justice work by approving our funding request. We thank the Council members for their commitment to their communities and the opportunity for the SDC to continue to serve the people of SDG,” said Patti Carson, Chair of the Social Development Council of Cornwall and area.

Although funding for the United Way and the Social Development Council was approved, several members of SDG Council expressed concerns. They supported the idea of municipalities advocating more support from the Provincial government. The discussion focused on the fears that municipalities cannot sustainably provide funding to bridge gaps in Ontario Works or ODSP, particularly as issues such as poverty and homelessness may intensify.


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