The Region has major responsibilities in the area of Social Services. How we treat the marginalized and those in need is a reflection of who we are as a Community. Many programs are mandated by the Province and are cost-shared; Ontario Works, ODSP and Child Care are the primary ones. These programs are highly prescriptive from the Province particularly in regards to eligibility and rates. However, there is often some latitude in providing extra benefits such as Discretionary Benefits where Council has backstopped the program to a large extent when funding was significantly reduced by the Province. Most other Regions did not follow suit. The Council has also backstopped Child Care programs when funding was changed where other Regions did not.
Homelessness is also a key program area with limited senior level funding. We support various homelessness initiatives particularly in regards to transitional and permanent housing for persistently homeless individuals.
- Continue to fund and enhance the funding shortfall in Discretionary Benefits
- Enhance efforts in homelessness to support more transitional and permanent housing while continuing support to permanent & temporary shelters
- Support new Child Care initiatives that allow for families to be self- supportive and lobby Province for more funding.