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  • News
  • December 05, 2017

Ontario Helping Lift People Out of Poverty in Kitchener

Provincial Investment in Local Solutions Driving Change in Kitchener


December 5, 2017

Ontario is investing over $16 million in 48 community projects across the province that are supporting new ways to help people break the cycle of poverty, increase food security, find good jobs, and end homelessness in Ontario.  The data collected through this investment will contribute to a body of knowledge that will support poverty reduction programs across the province.


Kitchener-based projects that will receive support under the Local Poverty Reduction Fund are:


  • Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre - $107,600


  • An evaluation of the Let's Talk Program, which uses a two-pronged approach to support newcomer youth in their economic and overall well-being.  The first component includes workshops featuring a safe space for newcomer youth to explore their academic and career aspirations.  This will connect them with resources to help achieve these goals. The second prong is artful facilitation to promote the development of interpersonal relationships, community engagement, and youth empowerment.


  • oneROOF - $476,500


  • A 36 month evaluation of the Youth Pathway Out of Homelessness Program, which includes breaking the cycle of homelessness, preventing homelessness, youth transitional housing options, life skills development and service re-design.  The project includes progressive housing options for youth - including Host Homes (low acuity).



In total, 48 innovative, community-led projects are being funded through Ontario's Local Poverty Reduction Fund, which helps groups disproportionately affected by poverty get into housing, develop skills, and find employment.  These individuals include women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors, and Indigenous Peoples. Part of this funding supports data collection to develop more effective poverty reduction programs.

Fighting poverty is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy, and help people in their everyday lives.






“Ontario is investing in programs that will measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. By harnessing the creativity of local partners, identifying innovative community-driven solutions, and building on evidence-based best practices, we can make strong inroads in tackling poverty.”

–– Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“With this funding, the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre and oneROOF will be able to help us learn more about the approaches that are making a difference in breaking the cycle of poverty.  Working with our local partners we’re designing more effective programs to combat poverty and allow people to live with dignity in our community.”

–– Daiene Vernile, MPP Kitchener Centre

“As much as networking is important for newcomers looking for employment, understanding our systems, what supports are available, scholarships and the value of post-secondary education is very important for some newcomer youth.  This especially impacts newcomer youth who arrive in their teens, struggling in high school, with language barriers, changes in methods of education, and pressures to help support the family. Our goal is to give them options and support them through the transition.”

–– Lucia Harrison, Executive Director of the KW Multicultural Centre

“We are thrilled to, not only receive funds from the LPRF, but to have our Provincial Government recognize the need for a Pathway out of Youth Homelessness; a pathway that begins with Host Homes.  Our young people are often our most vulnerable.  By virtue of their maturity level and cognitive development, youth require a continuum of services that includes Host Homes, Shelters, Supportive/Supported Living Units, and finally Independent living…this is the Pathway that must be made available to youth if we ever hope to end homelessness in this country.  It is critical that this Pathway allow for the progression of youth out of homeless.  We are grateful to the LPRF for recognizing the needs and gaps here in Waterloo Region; and for providing us with multi-year funding to address them.  Our goal is to establish Host Homes that will provide respite care for low acuity youth who are facing homelessness.  Host Homes are a preventative measure that will negate the need for low acuity youth entering the shelter system.  During their stay in a Host Home, youth will address the issues that lead them to the street, participate in family mediation and work closely with oneROOF Youth Services to find a more permanent housing option.”

–– Sandy Dietrich-Bell, CEO of oneROOF







  • The data collected through these investments will contribute to a body of knowledge that will support poverty reduction programs across the province.
  • Ontario is investing over $16 million to 48 projects in communities across Ontario, including over $6 million to 20 employment and income security projects, more than $5 million to 14 projects from Indigenous-led organizations, $3 million to 12 projects that are homelessness-related, and more than $4.5 million to 14 projects that are related to food security.
  • These projects focus on local community partnerships and include a third-party evaluation component, which is important because better data will help communities develop better solutions to increasing food security, reducing child poverty and homelessness, and helping people find jobs and earn a stable income.



Local Poverty Reduction Fund

Realizing Our Potential: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy






Rebecca Wagner, Office of MPP Daiene Vernile


(cell) 226-749-2681



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