2021-22 YEAR IN REVIEW

2021-22 YEAR IN REVIEW

A message from the President and CEO

A photo of Michael Allen

A message from the President and CEO

As you read our annual report, I hope you will connect more deeply with the impact United Way East Ontario has had across the region. It is an opportunity to look at how you—our supporters—have made a difference to our work this year.  

The challenges were extraordinary through 2021, but we came through focused on many of the same values as before the pandemic, such as inclusiveness and equitable living for all.  

Together, we forge ahead, and I know we can continue to count on you through this challenging journey. 

With gratitude, 

Michael Allen
President and Chief Executive Officer 
United Way East Ontari

This is a condensed version of the letter that appears in our annual report. Read the full letter.

Together, we’re breaking down barriers, improving lives and creating opportunities for people in Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark and Renfrew Counties.

365 days per year—in normal times, and through crises—United Way tackles the most complex social issues. But, we don’t do it alone.

These challenges demand collaboration. We bring people and organizations together—from businesses, non-profits, governments, and more—to solve problems. United, we can have an even bigger impact and make our communities measurably better.

This online preview of our annual report is just a snapshot of what we’ve accomplished together over the past year. See how we’re tackling the tough problems across our three focus areas:

By putting more kids on track to succeed, we can help all youth in our communities reach their full potential.

By helping people achieve financial independence and stability, we can move them from poverty to possibility. 

By improving equity, connections and wellbeing for vulnerable groups, our communities can be great for everyone.

Our investments across the region

In 2021, we invested in:

0

collaborations and initiatives

0

programs

0

community agencies

As a result of these investments:

0

unique individuals were supported 

0

people volunteered with our agency partners

0

total volunteer hours

Find our investment breakdown in the full report.

All That
Kids Can Be

It’s really nice to see how kids are happiest after helping them with homework or with anything they need. Creating new activities in a safe environment for them, it’s really important and that makes me happy every day.

Noor, Banff Avenue Youth Council member
A photo of Noor standing outside next to a brick wall with grafitti.

ALL THAT KIDS CAN BE

It’s really nice to see how kids are happiest after helping them with homework or with anything they need. Creating new activities in a safe environment for them, it’s really important and that makes me happy every day.

Noor, Banff Avenue Youth Council member

Every child deserves a good life, and a safe place to learn and make friends—no matter where they grow up.

The Issue

For some local kids, growing up isn’t easy. Challenges can begin before a child even steps into school for the first time. All the issues facing children and youth were amplified when the pandemic began. Two years later, many kids are still struggling.

0 %

of grade 7-12 students in Ontario indicate a moderate-to-serious level of psychological distress (depression and anxiety)

0 %

of Ontario high-school students used alcohol in the past year

0 %

of front-line providers serving homeless youth in Canada during the pandemic reported youth had experienced a significant increase in feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

Our response, at a glance

Partnering for success:

A photo a councillor talking with a youth.

With key partners in rural Ottawa South, the Rural Youth Mental Health Program delivered free counselling services for youth ages 12 to 15, as well as supports for parents and caregivers. The Osgoode Youth Association offered one-on-one counselling sessions in a youth-friendly, safe, and accessible space.

Stepping up for youth:

In partnership with TechInsights, United Way launched the After School STEM Learning Club for high school students in the Britannia neighbourhood. The program, led by Britannia Woods Community House, introduced youth to the foundations of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). With these skills, students feel more prepared to pursue careers in the STEM field or any other field they choose.  

Our Impact

With our supporters, United Way helped 12,708 youth and their families across our region reach their full potential over the past year. Together, we can help them along their path to success and achieve results, such as:

Outcomes
Results
Children and youth have improved mental health
98% of children and youth have improved mental health outcomes.
2,526 children and youth have improved mental health outcomes.
Children and youth are successful in school
5,936 children and youth worked towards achieving academic goals outside of school.
Youth housing needs are met
92% of youth living in emergency shelters or transitional housing received supports to live independently. 
215 youth living in emergency shelters or transitional housing received supports to live independently.

Our Goals for the Future

In 2022 and beyond, we’ll work with our partners to ...

Want to learn more? Dive into the full All That Kids Can Be section of the report.

From Poverty to Possibility

EcoEquitable is a place for creatives to develop their craft and find inspiration while connecting within their community.

Vanessa, EcoEquitable volunteer
A photo of a Vanessa standing in a park.

FROM POVERTY TO POSSIBILITY

EcoEquitable is a place for creatives to develop their craft and find inspiration while connecting within their community.

Vanessa, EcoEquitable volunteer

Everyone deserves a job, a purpose, and a sense of belonging.

The Issue

Across our region, there are major barriers to inclusion in the workforce. And many people are out of work due to the economic impact of COVID-19. This all leads to financial insecurity. But it does not affect everyone equally.

0 %

of racialized populations are unemployed in Canada, compared to 7.3% of non-racialized people. 

0 %

of working age adults with disabilities are employed, compared to 80% of those without disabilities.

Youth Unemployment

Young people ages 15-24 face higher unemployment rates than people ages 25-64 in every area of our region. Across Ontario, youth unemployment rates are even higher for Indigenous youth, youth with disabilities, newcomer youth, and racial minorities. 

Our response, at a glance

Building Community Wealth:

A photo of two people sitting outside on some steps chatting together.

In October 2021, United Way gathered more than 120 organizations, community leaders, government officials, businesses, and others at the East Ontario Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth Summit. At this event, powered by RBC, participants discussed how to make more equitable communities a reality.   

Equity in Employment:

A photo of someone cooking in a commercial restaurant kitchen.

Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) developed and launched a three-part workshop series on fostering a workplace culture of inclusion and belonging. They also worked with partners across the country to develop the Employer Playbook: Strategies for Immigrant Inclusion in Canadian Workplaces.

Our Impact

With our supporters, United Way helped 3,522 people move from poverty to possibility over the past year. Together, we can help them achieve financial independence and achieve results, such as:

Outcomes
Results
Newcomers are engaged in the labour market
85% of newcomers found employment.
463 newcomers found employment.
People with disabilities are engaged in the labour market
95% of job seekers with disabilities found employment.
895 job seekers with disabilities found employment.
People in financial crisis receive supports
1,477 people in financial crisis received financial services and supports. 

Our Goals for the Future

In 2022 and beyond, we’ll work with our partners to ...

Want to learn more? Dive into the full From Poverty to Possibility section of the report.

Healthy people, strong communities

I didn’t have a panic attack feeling like I had in the past, feeling like there was no one out there to help me and my son. It helped my mental health as a parent trying to support their kids because I wasn’t hitting that level of anxiety.

Jennifer, Counselling Connect client
A photo of Jennifer

Health people, strong communities

I didn’t have a panic attack feeling like I had in the past, feeling like there was no one out there to help me and my son. It helped my mental health as a parent trying to support their kids because I wasn’t hitting that level of anxiety.

Jennifer, Counselling Connect client

Everyone deserves the chance to be heard, included, and supported.

The Issue

In every community, there are families that need support. There are people facing barriers to vital services. Some experience exclusion or isolation because of their age, background, and circumstances.

1 in 3

caregivers in Canada are distressed, which can include feelings of anger or depression, or the inability to continue with caring activities.  

0 %

of Ottawa’s Black community who tried to access mental health services felt prejudice or negative attitudes from their service providers.

> 0 %

of seniors in Canada live alone, making them more vulnerable to social isolation.

Our response, at a glance

Equity in Communities:

A women sitting on the sofa reading with their daughter.

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Equity Index (NEI) is a tool developed by United Way, the City of Ottawa, and the Social Planning Council of Ottawa in 2018 to assess how neighbourhoods compare when it comes to factors that affect wellbeing.  
 
NEI data helped to create a Summary Portrait of Ottawa’s Black Community in comparison with the general population. It highlights the significant inequity experienced by Ottawa’s Black and racialized community. These insights help inform policy discussions on addressing systemic discrimination. This is a first step towards developing a detailed report card on racial equity. It will equip leaders and policy makers with actionable data to inform strategies. 

Prioritizing Community Safety and Wellbeing:

A photo of two kids looking at their mobile device.

Following a Community Needs Analysis, United Way supported counselling programs to ensure that urban Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis teens, adults, and seniors receive free and timely access to mental health, addictions, and trauma supports through the Mashkawizzi Manido Project.  
 
This initiative is the only program in Renfrew County that provides a holistic approach to care. It leverages Indigenous beliefs and healing techniquescombined with current clinical modelsfocusing on culture, language, and land. As a result, 202 people received timely, culturally appropriate, culturally sensitive supports since the creation of this program.  

Our Impact

With our supporters, United Way helped 62,241 people across our region to improve equity, wellbeing, and connections over the past year. Together, we can build stronger communities, and achieve result, such as:

Outcomes
Results
Seniors have improved wellbeing and are less isolated
80% of seniors reported decreased isolation.
2,542 seniors reported decreased isolation. 
Adults have access to mental health and addiction supports
98% of clients saw an improvement to their mental health.
14,089 clients had access to mental health and addiction supports.
Individuals have access to healthy foods and physical activity
84% of children ate healthier, increased their physical activity, and/or moved towards a healthy weight. 
4,211 children and youth participated in physical activity and/or healthy food access/nutrition programs.

Our Goals for the Future

In 2022 and beyond, we’ll work with our partners to ...

Want to learn more? Dive into the full Healthy People, Strong Communities section of the report.

Our COVID-19 Response

To everyone who offered a helping hand during uncertain times, and to those who continue to invest so our communities are supported over the long-term: thank you. Your generosity empowers us to lift up the people hit hardest by the pandemic.

As we continue to address the social challenges of the pandemic, we’ve reported back on how we’ve made a measurable, local difference. In our annual report, you’ll see the impact and breadth of our COVID-19 response over the past year.

Our path forward will focus on taking “what’s worked” during the pandemic and turning that into long-term systemic change. It’s about looking at the chronic issues and treating them with the urgency they require to build more resilient communities over the long term. 

A photo of a person working at a desk in front of their computer.

WOMEN UNITED

With more than 70,000+ members across six countries and 165 communities, Women United members are making a difference, advocating for change, and creating a brighter future for women and girls.

Women United
Locally, United Way East Ontario’s Women United is a network of 943 donors and 138 members who are dedicated to leveraging their time, talents, and funds to empower women in our communities to build strong, independent lives.

In our region, Women United makes a difference in these four areas:

  • Addressing gender-based violence  
  • Empowering women in leadership  
  • Supporting young mothers and their children  
  • Building an equitable economic recovery 
What's New?
GenNext East Ontario marks one year milestone
GenNext East Ontario marked its first birthday in 2022 with a lot to celebrate. Since expanding across the region, GenNext has hosted virtual community events, led important conversations about local issues, and jumpstarted an Advocate program to connect with new volunteers.

Through the new GenNext Advocate program, volunteers deepen their community connection and make meaningful change while gaining leadership skills.  
Move for Youth
In a new partnership with National Bank of Canada, 232 people got workout-ready to walk, bike, dance, jog, and more, for our first-ever Move for Youth challenge on May 16, 2021.

Thanks to the support of all our incredible participants, donors, and sponsors, we raised $57,226 to help ensure more kids are on the path to success in school, and in life.    
Hygiene Kits for youth facing homelessness
Over the fall and winter, 38 individuals, nine workplaces and three groups put together 542 hygiene kits, which provided youth in need with essential items that supported their wellbeing and contributed resources that help front-line service providers carry out their vital work.

  During the winter months, many of the kits were delivered thanks to a generous donation of a truck and driver from National Tire Distributors.
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100% Local Impact

At United Way, we’re committed to 100% local impact. That means every dollar we invest stays in the community—where it is needed most and will have the greatest impact. Our annual report, which includes our financial statements, is our way of showing you, our donors and supporters, that we’ve kept that promise.

Our annual report is a look back on a year that compelled us to find ways to galvanize, as a sector, to respond to the needs of the community.

It is a year where we focused on equity and improving access to services for those in rural communities. We stood up against racism and hate in our region. We responded to the needs of those isolated, facing violence in their homes, or dealing with mental health issues.

The seemingly never-ending crisis state that we found ourselves operating in over the last couple of years has forced us to discover a nimbleness that we perhaps didn’t even realize we had.

Last Updated: June 2022

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