London

London gets $1.3 million to fight poverty

The provincial government is injecting $1.3 million dollars in the London region to "lift people out of poverty". Four programs stand to benefit from the funding that was announced Friday by London North Centre MPP, Deb Matthews.

Four area programs will share the money to help those in need

London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews announced funding to fight poverty (Gary Ennett)

The provincial government is injecting $1.3 million dollars in the London region to "lift people out of poverty". Four programs stand to benefit from the funding that was announced Friday by London North Centre MPP, Deb Matthews. 

  • London Family Court Clinic - $570,400
  • Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness - $232,800
  • London District Catholic School Board - $438,100
  • M'Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre - $56,900

The Family Court Clinic will use the money to help young people who become involved with the justice system. More specifically, clinic psychologist Joyce Radcliffe says the plan is to develop and evaluate the impact of a trauma-informed approach to counselling and community support services.

"Trauma-informed means that we're responding to understanding how negative events in a person's life impact them throughout. So things like self-regulation, such as sleep," she said, "So those young people who have early childhood trauma have a very difficult time making progress without some real skills development around how to cope, and how to get through their daily lives."

The Unity Project, which offers homeless people a place to stay, will develop a 'Housing First' approach to providing emergency shelter. 

"We are looking at how to change how emergency shelters contribute to solving homelessness in our community instead of the more traditional role of emergency shelters of being a little too passive in the supports that we actually provide for people by just covering basic needs," said Chuck Lazenby, executive director of the Unity Project. 

Chuck Lazenby of the Unity Project for the Relief of Homelessness

Young children are the targets of the funding for the London Catholic District School Board. Funding for the board will be spent on expanding and evaluating the board's "Mind Up" program, which teaches young children skills around self-regulation and social communication. It has been focussed on kindergarten child thus far, but will now include students up to grade three.   

Karen Bax, from Western University's Faculty of Education, will evaluate the Mind Up program.

"We know from the research that social-emotional learning is a better predictor of positive child outcome, graduation, and getting a good job than IQ," she said.

Karen Bax of Western University's Faculty of Education will evaluate Mind Up project at the London District Catholic School Board. (Gary Ennett/CBC)

The M'Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre runs an Indigenous-led partnership called the Giiwe Project.  It aims to increase the number of people in housing by fostering a more coordinated and culturally safe system of support. The provincial money will be used to help evaluate that program's impact. 

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