Portraits of Peel 2011 Report Released
Community Leaders Provide A Snapshot of
“A Community Left Behind”
BRAMPTON, ON. (August 11, 2011) Leading organizations in Peel Region today released a report describing a landscape where vulnerable populations are falling behind because provincial and federal funding has not kept pace with community needs.
Portraits of Peel 2011: A Community Left Behind, is the second report co-authored by the Social Planning Council of Peel, Fair Share Peel Task Force, the United Way of Peel Region and the Region of Peel. The 2005 report Portraits of Peel Facing the Facts, also identified funding challenges for Peel's services providers.
"Peel receives less funding than other Ontario municipalities to deliver social and community health services," said Andre Lyn, a researcher-analyst with the Social Planning Council of Peel. "As a result, our residents experience some of Ontario's longest wait times for services like social housing and counseling for victims of abuse ," Lyn said.
Peel's funding challenges
Portraits of Peel extracts data from a number of sources to outline the current funding challenges for the Region's community health and human services providers and the challenges that residents of Peel face in accessing these services. Data from the Peel Fair Share Task Force asserts that Peel residents receive only a little more than half the support other Ontarians receive on a per capita basis. For example:
- Peel receives $354 per capita for child care services – the provincial average*1 is $815
- Peel receives $62 per capita for developmental services - the provincial average*1 is $133
- Peel receives less than a third of the funding other Ontario municipalities receive for
- Peel families have the longest wait times for social housing of any Ontario municipality.
*1_2008-2009, without GTA/905 Regions
Collaborations help service providers cope
Shelley White, CEO of the United Way of Peel Region, said Peel has shown remarkable leadership and creativity by designing collaborative strategies to help address the funding challenges. Portraits of Peel 2011 describes more than a dozen such initiatives.
"The community has been very solution-focused in the face of these challenges. Local governments, non-profits, community health and human service providers have made extraordinary efforts to both collaborate and coordinate their work to stretch resources. This includes the 2007 development of a community Investment Strategy aimed at prioritizing community needs in ways that have the greatest impact," Shelley White said.
"But the fact remains that without more resources we are at risk of exhausting a sector that is critically important to the health of the community."
Regional Chair, Emil Kolb, echoed White's remarks saying that Peel has taken positive steps to resolving some of the enormous issues facing our community – from access to services for immigrants to affordable housing.
"Unfortunately," Kolb said, "some issues, like child poverty – are growing and are taking a harsh toll on the most vulnerable in our community." He pointed to the case studies found in the report as demonstrating how the right supports can dramatically change lives. Portraits of Peel puts a human face to the statistics", he said.
The Region recently launched a citizen engagement campaign called "Peel Asks Why?" With the provincial election only eight weeks away, Kolb said residents have an opportunity to ask their candidates critical questions like:
- Why do people in Peel wait longer than other Ontarians for key services?
- Why are Peel families waiting up to 15 years for affordable housing?
- Why are 3,600 children waiting for child care subsidy (or financial help with child care)?
For more information, visit PeelAsksWhy.ca
Keith Ward and Ron Lenyk, co-chairs of the Peel Fair Share Task Force, said it's time that other levels of government recognize that Peel is not a GTA bedroom community.
"The populations described in Portraits of Peel are varied, ranging from children to newcomers but they share a common risk of being left behind if the services they require are delayed or absent. As a community, we are right to be concerned when the needs of our neighbours are not being met. We pay taxes so that they will be," said Keith Ward.
Ron Leny k encouraged citizens to also contribute to Fair Share's election Advocacy Campaign – Act Now for Peel – aimed at involving residents in advocating for equal access to social and community health services– especially for Peel. For more information, visit http://fairsharetaskforce.ca
To download a copy of the 2011 edition of Portraits of Peel, visit www.peelregion.ca