Charities

Client Profile: How the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto is navigating COVID‑19

July 9th, 2020 by Iler Campbell

Audrey King, a Direct Funding program participant since 1995, and her attendant, Louis George wearing face shields as part of the personal protective equipment used to keep each other safe.

Through the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, information about where to find precious commodities like masks and gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) items was shared and traded by many, particularly by individuals with disabilities who need regular physical assistance with activities of daily living like showering and dressing. Many people checked with traditional sources like medical supply stores, online retailers and big box stores, but not everyone would think to order surgical masks from their local convenience store to be delivered the same day, no less, via a food delivery and takeout app.

This unique suggestion came from one Toronto man in a Zoom call with a few dozen other participants of the Direct Funding program, which is administered by the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT). The participants are funded by the program to hire and manage the workers who assist them through the day; since it is impossible to maintain physical distance when one person is helping another to take a shower, PPE is critical for the health and safety of both individuals.

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Client Profile: Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust

July 2nd, 2020 by Iler Campbell
PNLT members and supporters celebrate the purchase of a 15-unit rooming house in Parkdale, the first affordable housing project of the land trust.

PNLT members and supporters celebrate the purchase of a 15-unit rooming house in Parkdale, the first affordable housing project of the land trust.

Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT) was forged from the collective vision of community members and non‑profit organizations active in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto: to create an organization focused on preserving affordability, diversity and community‑owned assets.

As a result of steep increases in land values in Toronto, the neighbourhood has seen significant changes. Parkdale is home to a high concentration of affordable housing, including rental, social and supportive housing, and rooming houses. As rising prices see progressively more affluent residents moving in, PNLT’s goal is to ensure that everyone, particularly those with fewer resources and lower incomes, can also benefit from the changes in the neighbourhood.

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Canada’s social economy about to get a boost, but problems remain

February 7th, 2020 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Canada’s social economy — those social enterprises (nonprofits, charities and co-operatives) that generate income in pursuit of social goals instead of profit — is about to get quite a boost.

Quietly, but thoughtfully and effectively, the federal government has initiated and funded, with serious money, a brand-new program creating the Social Finance Fund, to drastically expand the social economy.

This year, $50 million is flowing, and is set to quickly increase to $75 million per year for the next 10 years.

The fund is intended to address a major impediment to growth of the social economy — the shortage of investment capital.

While the private sector readily raises millions through Bay Street’s financial institutions, social enterprises don’t attract their interest. Instead, to be successful, social enterprises rely heavily on the communities they serve for financial support. And that often isn’t enough.

Hence the fund.

The creation of the fund was one of 12 recommendations in support of social innovation and social finance made to the federal government made in August 2018 by a steering group broadly representative of social economy organizations. Continue reading “Canada’s social economy about to get a boost, but problems remain”

Exploring new ways for charities to work in partnerships

December 10th, 2019 by Ted Hyland

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Registered charities in Canada find themselves increasingly drawn to find ways of operating through partnerships and networks. There are two legal impediments they face in doing their work. One is the requirement under the Income Tax Act that charities carry on their own activities themselves, known as the “direction and control” requirement. The other impediment is the prohibition against registered charities making gifts to any entity that is not a qualified donee (qualified donees are registered charities and other various tax-exempt entities specified in the act).

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) view is that charities are allowed to use their resources in only one of two ways: either by making gifts to other qualified donees (for most charities, this means to other registered charities) or by applying their resources to their “own activities,” which the charities must carry on themselves.

It is in this context that the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector, established in January 2018, held hearings into the effect of laws and policies on the charitable sector. It issued its report, Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector, in June 2019.

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Client Profile: Assisted‑Dying Resources Centres Canada

June 19th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Logo for Assisted-Dying Resource Centres Canada
Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter decision in 2015, Canadians acquired a right to receive medical assistance in death (MAiD). Legislation came into force in June 2016 amending the Criminal Code to allow MAiD in limited circumstances. Since then, thousands have exercised this right – many in their own homes, others in hospitals, and still others in other kinds of institutions.

For some, though, where to receive medical assistance in death is a needless stress. Homeless patients who might otherwise be eligible cannot exercise this right because shelters do not allow it; many hospices have policies that prevent patients from having medically assisted deaths; some nursing homes and retirement homes – especially faith based ones – have said “no” to MAiD; and finally, some patents prefer not to die in their own homes because of the memories it may leave for their loved ones. Continue reading “Client Profile: Assisted‑Dying Resources Centres Canada”

Client Profile: Jean Tweed Centre

February 15th, 2019 by Iler Campbell

Jean Tweed was a woman who saw the need for a safe and supportive environment for women to address their substance use issues. She was a pioneer in advancing the cause of women-specific programming. In 1983, the Jean Tweed Centre was established in her honour.

Jean Tweed Centre has evolved and grown to become a leading community-based substance abuse, mental health and problem gambling agency for women in Ontario, offering a wide range of services including:

  • residential and day programming
  • out-patient programming including family and trauma counselling
  • individual counselling and continuing care
  • outreach services for women who are pregnant and parenting women, have concurrent mental health and substance use challenges or involved in the criminal justice system.
  • transition and supportive housing

Continue reading “Client Profile: Jean Tweed Centre”