Investing in our community

One of the great things I get to experience daily as Regional Chair is the opportunity to meet people in Halton who are making important contributions to the lives of others in the community.  We have a vibrant non-profit sector with thousands of volunteers who provide community programs and services to people of all ages in Halton.  Each year Halton Region invests over $700,000 through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund to support community based programs and projects that provide community health and social services.

The investment fund makes it possible for these programs/projects to expand their service, enhance their equipment or even try something new (pilot projects).  I have been able to visit some of the programs we have funded and I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers and staff working in the various programs.  On July 10, Regional Council approved the 2013 allocations for the investment fund.  We have provided one-year grants to 16 programs/projects and have approved second year funding (as part of the 2012 multi-year funding) for another eight programs.  The total amount awarded for one-year and multi-year funding in 2013 is $761,594.

Funding this year is supporting innovative initiatives including a mentoring program to support children of newcomers; a financial counselling program to help people with low income who are being treated for cancer; and renovations to five affordable housing units to make them accessible.  For a full listing of the programs/projects being funded this year visit www.halton.ca/investmentfund.

Halton Region’s Community Investment Fund is an action item in the Citizen’s Priorities – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan.  To see two of the programs we fund in action, please watch my video blog about the investment fund.  For more information about the Halton Region Community Investment Fund dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/investmentfund.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook.

Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect: A new networking series with the non-profit sector

Halton Region works closely with the non-profit sector in Halton.  We value the significant contributions the sector makes to the quality of life for residents in our community.  Increasing the strength and capacity of this sector is an action in the Citizens’ Priorities – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan.  Over 2000 non-profit agencies in Halton and thousands of volunteers work diligently everyday to provide important programs and services to residents in Halton.

Through many different initiatives, Halton Region regularly partners with the non-profit sector.  As part of our commitment to working with the sector, we are bringing people together to build strength in the non-profit sector to achieve their organizational goals.  Building “capacity” supports the sector to manage services now and in the future.  We will be hosting three networking sessions in 2013 to connect people and ignite conversations about opportunities for collaboration that will help the sector achieve its goals.

The first session will be on Wednesday February 13 at the Milton Sports Dome from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Paul Born, president of Tamarack: An Institute for Community Engagement and author of Community Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Business and People will facilitate the session.  Participants will hear about Halton initiatives that began as conversations and are currently creating change in our community.

The Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect series seeks to create opportunities for conversation, networking and learning to strengthen relationships and build capacity within the non-profit sector.  The invitation to attend these sessions is open to all sectors.  Government, the non-profit sector, the private sector and funders can all make important contributions to these conversations. To register for the first session or to learn more about the series please dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/npconversations.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”