Members of the Federation
Attached please find the press release send out today by the Federation in partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association and the Association of Ontario Health Centers. In it the partners encourage the Government of Ontario to create a Community Health and Social Services infrastructure Fund. This fund w3ill draw on local health and social service providers to trigger critical shifts in community health delivery. This fund will form strong collaborative multi-sectorial initiatives while stimulating local e4conomies across the province. Included is the article that appeared in the Toronto Star Today.
TORONTO STAR ARTICLE:
Centres could reduce poverty, fight violence, boost jobs, coalition saysFeb 19, 2009 04:30 AM Tanya Talaga
Queen's Park Bureau
The Ontario government is being urged to build community hubs that would place services such as child and health care, supportive housing and employment counselling all under one roof.A coalition of health support groups says these hubs could help reduce poverty, fight youth violence and get more Ontarians back to work – all key priorities for the governing Liberals.The coalition wants the province to set aside infrastructure funds in the March budget to create these centres. Cities and rural regions could access the fund to build one-stop community and health centres. A more detailed plan will be released today. Ontario has committed to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent in five years. The recently released report, Breaking the Cycle: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, says the government will invest $7 million to create community hubs in schools. However, exactly how the $7 million is to be used has yet to be finalized. But the coalition, which includes the Ontario Community Support Association, the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs and the Association of Ontario Health Centres, has suggestions on how the $7 million can be spent. It would also like to see federal infrastructure funds used.How the hubs would look and what services they provide would be built around the needs of a particular community, the group explains. "It would be a really local initiative. The players and needs would be different in every community," said Susan Thorning, chief executive officer of the Ontario Community Support Association.Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan called the hubs a "fascinating concept" but would not hint at whether there was a hub plan in the provincial budget."The short answer is it does appear to make good use of scarce capital dollars," he said.