Thursday, January 31, 2013

New housing units allow Milton Transitional Housing to offer bridge accommodation and support to two more struggling Milton families

Milton Transitional Housing (MTH) has just opened two new housing units in Milton. These new housing opportunities will provide bridge accommodation, support and counseling to two more families in our community experiencing a housing crisis as they work towards securing stable housing. “With the need in Milton so great, our volunteer team has worked very hard to increase MTH’s ability to help,” says MTH Board Chair Ruth Parkinson, adding that: “We believe that people struggling with housing security is not good for our town and addressing this issue contributes to the health of Milton.” Transitional housing has been identified by Halton Region’s Comprehensive Housing Strategy as a big part of the solution to the problem of housing crisis (outright homelessless, or the risk of homelessness). It is designed to be a bridge from the short-term emergency shelter system (often as little as 30 days in duration) to long-term affordable housing. With MTH, this “transitional” period can extend from four to 24 months depending upon circumstances. We offer housing at subsidized rental rates, along with requiring our participants to set goals and undertake counseling and training to help achieve their goal of housing independence. This supported housing model has proven to be very successful in Oakville, Burlington and Halton Hills – all communities offering transitional housing. Until MTH was established, Miltonians did not have access to transitional housing in our own community. The Milton Transitional Housing program became a reality in July 2011 with a volunteer board and start-up funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and agency of the Government of Ontario. MTH’s first participant was accepted into the program in February 2012, and with these two new units we have increased our capacity to help more people who are in housing crisis. MTH’s goal is to provide seven supported transitional housing units within five years.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beautiful New Empty Bowls

Join us for the 3rd Annual Empty Bowls Soup Lunch on Sunday, March 17 from 11:30 until 2:30 at MinMaxx Hall, at the Milton Centre for the Arts (1010 Main street). Tickets are $50 per person and include a taste-as-many-as-you-like gourmet soups and breads from Milton's best local restaurants, caterers and bakeries along with a charitable receipt for $25 donation to Milton Transitional Housing. You will get your hands on a beautiful new hand-painted ceramic soup bowl. MiniMaxx Realty is host sponsor for this MTH event for a second year. Please stay tuned for more information about this event. Visit the MTH facebook page or website for more information or to donate and buy tickets. Our very first Empty Bowls event in 2011 signified the launch of our transitional housing project in Milton. It is an important fundraiser and opportunity for us to raise awareness of this homeless risk among those in our outwardly affluent Milton community.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Casa Americo Wine Tasting

Come support Milton Transitional Housing at the Casa Americo Wine Tasting on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 pm. Cover charge is $5 and includes wine tasting and hors d'ouevres. Casa Americo is on Main Street. This is exciting to see as it was Casa Americo who actually did our very first fundraising event back in 2011, even before our first Empty Bowls and just before the formal launch of our new organisation. Thank you for your continued support. Please support and enjoy the wine tasting!

3M Warm Hands, Warm Heart Campaign

This past December the 3M Milton Sales Team held their annual Christmas luncheon with over 80 participants. This year as part of the celebration the team created the 3M Warm Hands, Warm Heart campaign, asking everyone to donate a hat or mittens to MTH. These gifts were shared with MTH and our community partners. Thank you 3M Milton Sales Team for your wonderful donation!

Monday, January 21, 2013

New housing units acquired

Moving towards MTH's goal of aiding seven individuals or families by 2016-17, two new housing units have been acquired. Along with support and counselling these new homes will help make a difference in the lives of those in Milton suffering from a housing crisis. This is an important step to move beyond the first unit following the original funding support and to evolve the model as planned. Congratulations to the team, and thank you to all volunteers and supporters for making a difference in our Milton community. We will make a difference.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Summary Report - The Working Poor in the Toronto Region

In 2012, the Metcalf Foundation published a Summary Report - The Working Poor in the Toronto Region. Who are they, where they live and how they are changing. The authors are John Stapleton, Brian Murphy and Yue Xing. The full report is available to download from the A quote by David Hulchanski, Professor Factor-Inwentash Faculty for Social Work, and Associate Director, Cities Centre, University of Toronto summarizes the report "The working poor in the Toronto Region pour our coffee, serve us in stores, and work in our offices and factories. Their story is important. They are growing in numbers. It is a problem that is simultaneously political, social, locational, and economic." The authors use the term to refer to people with non-trivial earnings who live in a household with a low income. Their definition has five specific criteria; - has an after-tax income below the median Low Income Measure (LIM), - has earnings of at least $3,000 a year, - is between the ages of 18 and 64, - is not a student, and - lives independently. The report showed that the working poor had increased by 42% between the 2000 and 2005 census in the Toronto Region, compared to a 24% in Ontario as a whole and 15% across Canada. This to me is dramatic in itself that in our municipalities like Toronto, Province and Country the number of working poor is increasing at double digit rates. As the population ages this is unsustainable. The summary report identifies seven key features of the working poor in the Toronto Region: 1. They most commonly work in sales and service occupations 2. They work a comparable number of hours and weeks to the rest of the working-age population 3. They are more likely to be living without an adult partner than the rest of the working-age population 4. Working-age immigrants to Canada are over-represented among the working poor. 5. They are only slightly less educated on average tan the rest of the working-age population. 6. Fewer own their own homes. 7. They tend to be youger as a group than the working-age population as a whole. So what does this have to do with Milton. Well, it indicates the problem is trending in a negative direction. It suggests that the number of people at risk of homelessness is likely to increase. It helps us understand that those at risk of homelessness are not by default the unemployed, unmotivated or other stereotypes. It says they can be hard working members of society who can no longer support themselves. As the report also states "Although work can provide a ladder out of poverty, this is not always the case." The authors hope the summary report will stimulate further research and understanding.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New challenges, opportunities and aspirations

New Year, new challenges, new opportunities, new aspirations In 2012 Milton Transitional Housing did something amazing and began providing housing and support to our first client. So what of 2013? The goal is to lease two additional units in Milton to then provide shelter and support for two more individuals or families at risk of homelessness in our Milton community. This goal will present some new challenges as MTH grows. The team will require more members, volunteers and sponsors. A key fundraising event will be the 3rd annual Empty Bowls, which will be held on Sunday, March 17th 2013. More details will be posted shortly. We welcome your ideas and comments.