Guelph to change funding for local non-profits

Updated May 15, 2013

City seeks transparency though Community Investment Strategy

Guelph, ON, May 14, 2013 – Guelph’s Community and Social Services Committee voted in support of a more transparent and consistent approach to funding 12 local community benefit programs.

As part of Guelph’s Community Investment Strategy, the City recently reviewed all non-legislated grants administered by the County of Wellington which provide financial support for programs and services delivered by Trellis, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), The Children’s Foundation, Guelph Community Health Centre, Women in Crisis, Action Read, Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County.

The City evaluated each program based on the level of community need, other available funding or partnerships, and the City’s mandate to provide each program or service.

In light of the review, the City is exploring alternative funding sources for the Give Yourself Credit and WDPH Dental programs. The City compared Give Yourself Credit with similar programs across the province, and confirmed alternative education programs are not normally funded by municipal governments.

“The Give Yourself Credit program is vital. This decision is not about whether or not it should continue; it’s about how we ensure that it does continue,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge.

“Important programs like Give Yourself Credit and the Dental program offered by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health serve some of the most marginalized and vulnerable members of our community,” said Barbara Powell, general manager of Community Engagement. “It’s critical for us to work together to find the right role for the City, the County and the province so we can reduce duplication and increase accountability for these shared funding arrangements.”

To support the transition to a different funding model, the City will continue supporting the Give Yourself Credit program until June 2014, and is working with the program’s steering committee, Family and Children’s Services, the County of Wellington, the Ontario Ministries of Education, Children and Youth Services, and Community and Social Services to identify alternative funding options for the program.

If the province is unable to find a more suitable community partner for the Give Yourself Credit program, the City will revisit its decision before approving the 2014 budget.

The province is mandated to fund the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Dental Health Program, and the City has been contributing funds to help meet demand for the program in Guelph and Wellington County. The City will continue working with the Ministry of Health to ensure adequate provincial funding to continue this public health initiative.

Next year, rather than using County-administered discretionary grants, the City plans to enter into Community Benefit Agreements to provide continued financial support for a seniors at risk co-ordinator (Trellis), Poverty Task Force (WDGPH) Subsidies for Children (The Children’s Foundation), and a drug strategy co-ordinator (Guelph Community Health Centre).

Funds currently used for the Guelph Community Health Centre’s data analysis co-ordinator will be directed to the newly formed Children and Youth Planning Table, and funding for Parent and Child Place will be allocated to parenting support programs delivered though Guelph’s Neighbourhood Support Coalition.

Four programs currently receiving County-administered discretionary grants—Garden Fresh Box, Action Read, Women in Crisis, and Growing Great Kids—will be eligible to apply for municipal funding through the City’s Community Wellbeing Grant program in 2014.

For more information

Barbara Powell
General Manager
Community Engagement
519-822-1260 x 2675

Learn more about Guelph’s Community Investment Strategy