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Social Issues

Hope Lee retires: City’s progressive housing stance a reflection of Lee’s leadership

in Community/Municipal/Social Issues by

It was always a little bit personal for Hope Lee. After 34 years with the city’s housing division, Hope Lee retires in May. She traces her a career path back to her childhood, a time when she lived in public housing in Lindsay for several years.

When Lee was living in a single parent family in one of the very units that the city still owns, Zita Devan, founder of A Place Called Home, the city’s homeless shelter, set Lee on the path she’d stay on for more than three decades. Devan helped get Lee a work placement in what was then the Victoria Haliburton Housing Authority in 1986 through a Fleming College program. Lee was hired full time in 1987.

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Hungry in Kawartha Lakes

in Social Issues by
Neil Couch first visited a food bank in Kawartha Lakes in 2011 during an especially challenging year. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Forty years after the first Canadian food bank opened its doors, Kawartha Lakes Food Source leader says the root causes of food bank use are still with us

Neil Couch first visited a food bank in 2011. A particularly challenging divorce that year had left him homeless, living at A Place Called Home.

He’d had a colourful life. After returning from active duty in the Canadian Armed Forces between 1986 and 1994, Couch found himself struggling with PTSD and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with his anxiety and night terrors. As a master corporal, he was based out of West Germany, and had done tours in Somalia, Cyprus and Afghanistan.

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A Place Called Home to be reimagined as old building set to be torn down

in Community/Social Issues by
A Place Called Home to be reimagined as old building set to be torn down
Several original board members of A Place Called Home, and staff, got together to see the structure one last time.

The century-plus residential buildings of A Place Called Home – as well as the shelter office – are set to fall next week and in its place a new home will rise for those who need temporary emergency shelter.

Dave Tilley, executive director of the shelter, says it took thousands of hours of volunteer labour and sweat to develop the old buildings “and it served us and the community well for decades.”

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City’s 10-year homeless plan aims for nearly 1,300 housing units

in Social Issues by
City’s 10-year homeless plan aims for nearly 1,300 housing units

The City’s new 10-year homelessness plan, set to be complete by 2029, seeks to build as many as 1,280 new housing units for those with below-average income in Kawartha Lakes and 750 for the County of Haliburton.

It’s a goal that Michelle Corley, program supervisor at Housing Help for Kawartha Lakes and one of the 14 committee members who formed the plan, said was slowed down from the pandemic but still underway.

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Kawartha Lakes Food Source launches Community Kitchen program with grant money

in Community/Social Issues by
Leslie Creeden, a Kawartha Lakes Food Source volunteer.

Thanks to an Ontario Trillium Fund Seed Grant, Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS) has started a Community Kitchen program.

This new program is an opportunity for clients of the Lindsay Community Food Market (a non-traditional food bank owned and operated by KLFS) to grow more engaged in their community and strengthen their food literacy.

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Family Cooking Project has kicked off at Kawartha Lakes Food Source

in Health/Social Issues by
Amelia Boyd, Community Program Coordinator of KLFS packing the first round of meal kits for participants of the Family Cooking Project
Amelia Boyd, Community Program Coordinator of KLFS, packing the first round of meal kits for participants of the Family Cooking Project

Thanks to private donors, the Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS) is excited to announce the launch of the Family Cooking Project as a permanent full-time program of their organization.

Each eight-week session of the Family Cooking Project provides ten local families with recipes, non-perishables, fresh ingredients and the one-on-one support they need in order to produce three healthy and delicious meals a week. Clients will also receive, free of charge, the kitchen equipment that is required to prepare all recipes.

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Unions have a long, proud history of fighting for workers’ rights

in Social Issues by
Nine union members standing outside of the Central East Correctional Facility in Lindsay ON
Nine OPSEU members who work at the Central East Correctional Centre. Pictured are S. Dunn, M. Reade, R. Gilchrist, J. Guthrie, M. Sedgwick, S. Nelson, B. Bisso, K. Semple, and D. Troost. Photo: John Maclennan.

Few topics in politics are as divisive, even in polite company, as unionization. While Canadian courts have consistently upheld, and on more than a few occasions greatly expanded the rights of unions, affinity for organized labour has ebbed and flowed since the Royal Commission on the Relations of Labour and Capital said, “the man [person] who sells labour should, in selling it, be on an equality with the man [person] who buys it” in 1889.

The Royal Commission recognized the inherent power imbalance of industrial capitalism even as industrialization was creating an explosion in the size of the Canadian working class.
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Belonging to a union is good for your health

in Health/Social Issues by
Belonging to a union is good for your health

Living and working conditions are the primary factors that shape whether individuals stay healthy or become ill; they are much more important than biological markers or behavioural choices. This truism applies to just about every physical, mental or social affliction that one may encounter. The term social determinants of health (SDOH) has come to stand for these living and working conditions that include income, housing, food security, unemployment, job security and working conditions, as well as the health care system and the social safety net, among others. The health care, public health and civil society sectors all accept this conclusion.

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Basic income is needed to underpin a fairer society

in Opinion/Social Issues by
Basic income is needed to underpin a fairer society

The year 2020 has demonstrated why the expression “May you live in interesting times” is seen as a curse. As the world reeled under the loss of life, economic impacts and the removal of opportunities many of us have taken for granted, the desire to move back to more stable times has appeared attractive.

Yet the chaos we continue to live through also offers us a chance to reimagine the world we live in — to challenge the dominant presumptions we entered the pandemic with, and to implement new policies to ensure we build forward better.

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Kawartha Lakes Housing Corporation plans for an energy-efficient 2021

in Municipal/Social Issues by
City’s new 10-year homeless plan aims for nearly 1,300 housing units

Hope Lee, chair of the Kawartha Lakes Housing Corporation, which is responsible for affordable housing in both Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County, presented a budget request of $1.36 million to council during a recent council meeting.

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