OMSSA is featuring several of our 2022 Local Municipal Champion award recipients and their work in the Knowledge Exchange Blog. Please read the entry from the County of Simcoe. To effectively manage needs within the homeless shelter system during the COVID-19 pandemic and enable early identification of issues, the County of Simcoe rapidly integrated public health, mental health, addictions, housing services and paramedic services through weekly meetings and on site in regular and temporary motel based shelter settings, established new relationships and strengthened existing relationships across systems to improve access to critical services and supports to homeless individuals and families.
Greg Bishop has been the General Manager, Social and Community Services Division at the County of Simcoe since 2015. This role includes leadership and oversight to the Social Housing, Community Services, Ontario Works and Children Services Departments. Greg is also one of the recipients of the 2022 OMSSA Lifetime Achievement Award. OMSSA sat down with Greg to discuss human services, his career, and involvement with OMSSA.
In 2006, Debbie started in the role of Executive Director of Housing and Children’s Services with the City of Windsor responsible for housing, homelessness, child care and early years and emergency social services and held this position for over 15 years until her retirement in 2022. Debbie is also one of the recipients of the 2022 OMSSA Lifetime Achievement Award. OMSSA sat down with Debbie to discuss human services, her career, and involvement with OMSSA.
Karly Church is an anti-trafficking advocate, crisis counsellor and well-known speaker. She is known for her work on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking and has been a leader in helping shift the perception of trafficked girls from criminals to victims and now to survivors and leaders. She is also the recipient of the 2022 OMSSA Champion of Human Services Award. OMSSA sat down with Karly for an interview to discuss her work. Please note: This article discusses a specific person’s experiences with human trafficking. This may be difficult for some readers.
Mellissa Morgan is the General Manager of Human Services and Long-Term Care for the City of Cornwall, and she oversees the operations, transformation, and modernization of Ontario Works, Children‘s Services, and Housing Services for Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. She believes that life stabilization is a fundamental and core principle within each of those areas. She is also the recipient of the 2022 OMSSA Patti Moore Human Services Integration Award. OMSSA sat down with Mellissa for an interview to discuss her work and experiences over her career within the City of Cornwall and various human services topics.
This post is being re-published with permission from Tend Academy. This post was originally written by Françoise Mathieu in August 2022. Françoise was most recently a keynote speaker at OMSSA's 2022 Forum where she discussed many of the topics and themes discussed in this blog post. Photo credit: TEND Academy
Read our latest blog post from Whitney Kitchen, Coordinator of Housing Administration and Development with the City of Windsor, about the Homelessness & Housing Help Hub (H4) that began as an emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic to provide social distancing and safe daytime space to individuals experiencing homelessness. Also learn more about the the vision for a new permanent Housing Hub as a response to the success achieved at the current H4.
Read our latest blog post from Tania Dickson, Housing Services Manager with Bruce County, about the launch of the first phase of their Affordable Housing Toolkit earlier this year. The toolkit offers a wealth of information and data to assist property owners and developers appreciate the need for affordable housing. The toolkit outlines the need for diverse development opportunities, including medium and high-density units, to support everyone‘s various housing needs. Learn more about Bruce County's toolkit.
Read our latest blog post from Tammy Kealey-Donaldson, Manager of Children's Services with Lanark County about the promotion and recruitment of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). Lanark County is recognized for its Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Dino campaign which has proven to be a huge success. Building on its 2021 Local Municipal Champion Award, learn more about Lanark County's work to recruit and retain ECEs in the community.
Read our latest blog post from Michelle Schurter, CEO and Founder of the Millennial Strategist, talking about a recent professional development event led by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent for Child Care and Early Years workers. The focus was on celebrating the service provided to families and communities, particularly over the past two years with the pandemic, and digging deep into the value Early Childhood Educators bring to children, families, community, and the economy. Twelve communities partnered with Chatham-Kent and shared the cost of one virtual day of learning bringing together over 4,000 educators! Learn more about the event and what's next for the Child Care and Early Years workforce in Ontario.
Read our latest blog post from Caroline Rigutto, Policy and Program Review Analyst with Leeds and Grenville, talking about how in 2020 a municipal Housing Affordability Task Force was formed in Leeds and Grenville to strategically examine housing affordability needs, and to recommend prioritized solutions. As an initiative to increase the supply of affordable rental housing in Leeds and Grenville, the Task Force recommended that a Secondary Suite program be developed. Learn more about this program in Leeds and Grenville.
Read our latest blog post from AMO's Senior Advisor, Michael Jacek, talking about how OMSSA and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) work together. OMSSA members may not realize that our organizations are already joined at the hip and together we can accomplish much through collaboration while being mindful of our respective roles and contributions.
The purpose of this blog post is to highlight what was included in the 2022 Ontario Budget and to preview to members what to expect in terms of issues and potential outcomes in the upcoming Ontario Election that will occur on June 2nd, 2022. (Photo credit: Toronto Star)
The importance of having a sensitive and informed response to domestic sex trafficking was put to the test during COVID-19. Many expected human trafficking would slow down during a global pandemic. What the Durham Human Trafficking Response Team saw was the exact opposite. Learn more about the experience from Jocelyn Siciliano of Durham Region Social Services.
When you think of the word poverty, what do you see? Many see visions of people without access to drinking water in faraway places or of sprawling metropolises with rough-looking, crime-ridden neighborhoods. Most people have a hard time seeing poverty in their own charming little town, even though it exists. Poverty doesn’t always resonate with all people and all human service providers in the same way. Read more from County of Dufferin's Director of Community Services, Anna McGregor, on the work being done to address poverty and equity in this community.
On April 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, delivered the 2022 Federal Budget. Housing was the highlight of this Federal Budget with $10.1 billion in new spending over five years and a goal to double the amount of homes built over the next 10 years addressing housing supply.
After years of seeing gaps between the care people need and the traditional programs offered, Sault Ste. Marie paramedics will finally have the chance to provide even better community-based healthcare to their patients. Soon, Sault Ste. Marie will have its own Community Paramedic program, a concept that has proven itself time and time again throughout Canada and is long overdue in this Northern community. Read more from Sault Ste. Marie Paramedic Chief Katie Kirkham on this program and its importance to the community.
Throughout her years in public service, Grace Mater has been committed to collaborative approaches that enhance the lives of children and families in Hamilton. She stepped into the Operations Chief role for the City of Hamilton’s pandemic response as well as the General Manager, Healthy and Safe Community Department role prior to her retirement. Grace is also the recipient of the 2021 OMSSA Lifetime Achievement Award. OMSSA sat down with Grace to discuss human services, her career, and involvement with OMSSA.
Cordelia Abankwa is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Employment and Training Division with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and an executive leader and relationship builder with 30 years of experience in municipal and provincial public service where she has led innovation in complex, multidimensional environments. She is also the recipient of the 2021 OMSSA Patti Moore Human Services Integration Award. OMSSA sat down with Cordelia for an interview to discuss her work with the Ministry and experiences over her career within municipal and provincial settings.
As young leaders we know we have only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our career development. We are two of the three co-founders of the Multiculturalism Group. The group focuses on cultural inclusion through empowering, engaging and educating staff about multiculturalism. This opportunity has allowed us to develop our leadership skills through coaching, leading and mentoring individuals. We would like to share a few of the lessons and skills we have developed as leaders that can be applied across all of the human services sectors. Read more from OMSSA's 2021 Young Leader Award recipients.
As one of the prototype locations for Employment Services Transformation (EST), it has been nearly a year since the roll out in Haldimand-Norfolk. EST is the first major step of the Social Assistance (SA) transformation in Ontario, quickly followed by centralized intake in February. We know we are in the first stages of an ongoing transformation which will continue until 2024. Learn more about the experience in Haldimand-Norfolk.
Dr. Kwame McKenzie is the CEO of the Wellesley Institute and is an international expert on the social causes of mental illness, suicide, and the development of effective, equitable health systems. He is also the recipient of the 2021 OMSSA Champion of Human Services Award. OMSSA sat down with Dr. McKenzie for an interview to discuss the work of the Wellesley Institute and his insights and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years, many Canadians have begun to question their historical literacy, especially as disturbing facts about Indigenous history continue to be brought to light. With the knowledge that Canadian history is a focal point of our education system, recent events have caused many to ask, "Why do I know so little about Indigenous history?"
Municipalities can tackle poverty and its related costs head on by building free financial empowerment supports into municipal services. Supports like tax clinics, help accessing benefits, and one-on-one financial coaching/counseling can improve participant income, saving and debt levels, enhance credit scores and reduce financial stress.
The Speech from the Throne is intended to provide a broad vision of the federal government’s priorities for the term. It is widely expected that the NDP will support the Throne Speech and work on common priorities with the Trudeau government.
Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy delivered the Ontario Government’s 2021 Fall Economic Statement. The campaign style speech and response sets the tone for the upcoming 2022 Ontario Election.
Canada must realize that Reconciliation is not about saying sorry. Reconciliation is not about ticking off the easy boxes of the TRC Calls to Action – erecting monuments to survivors; adding curriculum in schools; and inserting land recognitions before meetings.
On September 20th, Canadians voted in the 2021 Federal Election and the outcome did not produce much change from the 2019 Election. From an OMSSA perspective, we were paying the most attention to early years and child care, housing, expiring pandemic benefits, long-term care and healthcare.
On October 4, the Ontario Government delivered their Speech from the Throne. With a provincial election expected in June 2022, there was an expectation that this speech would set the stage for the upcoming election campaign, 2022 provincial budget and plans ahead for the fall session.
OMSSA’s Knowledge Exchange Blog provides members with an opportunity for knowledge exchange to discuss sector issues across Ontario so readers are aware of the depth and breadth of sector issues, events, and activities across Ontario.
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