Toronto, Ont. - Given trends of high inflation, mass labour shortages, lack of affordable housing, and increased demand for more community mental health and addictions services, and senior care programs, WoodGreen Community Services, as a Toronto social service leader, is advocating for the community care sector to receive additional investment in Ontario’s 2023 budget. This investment would help empower thousands of vulnerable residents to secure employment, housing, and essential social services.
WoodGreen supports our partners’ recommendations for a sector-wide investment of $182 million for non-profit community support services and $130 million for community mental health and addiction services. This funding would help WoodGreen to sustain and expand its programs and services.
“With additional investment in community care, WoodGreen can expand its high-demand services in community care and community mental health, generate cost-savings for the health system, and serve more clients with better care,” said Eric Mariglia, WoodGreen’s Director of Public Affairs. “By supporting community programs, the province has an opportunity to keep more clients safely housed, alleviate pressure off hospitals, and reduce the number of patients waiting for alternate care settings.”
Models such as WoodGreen’s assisted-living cluster care provide seniors, including alternate-level care clients, with a shared living space that has 24-hour personal support worker (PSW) assisted-living services. The model is incredibly cost-effective, with an average cost per bed of $95 per day. Given there is a growing number of patients occupying acute care settings that do not require it, this model is important as it provides an additional option of care.
WoodGreen is seeking both partnership and financial support from the Ontario government of an additional $12.7 million for programs and services to address some of the most critical issues in our community. We have made the following recommendations to the province:
- Continue to provide funding towards local employment and financial empowerment programs to help the most challenged job seekers improve their employability.
- Provide additional investment for community care services, including implementation of assisted-living care models such as cluster care, and further funding towards community support services and community health human resources (e.g. PSWs).
- Provide additional investment to expand community mental health and addictions services.
- Support women’s economic empowerment and pathways to employment through partnership with WoodGreen’s Homeward Bound program.
- Sustain supportive and community housing by:
- providing funds to municipal housing programs;
- increasing the inclusionary zoning affordability period and;
- streamlining processes for supportive housing funds and subsidies.
To read WoodGreen’s full pre-budget submission to the Ontario government, click here.
ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen Community Services is one of Toronto’s largest social service agencies serving clients across 40 locations and offering over 75 programs and services addressing the health and well-being of our community.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Marketing & Communications Manager; firstname.lastname@example.org; (437) 226-8091 (cell)