By the numbers:
Focusing on the needs of our community
For decades, United Way Centraide North East Ontario has been a part of the social fabric that connects our community.
We work to understand and respond to our community’s most critical needs and target your investments where they will show the greatest results.
How We Do It
We look at the big picture, bring passionate people together, invest for maximum impact and speak up for what’s right.
We research and work with others to understand community needs and plan for the future.
We partner with donors, social service agencies, labour, government, small businesses, corporations, educational institutions and volunteers to have even greater reach within our communities. We also engage in unique opportunities like WOLVES United - United FIVE, Imagine Playground Revitalization Project, Home Bonus Program and 211.
We are committed to raising necessary funds that support local, targeted programs that are addressing needs in our community.
Our investments are targeted to get results.
Our Focus Areas
Poverty to Possibility
For many people in our community, poverty is a daily and difficult struggle. It forces people to make impossible decisions like paying rent or putting food on the table. The complexity of poverty has many contributing factors. Its social and economic issues impact entire communities and everyone who lives in them.Learn More
Building Strong Communities
A community is only as strong as its most vulnerable citizens. On far too many occasions, residents find difficulty in accessing essential services they need to succeed. These barriers are often amplified for seniors, people living with disabilities and newcomers, leading to challenges like social exclusion and mental illness.Learn More
Helping Kids Be All That Kids Can Be
Children and youth are one of our community’s greatest assets. The reality is, far too many young people are struggling. Poverty, food insecurity, mental illness, safe places and spaces, and a lack of early years supports can have life-long effects including their ability to finish high school. United Way sees the potential in our youngest citizens and that youth engagement and targeted community supports are instrumental in life-long success.Learn More
Stories of Change
“Shortly after my daughter started her Ph.D. in psychology in 2001, I noticed that she had become anxious all the time, and was getting worse. I remember one incident in particular when she called me, paralyzed with panic, and I had to go pick her up. She was hospitalized, and after months of tests, we got the diagnosis: bipolar disorder.
I was shocked and in disbelief. I had no idea what to do. When my daughter was in a manic state, she wouldn’t sleep. She walked around constantly and lost weight. As a health care professional—I’m a retired speech-language pathologist—I knew I needed to ask for help right away. But when it comes to your own child, you feel completely powerless.
At first, I looked for help mainly for my daughter. After I found support for her, I had the time to look for support for myself. I gained a better understanding of what people with a mental illness are feeling. That helped me put myself in my daughter’s shoes.
I also learned how to let go. This doesn’t mean you are giving up, but rather that you accept the situation. I learned how to tell my daughter that I was exhausted and that I couldn’t always be strong. She then started paying attention to me, just like I paid attention to her. Our relationship has always been good, but this helped us communicate and work together even more.
Today, my daughter is doing much better. Bipolar disorder will always be part of our lives, but now we know how to live with it.”
Meet Nadine & Chase
When I learned that my daughter, Nadine, was reading at a pre-K level in grade 2, it felt like a punch to the gut. I’m a single mother of four kids and had just entered university. I was so busy; I didn’t realize she was floating under the radar. Once I knew, though, my focus became enhancing all my kids’ learning abilities.
At first, I thought a literacy camp would just give Nadine extra practice, but right away, she showed so much improvement. She came home every day with stories about reading books with the volunteers, and I thought, ‘I want my daughter to have this much excitement reading with her mom.’ Within the first week, I was getting pamphlets on how to make reading fun and engaging for parents, too. I was glad to get them—they’ll help me in the future with my two younger children.
My son Chase wasn’t as under the radar as Nadine was, but he was reading at a lower level. So, when they were both invited to the camp the following summer, I knew it was the best choice. The camp gave him so much confidence. Chase deals with ADHD, but the volunteers didn’t discourage him for learning at a slower pace—they were patient with him.
Now that I’m a literacy teacher myself, I understand that reading is confidence. That’s why I push for these programs. Chase and Nadine are now seven and 10; they’re both reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and they talk about what’s going to happen next. When I was first told Nadine was three grades behind in her reading level, I would never have guessed that she and Chase would be reading chapter books together two years later.”
“Becoming homeless was really stressful. The first time I really didn’t have anywhere to stay, I spent the night outside. I didn’t know what else to do.
It started when I was 15—I was removed from my family home by the police when things got really bad. I ended up doing a lot of couch surfing, but thankfully, I only spent a few nights outside.
Things didn’t get better when I graduated from high school; they actually got worse. I was still angry and hurt. I ended up hitchhiking across the country, getting into drugs and living on the streets.
In 2015, I was offered the chance to go home and get clean. A few months later, I was accepted into a transitional housing program for men recovering from addiction. There were a lot of very strict rules, but I was being held accountable—maybe for the first time ever. I started doing everything I could do to avoid falling back into old habits, like volunteering at a community garden. Now, I’m a university student studying computer science.
When I was at my worst, I would walk down the street, and people would pretend I wasn’t there. Nowadays, people cross the street just to say hi to me. I plan to finish my degree, and I’m thinking about doing a master’s.
I want people like me to know it can get better. There are always going to be people there for you—you just have to open up and allow them in.”