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  • December 13, 2017

Ontario Helping Lift People Out of Poverty in Thunder Bay

Provincial Investment in Local Solutions Driving Change in Thunder Bay


December 13, 2017

Ontario is investing in 48 community projects across the province that are supporting new ways to help people break the cycle of poverty, increase food security, find good jobs and end homelessness in Ontario.

Today, Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan and Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay Superior North announced funding for the John Howard Society’s 3 year comprehensive evaluation of the Residential Reintegration Program. The project is receiving support from the province to help evaluate the John Howard Society’s services and track the long and short term success of individuals who are homeless or are leaving correctional institutions, with the goal of decreasing homelessness rates in Thunder Bay. The data collected about mental health and poverty struggles will contribute to a body of knowledge that will support poverty reduction programs across the province. The John Howard Society of Thunder Bay will also be adding a Recreational Therapist in hopes they can help replace negative coping mechanisms like substance abuse with positive ones, improving self-sufficiency and reducing criminogenic risks.

In total, 48 innovative, community-led projects are being funded through Ontario's Local Poverty Reduction Fund, which help groups disproportionately affected by poverty get into housing, develop skills and find employment. Those disproportionately affected by poverty include women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Indigenous Peoples. Part of this funding supports data collection, which will help develop more effective poverty reduction programs across the province.

Fighting poverty is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy, and help people in their everyday lives.


“Ontario is investing in programs that will measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. By harnessing the creativity of local partners, identifying innovative community-driven solutions, and building on evidence-based best practices, we can make strong inroads in tackling poverty.”

–– Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“With this funding, the John Howard Society will be able to help us learn more about what approaches are making a difference for the people of Thunder Bay. This will help government, communities and all of our partners design and deliver more effective programs to combat poverty using proven approaches as we continue making Ontario the best place to call home.”

–– Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan

“I am very supportive of the John Howard Society’s Residential Reintegration Program and I am confident that the project will help decrease homelessness in Thunder Bay. By investing in innovative and effective support, we will ensure a more positive outcome for many struggling with poverty, substance abuse, and mental illness.”

–– Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay – Superior North

“We want to thank the Local Poverty Reduction Fund and the Ministry of Housing for this important funding opportunity. Many of the clients who enter our Residential Reintegration Program are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This funding will greatly help us achieve our goals of providing the most effective programming, and ultimately helping individuals find and maintain their own housing in our communities.”

–– Kevin Haynen, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Thunder Bay & District 



  • The John Howard Society is receiving $346,600 to help evaluate their Residential Reintegration Program. The data collected will contribute to a body of knowledge that will support poverty reduction programs across the province.
  • Ontario is investing over $16 million to 48 projects in communities across Ontario, including over $6 million to 20 employment and income security projects, more than $5 million to 14 projects from Indigenous-led organizations, $3 million to 12 projects that are homelessness-related, and more than $4.5 million to 14 projects that are related to food security.
  • These projects focus on local community partnerships and include a third-party evaluation component, which is important because better data will help communities develop better solutions to increasing food security, reducing child poverty and homelessness, and helping people find jobs and earn a stable income.



Local Poverty Reduction Fund

Realizing Our Potential: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

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