United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability, and healthy lives.

We aim to achieve this vision by working in five focuses:

Helping Children Develop

During childhood, children begin to develop key thinking and conceptual skills, along with a sense of identity and independence. But, challenges—including low self-esteem, obesity and mental-health issues—also emerge at this crucial age. These challenges can impact children’s well-being for the rest of their lives.

  • A 2013 UNICEF report card on child well-being (in terms of health and safety, education, housing and environment) ranked Canada 17th among the 29 wealthy nations.
  • Only 7% of 5–11-year-olds are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Youth, as of 2009–2011.
Read Clarke's Story Here

Youth Success

Young people are one of our community’s greatest assets. But, many are struggling: they are feeling disconnected from their communities, they are not finishing school, and they are having difficulty finding work. For many more, a meaningful career is simply out of reach, because they are without the right credentials, networks and skills to compete in today’s rapidly changing labour market.

15%
the national unemployment rate for those aged 15–24 in May 2016.

$23.1 Billion
the estimated cost (in lost wages) to Canadian youth over the next 18 years, due to high unemployment from the recession, according to a January 2013 report.

Read Nate's Story Here

From Poverty to Possibility

Every day, individuals and families across Canada face barriers that prevent them from building a good life—from getting the food they need to finding affordable housing. Plagued by high rent costs and a lack of subsidized housing, many people simply can’t afford proper housing.

1 in 10
Canadians live in poverty.

1 in 6
children live in households that struggle to put food on the table.

  • Compared to the general Canadian population, life expectancy is 10.8 years shorter for men living in shelters and 8.2 years shorter for women.
Read Maimoona's Story Here

Building Strong Communities

While many Canadians will experience mental-health issues in their lifetime, some groups—including newcomers and youth—are more affected than others. Across the country, too many individuals struggling with mental-health concerns and related addiction issues are not accessing the help they need. This can lead to even deeper symptoms and concerns, while putting their futures and the prosperity of their entire communities at risk.

Mental illness
is the second-leading cause of human disability and premature death in Canada.

Suicide
is the second-leading cause of death among Canadian youth.

A person who has a mental health disorder
is almost three times more likely to have a substance abuse disorder at some time in his or her life.

Read Distant's Story Here

Senior Isolation

Seniors are one of the fastest-growing populations in Canada, bringing a rise in demand for services that help them live at home as well as activities that keep them active and connected to others in the community. Unfortunately, too many seniors across the country feel isolated and lack the support that they need to lead vibrant, independent lives.

Nearly 1/5
of Canadian seniors report that they feel lonely.

24%
of all seniors would like to take part in more social activities and programs.

Read Rita's Story Here