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  • April 07, 2015

Local Poverty Reduction Fund to Support Community-Driven Solutions

New Fund Taps into Grassroots Initiatives

NEWS
Ontario is investing $50 million to support grassroots community partners in lifting people and families out of poverty.
The Local Poverty Reduction Fund will support innovative local solutions and help community organizations demonstrate their progress, evaluate their programs and build a collective body of evidence of poverty reduction initiatives that work.
Reducing poverty means investing in the right supports that improve outcomes for people. Ontario's work to fight poverty has made a difference in the lives of children and families, including preventing thousands from falling into poverty during the recession. Despite these successes, we know there is more work to do.
There are many local, grassroots and innovative programs in communities that are making a difference in the lives of people living in poverty. Using the evidence gathered from these programs, the government will work to apply best practices across the province and focus on funding programs that are proven to work and that can expand over time.
Fighting poverty is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.


QUOTE
“Our partners know their communities and what makes a difference for people living in poverty. We have an opportunity to capture innovative solutions from across the province that are working to help people become healthier, more ready for employment and better able to contribute to their communities.”
–– Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy


QUICK FACTS
 The Local Poverty Reduction Fund will focus on innovative programs that encourage communities to collaborate on solutions that target groups disproportionately affected by poverty including women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Aboriginal Peoples.
 The fund will support projects that focus on local community partnerships, and include a third-party evaluation component.
 The fund will also support projects led by Aboriginal communities and organizations both on- and off-reserve.
 The $50 million will be invested over six years.

Backgrounder

The Local Poverty Reduction Fund will support innovative local solutions and help community organizations demonstrate their progress, evaluate their programs and build a collective body of evidence of poverty reduction initiatives that work.


Who Can Apply?
The fund is available to a wide range of groups. Not-for-profit organizations, registered charities, broader public sector organizations such as municipal governments, district social service administration boards (DSSAB) as well as Aboriginal communities and organizations can apply for the fund.


Fund Criteria
To be considered for funding, applicants must meet the following criteria:
 Projects are local, innovative initiatives that focus on preventing and transitioning people out of poverty, and support the goals of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
 Projects help groups disproportionately affected by poverty, including women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Aboriginal Peoples.
 Projects use community partnerships and collaboration to deliver programs and services.
 Projects include partnerships with third-party evaluators (academia or practitioners) to develop and implement a clear evaluation framework.
 Projects must be sustainable or include a transition plan.


How to apply
To support community organizations in developing successful proposals, the application process is divided into two stages.


Stage One: Expression of Interest – April 2015
Community organizations are invited to submit an Expression of Interest that provides information about a program, initiative or intervention that they are interested in researching and evaluating. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Office is available to provide feedback on proposed projects to help strengthen applications for the Call for Proposals.
Expressions of Interest can be submitted until May 5, 2015.


Stage Two: Formal Call for Proposals – May 2015
Community organizations will be invited to respond to a Call for Proposals where they will provide more detail about their project and the evaluation framework they will use, including the third-party evaluator they propose to use. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Office is able to provide assistance to applicants having difficulty in finding a third-party evaluator.


Note: Organizations are not required to participate in the Expression of Interest in order to be able to submit a proposal in stage two.


Organizations who aren’t able to apply to this year’s Call for Proposals could apply in 2016 or in 2017.


The first round of eligible projects will be announced in the summer with funding to flow in the fall.


Samantha Grant, Minister's Office, 416-326-3839
Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, 416-325-8659
ontario.ca/povertyreduction

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