2021 Community Investments

United Way of Thunder Bay invests available resources in strategic ways to move the needle on poverty in our community.

Members of our volunteer Community Investment Panel evaluate and make recommendations to fund certain programs, collaborations and initiatives that create measurable, lasting change in real lives.

Below are some of our recent investments that are helping to support vulnerable people throughout Northwestern Ontario.

Community Investment

ORGANIZATION PROJECT NAME DESCRIPTION
Catholic Family Development Centre Clinical Counselling The Clinical Counselling Program provides transitional clinical counselling from their initial intake until 3 months after they have secured meaningful employment, education and training. Post-employment supports will help significantly with retention, and re-enforcing the positive steps in their clinical journey will allow the client to sustain employment, education and training.
Community Clothing Assistance Referral Program The Referral Program program provides identified individuals with free, immediate, good quality clothing. This program provides people in crisis a sense of dignity, offering anonymity when using clothing bank services, and responds to provide clothing to families in times of crisis.
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario Breaking Down Barries and Building Community Connections This program provides a continuum of care and support services to women in conflict with the law in Thunder Bay. The program assists women by facilitating communication with lawyers, providing court support, assisting with grievances while incarcerated and helping develop robust release plans. The program also connects women with key resources in the community such as housing, food, clothing, counseling, treatment, education, training, and cultural programs.
Evergreen A United Neighbourhood Strong Neighbourhood The Evergreen Strong Neighbourhood program will connect the children, youth, and families in the Simpson-Ogden neighbourhood to inclusive community programming. This program provides supports for individuals with seamless, no cost, easy to access, culturally appropriate and welcoming programming to help build a connected community.
Evergreen A United Neighbourhood Evergreen Feeding Program The Evergreen Feeding Program offers a meal to-go twice a week to support individuals and families to ensure all have their basic needs met.
Hope Air Medical Care Access Travel The purpose of the program is to help low-income Thunder Bay residents to access medical care far from home. While the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre provides essential care for Thunder Bay residents, patients with complex medical conditions frequently require medical expertise elsewhere. Program participants are low-income Thunder Bay patients that are vulnerable due to other factors that need resources to access vital medical programs.
John Howard Society of Thunder Bay & District Community Integration Program The purpose of the Community Integration Program is to assist individuals with healthy and sustainable re-integration into the community; provide safety and security through transitional/supportive housing; assist in the development of life skills; provide connection to specialized community resources; support individuals build skills for independent living; develop skills to create positive coping mechanisms; assist and support individuals while they address the underlying factors that increase their risk for recidivism or homelessness; and help foster a sense of belonging within the community.
John Howard Society of Thunder Bay & District Panhandling Pilot Program The Panhandling Diversion Pilot Project provides an alternative for individuals that routinely engage in panhandling. This project would aim to create opportunities for these vulnerable individuals to be redirected to complete volunteer work (meaningful work) and be compensated for their work. The compensation would be direct cash to the individual in hopes that they would be deterred from further engaging in panhandling through meeting the need of generating income in a safer way.
Lakehead Social Planning Council 211 Northern Region 211 Northern Region provides information and referral services by telephone, online chat, email and text. 211 contacts are responded to by highly trained and certified Community Resource Specialists who help individuals connect with the wide range of government, community, health and social services in Northern Ontario. Additional roles of 211 consist of advocacy and follow-up and the management of specialty lines.
March of Dimes Virtual Connections Program The Virtual Connections Program connects volunteers with program participants so they can engage in virtual visits over the course of three months. During this time, the volunteer will engage in friendly conversation and activities that will help reduce feelings of social isolation, as well as provide information and resources that will be helpful to the participant.
New Directions Speakers School New Directions Speakers School The New Directions Speakers’ School Program is a free public speaking and self-advocacy course that develops public speaking and leadership skills and raises awareness of social justice issues. The training consists of exercises focusing on effective communication, public speaking and group facilitation combined with substantive lectures on local community issues and other related topics presented by community trainers.
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre Thunder Bay Good Food Box The Thunder Bay Good Food Box is a non-profit, volunteer powered, community based, food security program. Our aim is to increase access to fresh, quality produce for low income or food insecure people by making it affordable and available in neighbourhoods, housing buildings, organizations, and participating First Nations.
NorthWind Family Ministries Lifebuild LifeBuild is a program developed to meet the needs of individuals who struggle to maintain basic life essentials, such as employment, education, food security, and more. Each LifeBuild session consists of group sessions, held for four to six weeks, that focus on topics such as personal safety, addiction, grief care, communication, conflict resolution, boundary setting, anxiety, depression, and isolation.
NorthWind Family Ministries Next-Steps Next Steps will build on the successes of a previously-funded United Way project to assist those desiring change beyond the initial point of contact and relationship building and guide them through building and implementing a plan for success. The program focuses on finding permanent solutions to marginalized residents who are housing insecure and food insecure.
Our Kids Count Food Security Access The purpose of Our Kids Count Food Security Program is to provide participants with access to affordable nutritious food and to help alleviate and reduce the impacts of poverty for the individuals, children and families we serve. The Food Security Programs includes an emergency food cupboard; however, our programs are designed to increase the participants’ knowledge and skills around nutrition, food preparation and managing food insecurity.
Our Kids Count Big Brothers Big Sisters The Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program aims to “ignite the power and potential of young people in our community” and provides boys, girls, young men & young women with a role 1:1 model to talk to and share the experiences of growing up with.
Roots to Harvest Roots Community Food Centre The Roots Community Food Centre will include a dining room that will focus on meals for seniors and elders, including a once a month traditional food meal, in partnership with the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre. The Roots Community Food Centre will also bring the Community Food Market model to Roots to Harvest’s location to have more avenues for people to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at whole sale costs.
Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon Shkoday – Feeding Our Children Shkoday’s program, Feed our Children, ensures that children participating in the Aboriginal Head Start and Biwaase’aa progrmas are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually nourished. The program addresses food security, offers recreational outings, and promote the spiritual aspect through special events such as powwow’s, educational and cultural training.
St. Andrew’s Soup Kitchen Inc. Nutrition Mission The Nutrition Mission Program allows the Dew Drop Inn to continue to offer a substantial take-home lunch for patrons. The program provides resources to purchase water bottles, fresh bread, and fruit and vegetables.
St. Andrew’s Soup Kitchen Inc. Take Home Container Costs This program ensures that the Dew Drop Inn has the resources necessary to continue to provide take-home meals during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services I Have a Voice The I Have a Voice program provides pay-as-you-go minutes and SIM cards for victims of crimes to allow for empowerment and independence to fight for their rights, needs, and safety by connecting to assist in enabling access to important services like health care and employment, and personal or family networks.
Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club Windsor Unit Program The Windsor Unit Program is a place where Thunder Bay youth can access a variety of skill building opportunities through programming at the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club Windsor Street location. The program is highly geared towards low-income, single-parent families and Indigenous families. Children are greeted by caring individuals that help them foster new skills, build new friendships and help them with their confidence.
Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club Vale Unit Program The Vale Unit Program offers recreational. literacy, cultural, nutritional and healthy active living programs for children and youth that are deemed “at risk” at the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club Vale Unit location.
Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club Breakfast Program The purpose of the Breakfast Program is to provide children and youth access to a healthy breakfast prior to the school day in a safe, supervised space. who don’t have any.
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre Family Violence The Family Violence Program provides individual, couple and family counselling to people who are at risk of or are experiencing intimate partner violence, the impacts of gender-based violence, or domestic violence.
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre Financial Counselling The Financial Counselling Program exists to assist individuals, couples, and families across the lifespan to understand their use of money, to assist them with challenges related to their financial situation and to support them to establish and meet goals related to their personal financial situation.
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre Psychosocial Counselling Thunder Bay Counselling receives funding to provide counselling to women who have or are experiencing violence under its Violence Against Women (VAW) program. The VAW program is specific to women, and does not include service provision to men, couples, or families. The United Way’s support of the Family Violence program addresses this gap in services for men and families in Thunder Bay.
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre Youth Life Skills Programming under Youth Life Skills is broken into three components: CHOICES Program, Youth Well-Being Group, and Youth Life Skills Supports. The three programs work with young people to think and act positively, build self-esteem, and learn healthy coping strategies in a safe environment with peers, and improve overall well-being.
Thunder Bay Emergency Shelter Inc. Social Navigator Pilot Program The Thunder Bay Emergency Shelter’s Social Navigator pilot program aims to bridge the gaps in services that clients receive to help them access the wrap-around supports they require to transition to successful independent living. The program will features a Case Manager and a Social Navigator working collaboratively to ensure patrons can access community supports.
Thunder Bay Food Bank Meeting Basic Needs This program ensures that individuals and families accessing the Thunder Bay Food Bank have access to plentiful and nutritious food.
Thunder Bay Literacy Group Small Group Thunder Bay Literacy Group’s Small Group program develops a training plan and provides literacy and numeracy instruction to adults in a setting where individuals can work independently and in a group.

In response to COVID-19, the United Way of Thunder Bay delivered several programs. Thanks to your donations, we provided extraordinary unrestricted grants to help maintain the stability of frontline service providers during the pandemic.

In partnership with the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, we also launched the Thunder Bay COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to help meet the basic needs of individuals, children, families and seniors affected by COVID-19.

Additionally, the United Way of Thunder Bay delivered support for seniors in our region through the New Horizons for Seniors fund.

We also collaborated with the Thunder Bay Community Foundation to administer a vital first round investment of $985,308 from the Government of Canada for critical services for vulnerable people in our region through the Emergency Community Support Fund.

Learn more about the specific initiatives below: 

2020 Community Investments

Community Investment

ORGANIZATION PROJECT NAME COMMUNITY
Boys and Girls Club Windsor Club After School and Evening Programs Thunder Bay
Boys and Girls Club Child Nutrition Program – Breakfast Club Thunder Bay
Boys and Girls Club Vale Unit After School and Evening Programs Thunder Bay
Boys and Girls Club Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Catholic Family Development Centre Sustaining Clinical Counselling Services to the Most Vulnerable Thunder Bay
Catholic Family Development Centre Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Children’s Centre of Thunder Bay Walk-In Counselling Clinic Thunder Bay
Children’s Centre of Thunder Bay Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Community Clothing Assistance The REFFERAL Project Thunder Bay
Community Clothing Assistance Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario Breaking Down Barriers and Building Community Communications Thunder Bay
Evergreen a United Neighborhood Volunteer Coordination and Evergreen Feeding Program Thunder Bay
Evergreen a United Neighborhood Evergreen Strong Neighbourhoods Thunder Bay
Evergreen a United Neighborhood Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
John Howard Society of Thunder Bay and District Community Intergration Program Thunder Bay
John Howard Society of Thunder Bay and District Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Lakehead Social Planning Council 211 North (Online) Thunder Bay
Lakehead Social Planning Council 211 Poverty Reduction Walk-In Program Thunder Bay
Lakehead Social Planning Council Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
March of Dimes The Warehouse Project Thunder Bay
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
NorthWind Family Ministries Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Our Kids Count of Thunder Bay A Kitchen for our Community, Food Security Programming Thunder Bay
Our Kids Count of Thunder Bay Big Brothers Big Sisters Thunder Bay
Our Kids Count of Thunder Bay Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
PRO Kids PRO Kids Allocation of Children into Activity Programming Thunder Bay
Regional Food Distribution Association Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Regional Food Distribution Association Poverty Proofing Accreditation Thunder Bay
Roots to Harvest School Outreach Programs Thunder Bay
Roots to Harvest Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon Biwaasea’aa and Aboriginal Head Start Program Thunder Bay
St. Andrew’s Soup Kitchen Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Counselling Psychosocial Counselling Program Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Counselling Youth Life Skills Programs – CHOICES and Youth Well-Being Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Counselling Financial Counselling Program Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Counselling Family Violence Counselling Program Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Counselling Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Emergency Shelter Inc. Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Food Bank Food Bank Services Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Food Bank Unrestricted Funding Thunder Bay

COVID-19 COMMUNITY RELIEF FUND

ORGANIZATION PROJECT NAME COMMUNITY
Roots to Harvest Emergency Good Food Box for Seniors Thunder Bay
St. Andrew Soup Kitchen Inc. Take me Home. lunches from the Dew Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Emergency Shelter Inc. Shelter House COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Sheltering the Community Thunder Bay
Regional Food Distribution Association Emergency Food Bank Hamper Distribution Thunder Bay
Our Kids Count of Thunder Bay, INC. Our Kids Count Covid-19 Response Thunder Bay
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre Regional First Nation Emergency Good Food Box Thunder Bay
Boys and Girls Club of Thunder Bay Brown Bag Lunch Program – Vale/Limbrick Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services Crisis Support Fund Thunder Bay
Regional Food Distribution Association PPE Purchase Thunder Bay
Lakehead Social Planning Council Connecting At-Risk Seniors and Shut-ins to Food Delivery Program Thunder Bay
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario Emergency Response Program Thunder Bay
Elevate NOW Operation “Not Forgotten” Thunder Bay
The Children’s Aid Society of Thunder Bay Re-Stock the Food Cupboard Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay and District Humane Society COVID-19 Pet Food Delivery Program Thunder Bay
NorWest Community Health Centre Emergency COVID Response Program Thunder Bay
Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay Caregiver Care Kits Thunder Bay
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre EXTENSION: Regional First Nation Emergency Good Food Box Thunder Bay
Catholic Family Development Centre Men’s Engagement Program Thunder Bay
Roots to Harvest EXTENSION: Emergency Good Food Box for Seniors Thunder Bay
Roots to Harvest Emergency Cell Phone Project Thunder Bay
NorWest Community Health Centres NorWest Emergency COVID Support Program (Contd) Thunder Bay
Alzheimer Society Thunder Bay Caregiver Care Kits Thunder Bay
St. Andrew Soup Kitchen Inc. Take Me Home 2, Lunches from the Dew Thunder Bay

New Horizons for Seniors Funding

ORGANIZATION PROJECT NAME COMMUNITY
Ma’mo’weh Wii’soo’ka’tiwin Foundation Covid 19 Seniors Meals on Wheels Kenora, ON
Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council Remote First Nation Security Program Balmertown, ON
Town of Nipigon Covid 19 Seniors Wellness Program Nipigon, ON
Alzheimer Society of Kenora Rainy River Districts Activity Kits Kenora, ON
Manitouwadge Golden Age Centre Senior Virtual Social Events Manitouwadge, ON
Matawa First Nations Management Elder Support Services in Traditional Languages Thunder Bay, ON
Atikokan Pioneer Centre Telephone Check-In, Delivery Service and Teleconferencing Atikokan, ON
City of Dryden Extended Program for Meals on Wheels and Food Hampers Dryden, ON
Canadian Mental Health Association, Fort Frances Branch Increased Technological Capacity for Seniors Fort Frances, ON
Lakehead Social Planning Council 211 Adult Service Coordinator and Age Friendly Newletter Thunder Bay, ON

Emergency Community Support Fund

ORGANIZATION PROJECT NAME COMMUNITY
St. Andrew Soup Kitchen Inc. It takes 2 to daily do the Dew. Thunder Bay
Crossroads Centre Inc. Release from custody COVID hygiene kits Thunder Bay
Grace Ministries of Thunder Bay Covid-19 Food Serving Barriers Thunder Bay
Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada Starlight Play From Home Packs. Thunder Bay
ELEVATE NOW Safe Place = Healthy Place Thunder Bay
Handicapped Action Group Incorporated Supporting Vulnerable Individuals Thunder Bay
Hospice Northwest Technology to link isolated seniors with family and volunteers Thunder Bay
Alzheimer Society Thunder Bay Caregiver Care Kits Thunder Bay
Precious Bundles Clothing Assistance Program COVID-19 Family Essential Item Recovery Project Thunder Bay
St. Andrew Soup Kitchen Inc. Take me home, Dinners from the Dew Thunder Bay
Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre Good Food Box Bridge Program Thunder Bay
Roots to Harvest Food Capacity Infrastructure Thunder Bay
AIDS COMMITTEE THUNDER BAY (operating name ELEVATE NWO) No one left behind 2.0 Thunder Bay
NorWest Community Health Centres NorWest Community COVID Response Project Thunder Bay
NorthWind Family Ministries Emergency Mental Health Support to Families in Thunder Bay Thunder Bay
Ma’mo’weh Wii’soo’ka’tiwin Foudation Reduce Social Isolation & Improve Mental Health Through Crafts Kenora
Pic Mobert First Nation COVID-19 Emergency Response Pic Mobert First Nation
Community Living Atikokan Essential Services for Vulnerable Populations & Communities Atikokan
Township of Schreiber Schreiber Senior Centre COVID-19 Helping Hands Schreiber
Easter Seals Ontario Camp E-aster Seals Thunder Bay
Teach For Canada Supporting First Nations Education Through the COVID-19 Pandemic Fort Severn, Bearskin Lake, Pikangikum
Catholic Family Development Centre Individual/Group Counselling to Crossroads Centre Clients Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre Enriching Community Coping and Connections Thunder Bay
Frontier College Championing Literacy in Thunder Bay Thunder Bay
Catholic Family Development Centre Grief and CareGiver Counselling Supports to our Seniors Thunder Bay
Hope Air Flights of Hope and Accommodation for Medical Care Northwestern Ontario
Gathering of Rivers for Community Care Matawa Food Security Project Matawa Tribal Communities
Our Kids Count of Thunder Bay Inc. OKC Gets Virtual Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Food Bank Preparing to Safely Re-Open Thunder Bay
The Gathering Place Program adaptations for current and future pandemic protocols. Thunder Bay
Grace Ministries of Thunder Bay Grace Place Day Shelter Thunder Bay
The Word Hub The word hub drop in centre and community kitchen Kenora
Thunder Bay Public Library Bridging the Digital Divide – Access for those who need it most Thunder Bay
March of Dimes Canada Social Connect Thunder Bay
Shkoday Transitioning safely in 2020. Thunder Bay
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario Abolishing Hunger – One Bag At A Time Thunder Bay
Town of Nipigon Community Food Security Nipigon
Gathering Table a Faith Community in the Anglican Church of Canada Computerize the food cupboard operation Thunder Bay
Schreiber Public Library Community, Connecting and Learning Schreiber
City of Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council Community Emergency Food Security Plan (CEFSP) Thunder Bay
Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Trust Transport of Medical Supplies and Clothing to Indigenous Communities. Fort William First Nation
Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario Cellphones to People Project Thunder Bay
Catholic Family Development Centre Technology Collaboration for Clinical Counselling Virtually Thunder Bay
Regional Food Distribution Association of Northwestern Ontario Food Disrtibution Storage and Logistics Infrastructure Thunder Bay
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario The Safe@Home Project – Thunder Bay Thunder Bay
Evergreen a United Neighbourhood Evergreen Covid-19 Community Supports Thunder Bay
St. Joseph’s Foundation of Thunder Bay St. Joseph’s Care Group Televisitation Program Thunder Bay
Greenstone Victim Services Improve accessibility to respond to clients 24/7 during COVID-19 Thunder Bay
Lakehead Social Planning Council Lakehead Social Planning Council Thunder Bay
George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation George Jeffrey Children’s Centre – Commitment to Service Thunder Bay
Alzheimer Society Thunder Bay Care Kits Thunder Bay
FIREFLY Technology for Youth in Need of Clinical Support Thunder Bay
Children’s Aid Society PPE & Food for bio children and families CAS serves Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay Public Library Digital Access Initiative Thunder Bay