The United Way of Thunder Bay is committed to improving lives and strengthening community. We worked with the community on addressing the underlying causes of social issues here in Thunder Bay. We work to effect long-term changes that can be sustained over time, and make a measureable difference in the community – a difference that can be demonstrated. We know if takes a whole community working together to change social conditions in priority areas like poverty and racism. Our goal is for our communities to be measurably better off as a result of the work of the United Way and others.
In 2014 the United Way brought a new initiative, Thunder Bay Counts, to our community. We worked as the overall project manager of Thunder Bay Counts along with our collaborative partner the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre. We also brought in an expert on developing this type of initiative, Andrew Taylor, from Taylor Newberry Consulting.
We engaged a working group of community leaders from education, business, philanthropy, health and social service organizations who make up the Thunder Bay Counts Round Table. This table, which was chaired by Rebecca Johnson, provided overall guidance and helped network the efforts of Thunder Bay Counts out into the community.
Although the United Way took on the leadership role, Thunder Bay Counts is a community wide initiative. Each step of the process was brought to the community for input and validation to ensure we got it right. We engaged the community in an ongoing process that has to date developed the Shared Agenda for Change which includes a community vision, goals within 3 priority areas, and concrete statements about the kind of change we need. This shared agenda was used to develop a suite of community level indicators to track progress of social issues over time. The agenda can also be used to pursue increased collaboration and more evidence-based planning, decision making, investment, and mobilize collective action that will work towards enhancing the well-being of our community.
The United Way has used the information developed through Thunder Bay Counts to form the Community Impact Plan which will guide our work going forward.
Thunder Bay Counts Roundtable
The United Way of Thunder Bay brought together a Round Table of community leaders who represented a diverse cross section of community sectors. The Roundtable had a collective focus on achieving the shared vision for change of the Thunder Bay Counts Initiative.
The Roundtable Members brought to the table strategic assets:
- Community knowledge and history from within their sector;
- Lend credibility to the collaborative TBC effort;
- Connections to broaden the network of organizations/agencies who will work towards the shared vision for change;
Role of the Roundtable
- Met at key points throughout the development of Thunder Bay Counts to provide knowledge, expertise and decision making.
- Assisted with the identification, engagement of and development of working groups and collaborative partnerships related to identified community goals of TBC.
- Assisted with the identification and development of data partnerships.
- Children’s Centre Thunder Bay
- City of Thunder Bay
- Communities Together for Children
- Community Economic Development Commission
- Confederation College
- District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board
- Fort William First Nations
- Lakehead Public Schools
- Lakehead Social Planning Council
- Lakehead University Aboriginal Initiatives
- North Superior Workforce Planning Board
- North West Local Health Integration Network
- Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre
- Ontario Native Women’s Association
- Ontario Trillium Foundation
- Paterson Foundation
- Quality of Life Network
- SHIFT Network
- St Joseph’s Care Group
- Superior North EMS
- The United Way of Thunder Bay
- Thunder Bay & District Labour Council
- Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
- Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
- Thunder Bay Community Foundation
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre
- Thunder Bay Police Services
- Thunder Bay Public Library
- Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre
- Aboriginal Liaison Strategy
- Active Transportation
- Age-Friendly Thunder Bay
- Anti-Racism Advisory Committee
- Clean, Green & Beautiful Committee
- Culture Plan
- Diversity Thunder Bay
- EarthCare Thunder Bay
- Healthy Communities
- Housing Strategy
- Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee
- Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy
- Thunder Bay & District Poverty Reduction Strategy
- Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council
- Thunder Bay Drug Strategy
- Thunder Bay Youth Strategy