The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a $50 million, six-year initiative created to support innovative, community-driven projects that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty.

Organizations will either pilot new programs and measure their success or evaluate the impact of existing programs. Evidence gathered from these projects will be used to support poverty reduction programs across the province that have been proven to work and that can expand over time.

OrganizationProject descriptionsLocationStrategic pillarFunding requested
CHATS Community and Home Assistance to SeniorsThe organization will develop and evaluate a program to help vulnerable seniors who struggle with hoarding stay in their homes and improve their quality of life. Seniors will receive integrated supports, including home support workers and cleaning services.AuroraEnding homelessness$ 205,000
Catholic Family Services of Peel-DufferinThe organization will strengthen and evaluate its Culinary Training for Youth initiative, which provides at-risk youth who are interested in the culinary sector with food service skills, work placements and other supports to help them build secure careers.BramptonBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 628,400
Circles® Guelph WellingtonThe organization will strengthen and evaluate the Circles program. It provides an innovative, community-focussed support system to help low-income individuals become financially self-sufficient by developing personal plans and bringing together community volunteers to help implement those plans.GuelphBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 138,800
City of Hamilton - Learning AnnexThe City will develop and evaluate a Learning Annex to connect at-risk youth to education and employment services beyond traditional college courses and student support.HamiltonBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 572,900
Mission Services of HamiltonThe organization will implement and evaluate a new program to identify the housing needs of single mothers and provide them with tailored supports, with the aim of improving their children’s academic performance and helping reduce intergenerational poverty.HamiltonEnding homelessness$ 94,800
McMaster Family PracticeThe organization will test an electronic tool that helps physicians work with patients to identify what legal supports their patients may require, so they can be matched with community legal services.HamiltonAll pillars$ 89,000
County of SimcoeThe County of Simcoe will provide and evaluate specialized training for Employment Ontario staff to better serve Simcoe’s growing newcomer population. Employment specialists will develop expertise and employer networks to help newcomers find sustainable employment.Simcoe CountyMoving towards employment and income security$ 230,000
University of Toronto Active AssistThe university will extend and evaluate a program that provides financial assistance to low-income families and individuals to help them participate in physical activity and recreation programs that improve their quality of life and help them contribute to the community.MississaugaMoving towards employment and income security$ 20,400
Community Innovation LabThe organization will evaluate its Not in Education, Employment or Training Youth program, which recruits local businesses and academic leaders to deliver customized business skills workshops, training and mentoring to at-risk youth.OshawaBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 692,000
SEC Boys and Girls Club of York RegionThe organization will develop and evaluate an after-school program offering nutrition, recreation and skills-building to local youth from newcomer and single-parent families, to help them succeed in school and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.NewmarketBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 571,600
Home Suite HopeHome Suite Hope provides single mothers at risk of homelessness with affordable housing, a childcare subsidy and a fully funded college education and internship. The organization will evaluate the effectiveness of this housing-first approach in helping single mothers find employment.OakvilleEnding homelessness$ 355,500
University of WaterlooThe university will develop and evaluate a new web-based tool that will enable local organizations to collect, analyze and share data on poverty and poverty reduction initiatives in Perth and Huron counties.Perth and Huron CountiesAll pillars$ 300,000
John Howard Society of Belleville and DistrictThe organization will expand, strengthen and evaluate the Quantum Program, which provides coordinated mentoring and skills-development services to youth at risk of leaving high school early.BellevilleBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 92,300
Tungasuvvingat InuitThe organization will develop and evaluate a culturally appropriate program to reduce poverty among the urban Inuit in Ontario. By bringing together different service providers, the organization will help their clients acquire skills, education, training and work experience to find stable employment and build a more secure future.OttawaMoving towards employment and income security$ 281,000
The Governing Council of the Salvation Army in Canada, on behalf of Bethany Hope CentreThis organization will create and evaluate a program that will offer young parents wrap-around supports, such as career and leadership training, childcare meals, and housing services, to help them meet their children’s needs while they transition into work.OttawaMoving towards employment and income security$ 334,000
Canadore CollegeThe college will develop and evaluate a culturally-appropriate, hands-on training program for single Aboriginal women to help them find sustainable employment in the skilled trades industry and become financially self-sufficient.North BayMoving towards employment and income security$ 201,750
District of Nipissing Social Services Administration BoardThe organization will implement and evaluate a post-secondary education program to help low-income clients who have a grade 12 education or higher find meaningful employment and become financially independent.North BayMoving towards employment and income security$ 750,000
City of Greater SudburyThe project will support and evaluate the addition of client navigators to the Out of the Cold program to assist people to move from the street to a home. Navigators will provide services such as filling prescriptions, getting referrals and connecting people to service agencies.SudburyEnding homelessness$ 71,700
Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship CentresThe Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres will strengthen existing efforts to help urban Aboriginal clients move towards long-term prosperity by evaluating their service delivery model in seven Friendship Centres across Ontario.Across OntarioMoving towards employment and income security$ 270,000
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration - City of TorontoThe organization will develop and evaluate a tool designed to assess the needs of people who are homeless in order to more effectively match them to housing services.TorontoEnding homelessness$ 50,000
Scadding Court Community CentreScadding Court will measure the impact of its Business Out of the Box initiative, which helps low-income entrepreneurs build their businesses by turning shipping containers into affordable, flexible retail spaces. This allows individuals who cannot afford traditional retail space in Toronto to start a business.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 121,500
FoodShare TorontoFoodShare will evaluate two existing food support programs, which help people living in low-income communities save money and eat healthier by improving their access to affordable vegetables and fruit.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 111,500
Mennonite New Life Centre of TorontoThe organization will evaluate the Building Strengths at Work project, which helps newcomers find meaningful employment and get education and training. This is a holistic approach that assists newcomers at all points in their move away from poverty and includes services such as one-on-one mental health counselling.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 370,200
Toronto District School BoardThe Next Steps Employment Centre provides employment supports to job seekers, and services and incentives to employers. The centre will strengthen its services and evaluate their impact on employment levels.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 446,000
Up With WomenThe organization will strengthen and evaluate their services to help women who are facing poverty as a result of violence, discrimination or health crisis. Services include coaching, skills development and group support sessions.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 29,800
Margaret’s HousingThe organization will evaluate the impact of its Toronto East Drop-In Centre, which offers supports including daily meals, bed, clothing, nursing care and health services to homeless individuals living in deep poverty.TorontoEnding homelessness$ 287,400
Thorncliffe Neighbourhood OfficeThe organization will develop and evaluate a new Centre of Excellence, including training, mentorship, access to resources and micro loans to help emerging female entrepreneurs build their entrepreneurial skills and grow their businesses.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 353,000
WoodGreen Community ServicesThe organization will evaluate its Transition to Success program,  which supports single mothers affected by poverty and homelessness to transition into employment by providing  job search and skills development workshops, housing, free daycare and internship placements.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 288,000
CultureLink Settlement ServicesThe organization will implement and evaluate the Student Education Attainment Program, a three-year project designed to reduce the high school dropout rate of Somali youth through mentorship for youth and supports to parents.TorontoBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 752,800
La Passerelle - IDEThe organization will offer and evaluate programming to help Francophone immigrant youth find and retain jobs through employment programs and culturally-sensitive training for youth and employers.TorontoBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth, Moving towards employment and income security$ 167,400
East Scarborough StorefrontThe organization will build and evaluate the East Scarborough Works program that will connect low-income residents to local employers and provide them with training specific to employers’ needs.TorontoMoving towards employment and income security$ 416,000
City of BrantfordThis project will evaluate whether investing in post-secondary savings plans helps students from low-income families develop more positive attitudes toward school, improving their educational achievement and chances of graduating.BrantfordBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 34,200
Western UniversityWestern University will develop and evaluate a tool to assess and treat mental health problems in children aged 0-3. Similar tools exist for older children, but this tool will allow individualized planning and care to happen earlier in life.LondonBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 470,000
London Family Court ClinicThe clinic will provide and evaluate the impact of specialized supports for young people who are involved with the justice system. The program aims to improve school attendance, employment rates and mental health in order to reduce crime rates among youth.LondonBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 572,000
Western UniversityWestern University will extend and evaluate an existing project that identifies the risk factors among families facing homelessness to determine which strategies are most effective in helping them to obtain and maintain stable housing.LondonEnding homelessness$ 134,000
Literacy Link South CentralLiteracy Link will evaluate their program to help immigrants, persons with disabilities and young men who are not in school or training navigate local supports and services and transition into the workforce by connecting them to literacy upgrading, employment services and apprenticeships.LondonMoving towards employment and income security$ 275,000
Middlesex London Health UnitThe organization will develop and evalute the impact of a training centre to educate Ontario public health nurses on how to provide the most vulnerable young mothers and their babies with highly specialized supports during pregnancy and early years.LondonBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 351,000
Youth Opportunities UnlimitedYouth Opportunities Unlimited will develop and evaluate a project to identify young people who have dropped out of high school and connect them with services, including basic needs assistance, housing, employment skills training, health care clinics and financial literacy.LondonBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 595,000
Six Nations Polytechnic Inc.The organization will use culturally relevant learning to help Aboriginal students gain trades training and skills development opportunities. The project will identify and evaluate what approaches help Aboriginal learners build confidence, skills and feel connected to their communities.OhswekenBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 495,000
YWCA St. Thomas - ElginThe YWCA will strengthen and evaluate a program for homeless and at-risk youth in Elgin County. It will expand its existing services by hiring a social worker and adding an assessment tool to help match young people to housing support services.St. ThomasEnding homelessness$ 360,000
United Way Centraide Windsor-Essex CountyThe organization will evaluate On Track to Success, a program that is currently being piloted in Leamington. The program helps students from low-income families in rural areas graduate from high school and enrol in postsecondary education by addressing financial barriers to academic success.Leamington, Essex CountyBreaking the cycle of poverty for children and youth$ 88,000

How applications for 2015 were reviewed

All applications were subject to the same review process:

Review teams of ministry staff representing policy and program areas related to the Poverty Reduction Strategy reviewed and assessed applications against the eligibility requirements listed below. Assessments were audited to ensure reliability across review teams. An inter-ministerial committee of senior ministry officials vetted the process and made recommendations for project funding. All recommendations were subject to financial analysis and due diligence. Considerations such as regional representation to address Ontario’s diverse population and geography were applied as appropriate.

Assessment Criteria

The assessment process was developed based on best practices by Ontario government grant programs. Each application was scored against the following criteria included in the 2015 Call for Proposals Program Guidelines:

Project Overview

  • innovation
  • alignment with the Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • focus on the Poverty Reduction Strategy’s target populations and indicators

Business Case

  • program theory / potential impact
  • literature review / interjurisdictional scan
  • community snapshot of local poverty issues

Evaluation Approach

  • identifies research question
  • outlines causal linkages
  • qualitative / quantitative research design
  • desired outcomes and indicators
  • experimental and control variables
  • partnership with third-party evaluator
  • partnership and collaboration
  • new and strengthened partnerships
  • benefits of partnership
  • community service integration
  • avoid service duplication

Project Delivery / Organizational Capacity / Sustainability

  • project planning
  • history of activity in service area
  • risk identification and mitigation
  • sustainability plan


If you want to learn more about the fund, please contact the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office at