Without Council decisions to increase property taxes significantly in 2012, all of the community social service program activities outlined below are vulnerable to drastic reductions as the City attempts to address its $724 million budget shortfall (representing 8% of the City’s entire operating budget).
A) City/Non-Profit Organization “Mixed Models” for service delivery in Toronto
The City transfers about $1Billion, or over 10%, of its operating budget to community non-profit agencies to deliver community programs in a number of service areas, according to specified contracts.
This mixed approach to service delivery has evolved over many decades, and is now used extensively to deliver a wide range of services to support healthy, inclusive and economically vibrant communities, including:
- shelters and services for the homeless
- employment services
- recreation services
- social housing
- after-school and summer camp programs
- daycare programs
- homes for the aged, and
- environmental programs
- a wide range of social programs that promote inclusion, community education, and civic engagement.
The strength of this system lies in the extensive City-community partnerships that support it. Working with community service organizations, ethno-racial groups, cultural organizations and many others, the City has developed a service system more responsive than it would have been able to achieve on its own. It has been able to reach out to all parts of Toronto to work with changing populations, identify evolving community needs and develop flexible, innovative and cost-effective ways of meeting them.
B) The Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP):
Through this program the City of Toronto provides grants to community groups, organizations and business associations to carry out a wide range of local services and events in every corner of our city. Funding allocated in 2011 was $43.5 million, or about 1/200th (0.5%) of the city’s entire operating budget.
These funds in turn leveraged another $430 million dollars in investment in communities from other stakeholders, including provincial and federal governments, business and individual donations, participant fees, earned income and Foundation contributions.
These funds create at least 2,000 jobs in local neighbourhoods, and mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers each year to contribute to building healthy and inclusive communities.
Examples of the many kinds of community programs supported by CPIP include:
- community festivals and events (e.g. Grange Festival in the Park, Kingston-Galloway Community Festival Market – and many more across the city each year)
- community/neighbourhood mediation
- community safety initiatives
- emergency planning and preparedness
- children’s literacy, arts and recreation programs
- youth leadership development and entrepreneurial supports
- youth drop-ins
- youth summer employment projects
- community access to computers and free use of office machines (fax, photocopier)
- computer training
- free income tax clinics
- free or low-cost access to meeting and program spaces in the community
- seniors recreation (dance, singing, fitness, walking)
- elderly person’s centres (workshops, support groups, drop-ins, self-help groups)
- youth recreation (basketball, dance, boxing, fitness, weight training, bicycling, camping)
- seniors health and wellness (Tai chi classes, social support, group field trips, congregate dining)
- after-school homework and recreation programs for youth
- summer camp, march and winter break programs for children and youth
- hundreds of community arts activities (dance, music, photography, film, community theatre)
- HIV/AIDS education & street outreach (provision of harm reduction materials and information to community members)
- safe sex education and condom distribution
- community kitchens and gardens
- voice-mail services for the phoneless
- drug awareness workshops
- educational materials in different languages on HIV/AIDS and drugs
- educational materials for youth on HIV/AIDS and drugs
- homeless drop-ins
- informal and crisis counselling
- housing placement supports
- eviction prevention
- meals, crisis intervention and access to health care and mental health services for homeless people
- adult drop-ins
- volunteer recruitment and support
- music lessons for low-income families
- safe walk home programs
- funding for community support and crisis intervention workers
- graffiti transformation and community mural programs
- community development and civic engagement
- admin supports for service delivery hubs (including new inner suburb hubs and community operated community centres)
The CPIP funds also support a wide range of arts and cultural programs across Toronto, and critical school nutrition programs that make sure all children have the food they need to learn to the best of their potential.
Comparators with other Municipalities:
Community Grant Programs in $ per capita:
Community Grants as % of total municipal operating budget