‘Cradle to Career’ and Collective Impact
We have some exciting news. After broad consultation with the community, our donors and stakeholders, United Way, led by our Board of Directors, is undertaking a bold new direction and 10-year vision. We heard a common theme emerge from our conversations with these groups - that reducing childhood poverty is the top issue for United Way to tackle with our partners.
We love where we live and we want our kids to succeed. Our strategy will focus on children and youth from the time they’re born until they find a career (Cradle to Career/C2C). What we know is that locally, children are falling behind. Windsor-Essex has one of the highest childhood poverty rates in the country, and the stats are even more extreme when you look at specific local neighbourhoods. Despite an improving economy, childhood poverty continues to grow. We need to change the trajectory for youth and education is the clearest pathway to success. As our community changes, United Way needs to change too. We need to evolve to meet the needs of our community. So, we’re going to be:
- Implementing a new approach to drive community impact by leveraging the combined investment of a broader cross section of community partners than ever before, through a collective called ProsperUs.
- Taking on the vital role of backbone organization for ProsperUs to guide the work of convening, facilitating, and supporting this new community partnership and driving results.
- Developing a new C2C investment strategy with our partners and the community starting in 2021.
- Targeting future investments in priority neighbourhoods where the data is telling us more help is needed support children and families, including West Windsor, Downtown Windsor and Leamington.
- Focusing our efforts on improving outcomes for youth in Windsor-Essex.
We’re extremely proud of the work that has been done over the years, and we’re grateful to the donors, volunteers and partners who have made our work possible, but to change community-wide conditions, we need to drastically change the way we work. That means going ‘all-in’, focusing investments on innovative new approaches to improving outcomes for youth - the way we have with our On Track to Success program. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive, and we’re uniquely positioned to help tackle this problem along with local residents and our partners. We’re excited to focus our efforts to achieve significant, long-lasting change in our community.
There is a track record of success for C2C strategies – other United Ways and coalitions in other communities that have undertaken a similar shift have had incredible success – stronger math and literacy scores, improved graduation rates, more support from the community. We’re excited to focus our efforts to achieve significant, long-lasting change in our community.
Expect more updates on the C2C strategy in the months to come. Be sure to subscribe to our Impact e-News to stay up-to-date. Click the ‘Sign up to stay connected’ button at the top of this page.
What is ProsperUs?
Over the past few years, many of Windsor-Essex County’s most influential leaders have come together to identify a roadmap for change and make a pledge to the future of our community. A firm commitment was made to align community resources to ensure that the most vulnerable, and the most promising members of our population – our children and youth – succeed in their education, career and life. This cross-sector, outcome-focused partnership is called ProsperUs.
Every young person in Windsor-Essex County has the opportunity and support to succeed – from cradle to career.
Our goal is to support young people from cradle to career, and we know that an isolated and unorganized set of programs, initiatives, and focus areas won’t get us there. To transform whole communities, we must think beyond individual programs and services and see ourselves as a united system, and change our system to produce more equitable outcomes for children. That includes supports that create stable and healthy families and that will strengthen children in reaching their potential.
Visit the ProsperUs website www.weunlockpotential.com to learn more.
First major ProsperUs milestone report unveiled
July 24, 2019
Windsor, ON - Imagine filling an entire arena with thousands of recent post-secondary school graduates - all of them from economically disadvantaged families - ready to start an in-demand job geared towards our 21st Century economy? That’s precisely what ProsperUs - a collective of community partners from non-profit, government, health care, education, labour, business and inspired residents - hopes to achieve over the next ten to twenty years. United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County stands proudly among the partners.
Today, in Windsor’s west end, ProsperUs released a milestone report, entitled Coming Together: Building a hopeful future for children and youth in Windsor-Essex County, aimed at guiding the next stage of its vision for the community. ProsperUs partners plan to target the collective investments of over 45 partners in three neighbourhoods – West Windsor, downtown Windsor, and Leamington.
Read the RELEASE
Read or download the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY REPORT
Read or download the FULL REPORT