From Poverty to Possibility

/From Poverty to Possibility

Progress Energy donates to local non-profits via UWNBC’s Making Connections Initiative

Staff from Progress Energy’s Fort St John office contacted United Way this week because they wanted to donate much needed items to local non-profits though United Way’s Making Connections Initiative. This initiative links businesses with new or used resources like furniture, technology and office supplies to non-profits in need.

Through UWNBC’s Making Connections Initiative, Progress Energy donated 60 double sheet sets, 60 double comforters and 60 pillows to the Fort St John’s Women’s Resource Society, and 60 full towel sets (bath, hand and face) to the Fort St John Salvation Army Shelter.

A spokesperson from Progress Energy said, “Community investment is an important part of Progress Energy’s operations. We believe that our success depends on the support of our neighbours where we operate, and we work to understand and support their goals and interests. Through discussions with the United Way of Northern British Columbia, we discovered that the Women’s Resource Society was in […]

Ask The Expert: How Are Health and Poverty Related?

Kwame McKenzie is the CEO of the Wellesley Institute, a Toronto-based non-profit research and policy institute that focuses on advancing population health. Also a CAMH psychiatrist, he’s a leading expert on the social causes of mental illness and making our health system more equitable. United Way spoke with Kwame for our ‘Ask the  Expert’ series to learn how health and poverty are related.

1. Is there a connection between income and our health?
There’s a strong link between income and health. But, it’s not just about the amount of money you make and what you can buy, it’s what your whole life is like as a result, including where you live, work and the food that you eat. These factors—the social determinants of health—influence the health of individuals and even entire populations, putting vulnerable people at a higher risk of having poor physical and mental health and decreasing their life expectancy.

2. What are some examples […]

Spotlight on The Northern John Howard Society of BC

There are many circumstances that lead to a life of poverty. Sometimes poor choices are made, other times these choices are thrust on us. Whatever the reason, if a person in need is willing to build a new life they deserve our support and guidance.The Transitional Support program operated by The Northern John Howard Society of BC helps people like Robert*, who needed a wide variety of supports after his release from a correctional centre. Through the efforts of the United Way and its partners, people like Robert can get a fresh start.

Robert’s journey back into his community began with a trip to the thrift store with his support worker for clothing and to the Salvation Army for a food bank card. Next task, finding safe, suitable housing. After a lengthy and exhaustive search, it was beginning to seem impossible until a generous member of KOPAR, an agency dedicated to helping the […]

2017-04-21T10:02:14-07:00November 23rd, 2016|From Poverty to Possibility, Impact Stories|

Call for Proposals: Homeless Partnering Strategy

The United Way of Northern BC, in partnership with the Prince George Community Partners Addressing Homelessness, is accepting funding applications from organizations interested in obtaining financial assistance under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy for activities to meet the needs of the homeless, or those at imminent risk of homelessness.

Submissions must be received no later than 2:00 pm Monday, December 5, 2016. Application packages containing the full eligibility and proposal requirements are available as of Monday, November 7, 2016 by contacting Michele Brooke or Kerry Pateman.

Or at:

United Way of Northern BC
1600 – 3 rd Avenue
Prince George, BC V2L 3G6

An information session will be provided for prospective applicants on Thursday, November 17, 2016, 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm in Room 204, 2nd Floor, Prince George Native Friendship Centre, 1600 3rd Ave, Prince George.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

Homelessness Partnering Strategy Articles


Adopt-a-month Initiative in FSJ Gains Momentum

Our Adopt-a-month Initiative for the Fort St. John Salvation Army Food Bank has gained another supporter, with Peace River Hydro Partners committing $5,000 for the month of October for the next three years.

The downturn in FSJ’s economy has increased usage at the food bank, and United Way and its partners banded together to address the issue of food security for the region by creating the Adopt-a-month Initiative. The food bank saw 1,917 people come through its doors in September, and a total of 7,038 clients since June. See the Alaska Highway News article here.

If you would like more information about this initiative or would like to help, please contact our Fort St. John office at (250) 263-9266.


Homelessness Action Week & Connect Day in Prince George

October 9-15 is Homelessness Action Week in BC and approximately 250 people attended the Connect Day event on Tuesday at the PG Native Friendship Centre. Connect Day helps homeless and at-risk individuals connect to agencies for information and resources. Attendees were given backpacks filled with blankets, mittens, hats, toiletries, first aid kits, and bus tickets. They were also given haircuts and lunch, and were invited to get their pictures taken.

United Way staff stuffed backpacks and were on hand during the event to answer questions about United Way and our role in helping to eliminate homelessness in Prince George. Click below to like us on Facebook and view more pictures from the event.


United Way Continues to Focus on Food Security

Chances are, someone you know doesn’t have the money or means to buy healthy food. Northern Health recently released a report that states 16% of households in our region experience food insecurity. Food insecure families experience greater health and social challenges compared to people who can afford healthy food.

This is where United Way comes in. Through your donations, United Way not only provides financial support to community partners to alleviate poverty, we also mobilize collective action, and go beyond responding to the symptoms of poverty by investing in research and programs that address the underlying root causes.

Case Study: Fort St. John

Cheque presentation UWNBC’s Nikki Hedges receiving a cheque from City of FSJ’s Supervisor of Bylaw Enforcement, Bonnie Isenberg.

Like many communities throughout Northern BC, Fort St. John has been struggling with an economic downturn and their food banks have been […]

FSJ Fire Truck Pull & Food Drive + Adopt-a-month Initiative

In response to the increasing issue regarding food security in Fort St. John, there will be a Community Food Drive at the UWNBC 6th Fort St John Annual Fire Truck Pull on Saturday, September 17, 2016. This event will help people and families seeking food assistance make ends meet due to the rising costs of food.

Together, Fort St John community partners will be mobilizing the community and our corporations to meet the unprecedented increase and demand with the food bank programs at the Salvation Army and at the Women’s Resource Society, whose programs are already overextended. With an influx of people coming to our community seeking jobs, many will be competing with our most vulnerable citizens for services.

There are many reasons that people find themselves at risk of hunger. The recession has taken a particularly hard toll on families, thousands lost their jobs overnight and there are those with low-paying jobs and […]

Prince George Homeless Count Final Report

Trevor Williams, United Way CEO, counting the homeless on April 18 Trevor Williams, United Way CEO, counting the homeless on April 18

On April 18, 2016, Prince George took part in a nationally coordinated effort, led by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, to measure homelessness in Canada. The Point‐in‐Time (PiT) Homeless Count was conducted by Community Partners Addressing Homelessness in partnership with community agencies and stakeholders. United Way CEO Trevor Williams (pictured right), and North Central Community Development Officer Michele Brooke (pictured above) both participated in counting the homeless.

It should be noted that participation in the national PiT Count was voluntary for communities. However, it was considered by many to be a critical starting point to establishing a national picture of Homelessness across Canada and would further, allow communities to engage in comparative studies based on national standards. This in turn, strengthens and broadens […]

Spotlight on Ts’idilhdzik Community Kitchen in Houston

The Ts’idilhdzik Community Kitchen, run by the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre, addresses food security needs for vulnerable community families in Houston with children age 0-6, school age children 7-12, and youth age 13-18. The Ts’idilhdzik Community Kitchen always runs at capacity and is a trusted community resource for addressing hunger and teaching families about food, health and the importance of nutrition.

In a supportive and culturally relevant environment, participants take part in hands-on learning by trying new foods and recipes that are budget friendly. Children and youth learn cooking skills and why it’s important to eat healthy foods.

The Ts’idilhdzik Community Kitchen was an important catalyst for change for a single mother and her three children. The young mother was struggling with extremely picky eaters, mealtimes, and healthy eating, which in turn impacted her family’s health. This young Aboriginal mother, with three kids under the age of 5, had grown up in the foster […]