“Reducing the Effects of Poverty” is a key priority area for JF&CS. The objectives of much of our programming focus on the needs faced by people with the lived experience of poverty. Our range of services intervene at all points along the spectrum of care, from crisis management to prevention and early intervention, to developing skills and employability development through to self-sufficiency. The multi-service nature of JF&CS means that we can respond holistically and uniquely to client needs with a wrap-around, individualized approach to service.
We are able to meet basic and emergency needs through ongoing financial assistance designed to stabilize financial crises. Other forms of financial assistance are extensive and address needs for woman abuse clients and their children, child welfare clients, and seniors, among others.
Beyond financial assistance, our extensive range of child welfare, woman abuse, and mental health programming address a broad spectrum of poverty causes and effects, including family violence and instability; stress, depression, and anxiety; social isolation and stigma; and limited education and employment opportunities.
Currently, JF&CS is implementing the Sustainable Livelihoods (SL) framework as the theoretical model for our work with clients. SL is a strength-based approach that foregrounds resilience, asset building, and social inclusion in order to build the conditions that reduce vulnerability.
Our poverty reduction efforts have led to partnerships with numerous community agencies. These partnerships have culminated in the formation of a Collective Impact table that is actively engaged in a poverty reduction strategy for the Jewish community.
Supplementary denotes that Agency assistance can only be offered to supplement a primary source of income such as government assistance, pension, low wage earnings or family support. Any Jewish person living in the Greater Toronto Area whose income is derived from Welfare (Social Assistance), Family Benefits, Unemployment Insurance, Old Age Pension or low earnings may apply. For further details, call JF&CS Intake at 416.638.7800.
"Poverty isn’t just the lack of money; it’s the lack of everything –luxuries, social life, peace of mind, self. It’s forever thinking about money because there is never enough. It’s forever doing mental arithmetic as money gets moved in your head from one allocation to another as things come up. It’s having people not understand that you can’t do something simple like meet for coffee because the money simply isn’t there. It’s living with shoddy things that don’t work well because you can’t afford to replace them. It’s the false economy of dollar- about feeling visible and judged as you wear your clothes until they are threadbare and your shoes until they fall apart - painfully aware of your uncut hair. It’s forever saying ‘no’ to your children and praying they don’t get sick as the money for their medication will have to come from somewhere. It’s constantly worrying about the future, yours and your children’s, until it looks so bleak that you just stop. It’s prioritizing the food you buy and not having the luxury of making the same choices as normal people; having to sacrifice quality, variety and ethics to make sure your family is fed. It’s watching the world go past you knowing you cannot afford to join in. Poverty feels like a weight, like you’re drowning and there is no land in sight."
--Current JF&CS Client