Sign In
Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Departments > Ontario Works > Simcoe County Circles > Newsfeed

Newsfeed

 

 

“At Circles I feel like I belong”https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/at-circles-i-feel-like-i-belong.aspx1/15/2020 6:59:36 PM“At Circles I feel like I belong”<div><div>March 2, 2018</div></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="682" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/at-circles-i-feel-like-i-belong/i-feel-like-i-belong/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/I-feel-like-I-belong.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="I feel like I belong" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/I-feel-like-I-belong.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/I-feel-like-I-belong.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/I-feel-like-I-belong.png" alt="" style="height:333px;width:631px;" /> </div><br>Many of us who have struggled to fit in, find our place in the world and who work to achieve a true sense of success know the power of truly feeling like we belong.<br><br>In <a href="https://brenebrown.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dr. Brene Brown’s</a> research on belonging she asked a large group of eighth graders to define belonging…here is what they said:<br><ul><li><strong>Belonging is being somewhere where you want to be, and they want you. Fitting in is being somewhere where you want to be, but they don’t care one way or the other.</strong></li><li><strong>Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else. </strong></li><li><strong>If I get to be me I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in</strong></li></ul><div>This, along with countless other pieces of data she has collected on belonging, shame and authenticity, led her to her definition of <strong>True Belonging</strong>:</div><br><div style="text-align:center;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:24px;">True Belonging doesn’t require us to <em>change </em>who we are;</strong></div><div style="text-align:center;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:24px;">it requires us to <em>BE </em>who we are.<br></strong></div><div style="text-align:center;"><br><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:24px;"></strong></div><div>We believe that every person has the capacity to create the life they truly desire and that an important factor to getting and staying out of poverty is finding a community where social capital can be developed and authentic relationships can be built.</div><div>Families and communities can take charge of their destinies. And if given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved. Through an approach that combines strategies and services along with the individualized support of our dedicated staff, volunteers and the resources of organizations and communities, we can create an environment that educates, empowers and equips our community members to move up and out of poverty successfully.</div><div>Circles is a community-based initiative that creates relationships across economic boundaries. It connects people of low-income who have attended the <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13">Getting Ahead</a> program with people of middle and upper-income who have attended a full-day <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=7d928142-825c-44dc-9416-4cfa0c7deb91">Bridges Out of Poverty</a> workshop, on a weekly basis, in a casual and purposeful way.<br><br>At each meeting, all Circles members volunteer to enjoy a meal together, connect, share and learn from each other. Members form long-lasting authentic relationships built on mutual respect and increase the social capital for all involved and where each member feels and knows that they belong.</div><div><br></div><h3>Crystal, a Circles Leader shared with us this statement:</h3><div><em>“Circles saved my life. For the first time I felt like I mattered and that I could do so much more than just survive. I thought for so long that I would be stuck in poverty. I thought there was no way out. Now with Circles I know I CAN make my dreams come true. I feel empowered and able to support my family. Actually just being around people who believed that my dreams could come true changed everything! At Circles I feel like I belong.”<br></em></div><h3><br></h3><div><h3>Contact me and find out how you can become a part of Circles.</h3><div style="text-align:center;"><img src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Ask-me-about-Circles-1.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></div><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div></div>3/2/2018 5:00:00 AM
Building Community One Meal At A Timehttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/building-community-one-meal-at-a-time.aspx1/15/2020 7:46:48 PMBuilding Community One Meal At A Time<div><div>August 3, 2017</div> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="544" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/building-community/building-community-one-meal-at-a-time/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Building-Community-One-Meal-At-a-Time.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Building Community One Meal At a Time" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Building-Community-One-Meal-At-a-Time.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Building-Community-One-Meal-At-a-Time.png?fit=940%2C788" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Building-Community-One-Meal-At-a-Time.png" alt="Simcoe County Circles: Are you building community? The next time you’re breaking bread with someone new, make small talk because a new adventure may begin for you from that meal." style="height:420px;width:500px;" /> </div><h3>Have you ever really thought about how sharing a meal or a cup of coffee can change your life?</h3><div><br></div><div>When you sit down with your family over dinner – which I know doesn’t always happen since Amara has soccer and Kingston has basketball – you engage in conversation, laughter, fun and interaction, which all provide you with opportunities.  Opportunities to learn, share and grow.</div><br>There are plenty of statistics telling us why it’s important to eat meals together as a family, but how does that relate to us personally? The fact is, we’ve all had those moments, ones that have changed our lives, during a conversation had while sharing a meal with a friend or loved one. Food is a common thread that everyone shares.<br><br><p><img data-attachment-id="547" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/building-community/unite-us-hands-simcoe-county-circles/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Unite-US-Hands-Simcoe-County-Circles.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Unite US Hands – Simcoe County Circles" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Unite-US-Hands-Simcoe-County-Circles.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Unite-US-Hands-Simcoe-County-Circles.png?fit=940%2C788" class="size-medium wp-image-547 alignright" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Unite-US-Hands-Simcoe-County-Circles.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:right;height:251px;width:300px;" />While other cultures may be eating different food, all around the world you’ll find the same thing happening: People are building community through comradery & relationships that are built around eating.    When you share a meal with someone you are letting them into your personal space.  You let your guard down, you engage with them by exchanging stories and learning about their life.  I don’t know how many times I have been at a function or a gathering with friends and there are people there who I don’t know, but come to realize things we have in common, like our children having the same birthday, and it leads to a new friendship.   At first glance, you might not think you can relate to someone, but then discover that they’re not actually all that different.</p><p>Even though you and I aren’t directly sharing a meal as I write, while snacking on grapes, you may be sitting there reading this while eating a chocolate bar. (I should have chocolate instead of these grapes lol) So, now I feel the need to share a story that a friend told me recently about building community.</p><p style="text-align:right;"><strong><em>(See how that works? Eating & sharing stories – they go hand in hand)</em></strong></p><p>So, my friend traveled down south on vacation. While enjoying a tropical fruity drink with her spouse, another couple sat down beside them. Their casual conversation turned into changing dinner plans to share a meal together. They found out they were all Canadian and only lived a couple of hours apart, their daughters had similar names, the women both worked in the same industry, and the list went on. As the trip came to an end, a new friendship had begun. They kept in contact for the 5 years since. My friend started a business during that time and has since brought on that new friend as part of the team. One drink, one meal and many, many laughs turned into so very much more.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="548" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/building-community/building-community-simcoe-county-circles/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Building-Community-Simcoe-County-Circles.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Building Community – Simcoe County Circles" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Building-Community-Simcoe-County-Circles.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Building-Community-Simcoe-County-Circles.png?fit=940%2C788" class="alignnone wp-image-548" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Building-Community-Simcoe-County-Circles.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;height:400px;width:400px;" /> </p><p style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">So, the next time you’re breaking bread with others, soak it all in and make small talk with a new face because you never can tell what adventure you may be involved in that started over a meal.</span></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Interested in finding out more about how you can get involved in the </strong><a href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/"><strong>Circles Community</strong></a><strong> please </strong><a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=a04e5954-aade-469c-bebc-0a607bf70893"><strong>Contact Us HERE</strong></a></p><p style="text-align:left;"><br></p>8/3/2017 4:00:00 AM
Can children end poverty?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/can-children-end-poverty.aspx1/15/2020 7:09:18 PMCan children end poverty?<div><div>October 25, 2017</div> </div><h2>Can Children End Poverty?</h2><div>Similar to and in conjunction with parents and educators in schools, we believe that a significant part of our job is to teach the next generation. When children are born, their parents are their primary source of knowledge.  Once a child enters school their teacher plays a significant role in their lives as well, teaching them the core of academia. And one of the most important things, we believe, is that we ALL need to teach kids the value of helping others.  We view ourselves as educators and part of our goal is to properly educate children to prepare them for the world. Sometimes that means having meaningful conversations with them about things like poverty. With as many as 1 in 5 Canadian children living in poverty, it’s an issue that they or someone they care about will likely face.</div><br><h3>WHY</h3><p><img data-attachment-id="628" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/can-children-end-poverty/educate-children-circles/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Educate-children-Circles.png?fit=800%2C800" data-orig-size="800,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Educate children – Circles" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Educate-children-Circles.png?fit=300%2C300" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Educate-children-Circles.png?fit=800%2C800" class=" wp-image-628 alignright ms-rte-paste-setimagesize" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Educate-children-Circles.png" alt="" style="margin:0px 0px 0px 10px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;height:285px;display:inline;float:right;width:285px;" />There are many benefits to educating children about poverty.</p><ul><li>Develops Empathy: Showing children that not everyone lives their lives in the same way, and giving them the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.  Modeling and encouraging kids to show and feel empathy will prepare them to positively manage the many relationships they will encounter throughout their lives.</li><li>Boosts Self-Esteem: Have you ever helped someone, not to gain anything, but simply to make a difference in their life?  How did that make you feel?  Pretty good, I bet.  This applies to children even more so.  As a child is developing, appropriate reassurance and praise for their actions and intentions helps give them a positive sense of self.</li><li>Builds Confidence: When children see direct positive results from their actions, they learn that what they do makes a difference. This helps build confidence in their own abilities. Raising a confident child empowers them to be able to maneuver the emotional, physical and mental strain that can arise during difficult situations.</li><li>Decision Making Skills: As a child sees the positive impact of helping others, it gives them examples of how every action has a reaction or consequence. Being able to predict that something they do will have an impact (be it positive or negative) will provide the chance for them to think through the situation and learn the importance of their decisions and more importantly the process of decision making.</li></ul><h3>HOW</h3><p><img data-attachment-id="629" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/can-children-end-poverty/community-garden/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Community-garden.png?fit=800%2C800" data-orig-size="800,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Community garden" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Community-garden.png?fit=300%2C300" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Community-garden.png?fit=800%2C800" class=" wp-image-629 alignright ms-rte-paste-setimagesize" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Community-garden.png" alt="" style="margin:0px 0px 0px 10px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;height:317px;display:inline;float:right;width:317px;" />The possibilities are endless in how children can help.</p><ul><li>Family Garage Sale: Suggest that your family/organization/community hold a garage sale with all the proceeds going to a charity of your choice.</li><li>Donate your Time: Whether you volunteer at an event or simply help your neighbour, a child can help with the just about anything from big to small…connect to their interests, encourage them to see for themselves the importance of giving and they will adopt the mindset necessary to make the greatest impact.</li><li>Build a Community Garden: Many kids are hands on and like to play in the dirt and with the myriad of other duties and responsibilities which include planting and caring for a garden, all children can find their place in this type of neighbourhood initiative. And the entire project can be a great adventure for them.</li></ul><p>Although these are simply 3 examples for how to get children involved visit <a href="https://www.kidscanmakeadifference.org/what-kids-can-do-2">https://www.kidscanmakeadifference.org/what-kids-can-do-2</a> for more great ideas!</p><p>Let’s educate the up and coming generations so that poverty can one day become a thing of the past.</p><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="630" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/can-children-end-poverty/can-children-end-poverty-circles/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Can-children-end-poverty-Circles.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Can children end poverty – Circles" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Can-children-end-poverty-Circles.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Can-children-end-poverty-Circles.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Can-children-end-poverty-Circles.png" alt="" style="height:333px;width:631px;" /> </div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div>10/25/2017 4:00:00 AM
Change Your Mindset With Bridges Out of Povertyhttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/change-your-mindset-with-bridges-out-of-poverty.aspx1/15/2020 6:49:44 PMChange Your Mindset With Bridges Out of Poverty<div><div>November 22, 2018</div> <br></div><div>Many of us view the world from a middle-class perspective. That’s how we live and work and raise our families but, when it comes time to help others, we may need to adopt a different kind of thinking. We may believe that we understand the struggles and lifestyles of those living in poverty but, in reality, we need to work together to increase awareness and inspire compassion. That’s where Bridges Out of Poverty comes in.</div><div><br></div><h2>Bring People Together</h2>Bridges Out of Poverty, a workshop presented by Simcoe County Circles, brings people together from all walks of life, regardless of economic status. Bridges Out of Poverty gives employers, community organizations, social services, caregivers and friends the opportunity to truly understand poverty and help reduce the impact on our community. Bridges Out of Poverty is a chance to learn and explore from one another … no textbooks, just real experiences!<br><br>Participants will talk and work together to share their unique experiences and break down biases while building resources and forming valuable relationships. We will try to change our preconceived notions of poverty. We will be working with information that has existed for quite some time but now we will look at it in a very different way. The content and the perspective may make some uncomfortable, but it is necessary to gain a deeper understanding and develop empathy.<br><br><h2>Create Change</h2>A Bridges Out of Poverty workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn how to start creating change in our communities and better the lives of those living in poverty. It is a wonderful personal or professional development activity for anyone who wants to change their mindset and learn first hand the effects of poverty. Together we can improve job retention rates, build resources, improve outcomes, and support those who are moving out of poverty.<br><br><h2>Join Us!</h2><div>Join Simcoe County Circles at our next Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop, Friday, December 7, 2018, at St. Paul’s United Church in Midland, Ontario. The cost is just $20 per person and includes a workbook. No food or beverages will be served during this session but parking is available behind the church, just off of First Street. Registration will take place from 8:30 AM to 9 AM and the session will run from 9 AM to 4 PM with a break for lunch. Secure your spot now by calling the North Simcoe Learning Centre at 705-549-1890.</div><div><br></div><br>11/22/2018 5:00:00 AM
Find Out Why Circles® Is More Than Just A “Program”https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/find-out-why-circles-is-more-than-just-a-program.aspx1/15/2020 7:47:42 PMFind Out Why Circles® Is More Than Just A “Program”<div><div>June 29, 2017</div> <br></div><h2>People have asked me “What is Circles?”</h2><div>As the Simcoe County Circles Coordinator, I have the privilege of working and learning from so many wonderful people in our community. Recently I engaged in a powerful conversation with a wonderful woman who is currently struggling to get herself and her 4 children out of poverty. What I learned from her (even though I thought I knew) was that the circumstances that forced her to make some very tough decisions, which led to the struggle to keep her family together, could <strong>VERY EASILY</strong> have happened to me.</div><br>What also moved me (to tears) was her strength and determination to make a positive change in her life that will help her children to rise above their current living situation. Our meeting was very natural, just 2 parents chatting while our children played and in those hours, where we met as women doing the best we can with what we have, we shared our stories, laughter and compassion.<br><br><div>I knew that based on the relationship we had begun to develop, which is based on mutual respect, I could share with her some of the resources I know of, that she may find helpful… specifically <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13">Getting Ahead</a> and <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=e7f2aca8-c1dd-42a5-98fb-57820ec1f40f">Circles</a>.</div><br><div style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;"><em>I am happy to share that she will be joining our September Getting Ahead group and she is looking forward to becoming a Leader in our North Simcoe County Circle.</em></span></div><div style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;"><em><br></em></span></div><p>Circles has been designed to tap into the natural and authentic relationships that people create when they have the “hat-less” opportunity to simply be themselves. I look forward to the chance to stand with my new friend as she works through her journey to her (and her family’s) success and I anticipate that our relationship will continue long past the day when she finds stability and success.</p><p>I am an advocate of Circles, not simply because it is my job, but because it is the most humanistic and honorable poverty reduction program I have had the pleasure to be a part of. I hope you too can see how making real, authentic and meaningful relationships with others can help us all rise up.</p><h2>Want to know a bit more…</h2><p style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="523" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/find-out-why-circles-is-more-than-just-a-program/circles-model-leaders-allies-community-1-2/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community-1-1.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Circles Model – Leaders, Allies, Community (1)" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community-1-1.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community-1-1.png?fit=940%2C788" class="alignnone wp-image-523" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community-1-1.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;height:420px;width:502px;" /> </p><p>Circles is a community-based initiative that creates relationships across economic boundaries. It connects people of low-income who have attended the <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13">Getting Ahead</a> program with people of middle and upper-income who have attended a full-day <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=7d928142-825c-44dc-9416-4cfa0c7deb91">Bridges Out of Poverty</a> workshop, on a weekly basis, in a casual and purposeful way.</p><p>At each meeting all the Circles members volunteer to enjoy a meal together, connect, share of themselves and learn from each other. Members form long-lasting authentic relationships built on mutual respect and increase the social capital for all involved.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.</em></p><p>Circles is a community of people in varying states of economic stability brought together in intentional supportive relationships of reciprocity composed of :</p><p><img data-attachment-id="471" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/getting-ahead-is-just-getting-started/getting-ahead-is-just-getting-started/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Getting-Ahead-is-Just-Getting-Started.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Getting Ahead is Just Getting Started!" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Getting-Ahead-is-Just-Getting-Started.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Getting-Ahead-is-Just-Getting-Started.png?fit=940%2C788" class="wp-image-471 alignleft" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Getting-Ahead-is-Just-Getting-Started.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:left;width:183px;" /><strong>Leaders:</strong> <em>an individual or family working to get out of poverty who has completed the Getting Ahead workshop. Leaders are program participants who provide grassroots feedback about the multiple systemic barriers that keep people stuck in poverty, while building their own resources and moving toward the goal of sustainable employment</em></p><strong>Allies:</strong> <em>One to four middle class individuals who have completed a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop and are willing to engage in an authentic, intentional  friendships built on mutual respect with the Leader (and their family).</em><br><br><strong>Circles Coach:</strong> <em>The Circles Coach supports Circles Leaders and Allies in fine-tuning personalized action plans. The Circles coach is a paid position that has received specialized training to support and manage the Circles program.</em><br><br><br><p style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="522" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/find-out-why-circles-is-more-than-just-a-program/circles-model-leaders-allies-community/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Circles Model – Leaders, Allies, Community" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circles-Model-Leaders-Allies-Community.png?fit=940%2C788" class="alignnone wp-image-522" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/bdf02ae6-1a41-41ce-b878-0e86bf75bac4.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;height:531px;width:640px;" /> </p><h3><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Interested in finding out if Circles is right for you? Contact me today!</span></h3><h4><img data-attachment-id="375" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/contact/dsc_0694-2/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DSC_0694-2.jpg?fit=2543%2C1797" data-orig-size="2543,1797" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"5","credit":"","camera":"NIKON D80","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1473960355","copyright":"","focal_length":"210","iso":"250","shutter_speed":"0.0125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="DSC_0694 (2)" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DSC_0694-2.jpg?fit=300%2C212" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DSC_0694-2.jpg?fit=1024%2C724" class="wp-image-375 alignright ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/DSC_0694-2.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:right;width:209px;" /><em></em></h4><h4><br><em></em></h4><h4><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Sincerely, <br></em></h4><h4><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Dionne Thomson</em></h4><p><br></p><p><br class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3"></p><h3 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3"><em>Thriving Families, Thriving Communities</em></span></h3><p><br></p><p><br></p>6/29/2017 4:00:00 AM
Getting Ahead Is Just Getting Started!https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/getting-ahead-is-just-getting-started.aspx1/15/2020 7:48:45 PMGetting Ahead Is Just Getting Started!<div><div>May 18, 2017</div><div><br></div></div>Well we are almost all the way through our first run of the <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13">Getting Ahead Program </a>and we are so excited about the future of this program in Simcoe County, specifically in the Midland/Penetanguishene area. The current participants have expressed immense gratitude to the staff and supporters of Getting Ahead and are really looking forward to taking the next steps towards their goals.<br><br><p style="margin:0px 0px 20px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;color:#000000;font-family:lato, sans-serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;background-color:#f1eee9;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;"><img data-attachment-id="472" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/getting-ahead-is-just-getting-started/ga-1-k-c-and-c/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/GA-1-K-C-and-C.jpg?fit=1162%2C669" data-orig-size="1162,669" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="GA 1 K C and C" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/GA-1-K-C-and-C.jpg?fit=300%2C173" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/GA-1-K-C-and-C.jpg?fit=1024%2C590" class="size-medium wp-image-472 alignright" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/GA-1-K-C-and-C.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:right;height:173px;width:300px;" /></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>We asked our current Getting Ahead participants …</em></p><h3><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Why Choose Getting Ahead? </span></h3><p> </p><p>Here is what they had to say:</p><p><em>Before I joined the program I struggled with trying to improve my life on the poverty line as I deal with a myriad of government rules especially when it comes to ODSP and CPP. During the program, as I am getting to know people and learning about their struggles and successes and as we share resource info, I am realizing that I am not the only one struggling.</em></p><p><em>I’m starting to see others in the program as real people and not just as statistics. When I graduate I hope to use what I have learned so I can struggle less and succeed more in my life! I would finally like to laugh more and worry a lot less and ideally kiss poverty good-bye forever!</em></p><div style="text-align:right;"><strong><em>-Sandy, Getting Ahead May 2017</em></strong></div><br><em>Before Getting Ahead I felt completely lost in a long-term rut. Now that I’m in it I’m learning better coping skills and about more community resources. When I graduate I hope to get a clear vision of my future story.</em><div style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>-John, Getting Ahead May 2017</strong></em></div><br><em>The Getting Ahead program has given me the time and shown me the tools I need to acquire more social capital. With its well laid out process I am more motivated than ever to explore my life and I now feel a strong sense of belonging. In addition, I have been able to explore more opportunities in my community and detach myself from my problems.  I now see clearly where my issues stem from and how I can move myself forward.</em><div style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>-Casandra, Getting Ahead May 2017</strong></em></div><p><br></p><p>We are absolutely thrilled that both the Getting Ahead Program and Circles initiative have been launched in the Midland/Penetanguishene area, alongside the longstanding and successful Bridges Out of Poverty Program. We are looking forward to long-term, sustainable and positive impact in our community and throughout Simcoe County.</p><h3 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">We have received a number of calls from people wondering how they can get involved in this great program, what to expect and how to get started.</span></h3><h2><img data-attachment-id="413" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/getting-ahead-is-just-getting-started/find-your-circles/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Find-Your-Circles.png?fit=255%2C310" data-orig-size="255,310" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Find Your Circles" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Find-Your-Circles.png?fit=247%2C300" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Find-Your-Circles.png?fit=255%2C310" class="wp-image-413 alignleft" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Find-Your-Circles.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:left;height:413px;width:341px;" />If you’re interested in finding out more about the</h2><p style="text-align:center;"><a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13"><span style="font-size:32px;">Getting Ahead Program</span></a></p><h4 style="text-align:center;"><a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=a04e5954-aade-469c-bebc-0a607bf70893">CLICK HERE</a> to email the Coordinator, Dionne Thomson,</h4><h4 style="text-align:center;">or call the North Simcoe Learning Centre for more information</h4><h3 style="text-align:center;">705-549-1890  </h3><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>5/18/2017 4:00:00 AM
How Does Food Insecurity Affect Canadians?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/how-does-food-insecurity-affect-canadians.aspx1/15/2020 4:40:53 PMHow Does Food Insecurity Affect Canadians?<div><div>March 22, 2019</div> <br></div><div>Food insecurity is a very real issue impacting the physical, mental and social health of over 4 million Canadians. Although food insecurity is strongly linked to poverty in our country, it can affect almost anyone at any time. Let’s take a deeper at this problem in our latest blog.</div><br><h2>What is Food Insecurity?</h2><a href="https://canadianfeedthechildren.ca/the-feed/why-food-insecurity/">Food security is defined as</a> “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” When income is too low or unsteady, there is not enough money left to pay for<br>sufficient healthy food after paying for housing, utilities, transportation and health expenses.<br><br>Food insecurity starts when people begin worrying about running out of food or limiting their menu choices due to a lack of funds.  As it progresses, people will begin to compromise the quantity and the quality of their food, choosing lower cost, lower quality options and consuming less. In the worst cases, people may greatly reduce their food intake, skip meals or even go days without food.<br><br><h2>Who is Affected by Food Insecurity?</h2><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="1050" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/how-does-food-insecurity-affect-canadians/mom-babe/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/mom-babe-e1553266712774.jpg?fit=300%2C200" data-orig-size="300,200" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Family" data-image-description="<p>Family</p> " data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/mom-babe-e1553266712774.jpg?fit=300%2C200" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/mom-babe-e1553266712774.jpg?fit=300%2C200" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/mom-babe-e1553266712774.jpg" alt="Family" style="height:auto;" /> </div><br>Food insecurity affects over 4 million Canadians or 1 in 8 households. Of that number, 1.15 million are under 18 years old. That means that 1 in 6 Canadian children are going hungry each day.<br><br><div>Although food insecurity is strongly linked to poverty, over 62% of the affected households are earning income from some type of employment. The highest incidents are recorded in the Territories, with 45% of Nunavut affected.</div><br>Some other statistics to consider:<br><ul><li>⅓ of the affected households are headed by single female parents</li><li>⅔ of the affected households rent their homes and 1 in 4 renters experience food insecurity</li><li>12% of those affected are seniors of a fixed income</li></ul><h2>The Cost of Food Insecurity</h2><div>While the health impact of food insecurity extends beyond diet and nutrition, it also doubles the risk of poor health and increased health care costs. Those experiencing food insecurity also experience increased rates of depression, suicide and chronic disease.</div><div><br></div><h2>What Can We Do to Help?</h2><div>While emergency measures like food banks can provide relief, the underlying problem of poverty must be addressed. Action is needed at the municipal, provincial and federal level to tackle this serious public health issue. <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=aab766f2-66ac-4e3e-aa56-7750e466169c">Simcoe County Circles </a>is here to help families and communities take charge of their destinies as they successfully move up and out of poverty. Find out more about Simcoe County Circles programs and support by visiting <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=aab766f2-66ac-4e3e-aa56-7750e466169c">www.simcoecountycircles.com</a> or by calling 705-549-1890.</div><div><br></div><br>3/22/2019 4:00:00 AM
How to Become a Circles Allyhttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/how-to-become-a-circles-ally.aspx1/15/2020 7:29:23 PMHow to Become a Circles Ally<div><div>August 8, 2017</div> <br></div><h2>Are you looking for a great way to give back in your community?</h2><div>Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity that will give you the chance to help change people’s lives for the better? To help individuals and families reach their ultimate potential and as a result strengthen the community you care for? Do you see the effects of poverty and wish there was something you could do to help support the members of your community who are struggling?</div><br><div>I know you recognize that poverty is a systemic issue and as you learned in your <a href="/dpt/ow/simcoe-county-circles/bridges-out-of-poverty" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/bridges-out-of-poverty/">Bridges Out of Poverty </a>training, blaming people for being poor is not going to solve this problem. You know that those who are struggling in low-income, who are desperate to escape the negative cycle of poverty, are looking for a hand-up not a hand-out. You see the gaps, you have knowledge that can help, you are willing to commit your time and you are not quite sure what to do next.</div><div><br></div><h3 style="text-align:center;"></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Welcome to Simcoe County Circles!</span></h3><div><br></div><h2>The goal of Circles:</h2><div>We also believe no one should live in poverty and that families and communities can take charge of their destinies. That if given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved. Through an approach that combines strategies and services along with the individualized support of our dedicated staff, volunteers (you) and the resources of organizations and communities, we can create an environment that educates, empowers and equips our community members to move up and out of poverty successfully.</div><h2 style="text-align:center;"><img src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/HomeBox-Circles.png" data-cke-saved-src="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/HomeBox-Circles.png?resize=165%2C200" alt="" style="height:200px;width:165px;" /></h2><em>Circles happens through a high-impact, 18-24 month voluntary strategy, designed to:</em><br><ul><li>Provide practical and emotional support.</li><li>Assist with complex issues and solve problems together.</li><li>Increase the “social capital” of people living in low-income situations.</li><li>Share with the community the very real barriers holding people in poverty.</li><li>Walk with people in poverty and support positive changes in their lives.</li><li>Put into practice the theories learned in <a href="/dpt/ow/simcoe-county-circles/bridges-out-of-poverty" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/bridges-out-of-poverty/">Bridges Out of Poverty</a> and <a href="/dpt/ow/simcoe-county-circles/getting-ahead" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/getting-ahead/">Getting Ahead</a>.</li></ul>What is Circles?<br>Circles is a community-based initiative that creates relationships across economic boundaries. It connects people of low-income who have attended the <a href="/dpt/ow/simcoe-county-circles/getting-ahead" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/getting-ahead/">Getting Ahead</a> program with people of middle and upper-income who have attended a full-day <a href="/dpt/ow/simcoe-county-circles/bridges-out-of-poverty" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/bridges-out-of-poverty/">Bridges Out of Poverty</a> workshop, on a weekly basis, in a casual and purposeful way.<br><br>At each meeting, all Circles members volunteer to enjoy a meal together, connect, share and learn from each other. Members form long-lasting authentic relationships built on mutual respect and increase the social capital for all involved.<br><br><div><em>definition: social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.<br></em></div><div><br><em></em></div>Circles is a community of people in varying states of economic stability brought together in intentional supportive relationships of reciprocity composed of:<br><br><strong>Leaders: </strong><em>Individual or family working to get out of poverty who has completed the Getting Ahead workshop. Leaders are program participants who provide grassroots feedback about the multiple systemic barriers that keep people stuck in poverty, while building their own resources and moving toward the goal of sustainable employment.</em><br><br><strong>Allies:</strong> <em>Middle class individuals who have completed a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop and are willing to engage in an authentic, intentional  friendships built on mutual respect with the Leader (and their family).</em><br><br><div><strong>Circles Coach:</strong> <em>The Circles Coach supports Circles Leaders and Allies in fine-tuning personalized action plans. The Circles coach is a paid position that has received specialized training to support and manage the Circles program.</em></div><div><em><br></em></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/bdf02ae6-1a41-41ce-b878-0e86bf75bac4.png" data-file-id="500195" data-cke-saved-src="https://i1.wp.com/gallery.mailchimp.com/e84ec155973066c04122f657e/images/bdf02ae6-1a41-41ce-b878-0e86bf75bac4.png?resize=600%2C502&ssl=1" alt="" style="height:auto;" /> </div><h2><br></h2><h2>What happens at a Circles meeting?</h2><div>Circles meetings are held 3 times a month. Allies and Leaders (along with their families) come together to share a meal and discuss specific topics or host a guest speaker that is relevant to the Leaders. Circles meetings are based on the premise that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship built on mutual respect and as such, a large amount of time and energy is spent on developing positive and reciprocal relationships between all of the Circles members. Circles is a “do with NOT a do to” support group. Benefits are experienced by all members, not just those who are executing their plan for change.</div><br>A typical monthly Circles Meeting schedule:<br><strong>Week 1</strong><br>6:00 – 8:00 pm Shared meal & group meeting: Open or small group discussions and/or possible guest speaker<br><strong>Week 2</strong><br>6:00 – 8:00 pm Shared meal & group meeting: Open or small group discussions and/or possible guest speaker<br><strong>Week 3</strong><br>Independent meeting: Allies and the Leaders (who are matched up) connect socially, face-to-face or by phone.<br><strong>Week 4</strong><br>6:00 – 8:00 pm Shared meal & Big View Meeting where self-advocacy and large scale community issues are discussed. Outside community members and/or organization representatives with knowledge or influence regarding the topic being discussed may be invited to join the Big View discussion.<br><br><strong>The time commitment for an Ally is a minimum of 2 meetings per month over 18-24 months</strong><br><div><em><br></em></div><div><em>(NB Circles does not hold meetings in July and August)</em></div><div><em><br></em></div><h2>How to become an Ally</h2><div>Simcoe County Circles is launching their first Circle in the Midland/ Penetanguishene/ Tiny/ Tay region November 2nd, 2017 and we are looking for a minimum of 10 Allies to participate this amazing community building experience.</div><br>The <strong>North Circle</strong> is scheduled to be held:<br><br>Thursdays<br>6:00 – 8:00 pm<br>Georgian Bay District Secondary School<br>865 Hugel Ave, Midland<br><div>(date, time and location is subject to change)</div><div><br></div><h2>Requirements:</h2><ul><li>Attend a FULL-DAY (6hr) Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop.</li><li>Willing to commit to 2 meetings/month for a period of at least 18-24 months.</li><li>Able to attend a 1 hour Circles Ally Orientation Meeting (Date and Time TBD).</li><li>Deep desire to be a part of this transformational community initiative.</li><li>Understand and accept that all Circles members “leave their hats at the door” and are open to building reciprocal relationships with all members.</li></ul><h3 style="text-align:center;"><br><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3"></span></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Become an Ally for the</span></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Simcoe County Circles – North Circle</span></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;"><br class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3"></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">Contact Simcoe County Circles</span></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;"><a href="/dpt/ow/simcoe-county-circles/contact-us" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/contact/"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3">HERE</span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3"> and get registered today!</span></h3><p><br></p><div>Dionne Thomson<br>Simcoe County Circles Coordinator<br>51 Dunlop Street, Penetanguishene<br>dithomson@scdsb.on.ca<br><a href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-cke-saved-href="http://simcoecountycircles.com">www.simcoecountycircles.com</a></div><div><br></div><div><br></div>8/8/2017 4:00:00 AM
How to Get Frugal With Your Family’s Back to School Shoppinghttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/how-to-get-frugal-with-your-family’s-back-to-school-shopping.aspx1/15/2020 4:34:01 PMHow to Get Frugal With Your Family’s Back to School Shopping<div><div>August 12, 2019</div> <br></div>It’s no joke … sending your kids back to school each year with everything they need can be tough on your bank account.<br><br>This school year, it’s estimated that “families with children between kindergarten and 12th grade can expect to spend an average of $696.70” on back to school shopping, as per the Better Business Bureau.<br><br>So how can parents afford to get all the back to school essentials their kids need, without blowing their budget? Get frugal with spending, and plan ahead.<br><br>After taking stock of what items you may already have at home, consider these 7 back to school shopping tips for scoring deals and saving big bucks all year long.<br><br><h2>Create a budget.</h2><div>Review your family’s average income and expenses in order to make a feasible budget you can abide by. If money is tight right now, only purchase essentials that are needed right away. Moving forward, you can make a plan to save up for any extra items.</div><div><br></div><h2>Make a list… and stick to it.</h2><div>Prepare for projected back to school expenses by making a shopping list of all the necessities your child will need at the start of school. Make a supplemental “wish list” for a later day when seasonal sales are on and extra items can be fit in the budget.</div><br><h2>Choose quality over quantity.</h2><div>If you have young kids, you’ll agree that they grow like weeds — sometimes going through multiple clothing sizes in one school year! Find quality brand name and pre-loved clothing at thrift stores or online swap sites, instead of buying new but poor quality items. Invest in key items like durable backpacks, lunch boxes, and winter boots so you don’t have to keep replacing them … then save on the rest!</div><div><br></div><h2>Compare before you buy.</h2><div>Purchase school supplies and clothing when they are on sale… and get more for less! Fan-favourite stores like Old Navy, Best Buy and Walmart often offer big savings on everything your kid needs for school. Keep an eye out and you’re sure to snag a great deal!</div><div><br></div><h2>Prepare for any big purchases.</h2><div>If you have teens heading off to college or university for the first time, The Better Business Bureau shares that your costs for back to school purchases will be nearly $300 higher than what spending costs are for younger kids. Your big kid on campus will likely need their own laptop, a reliable vehicle, or apartment furnishings. Many big-ticket items like these can be planned for and saved for in advance, then bought on sale or secondhand. Browsing Buy & Sell websites like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace can yield great results — with enough patience, bargaining and thinking ahead!</div><div><br></div><h2>Plan your meals.</h2><div>By planning out family meals in advance each week, you’ll save on grocery costs, meal prep time, and your own sanity. Pre-planning and prepping will also save time for the whole family on hectic school nights when after-school sports and activities take place. Don’t forget, freezer meals and crockpot dinners are amazing for feeding a crowd on a budget!</div><div><br></div><h2>Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.</h2>One of the biggest tips for living on a budget is to repurpose items you already have on hand or can find at the second-hand store. Get crafty with various uses for jars, cans, materials and more! Purchasing pre-loved items is a way of reducing your carbon footprint and saving money, too. It’s something your whole family can feel good about.<br><br>Splitting bulk deals with friends, hosting a clothing swap, and spreading out purchases are all more awesome ways that you can save money on back to school shopping… and stick to your budget.<br><div><br></div><div><br></div>8/12/2019 4:00:00 AM
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That You Will Actually Keephttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/how-to-make-new-years-resolutions-that-you-will-actually-keep.aspx1/15/2020 6:45:43 PMHow to Make New Year’s Resolutions That You Will Actually Keep<div><div>December 17, 2018</div> </div><div>The hustle and bustle of the holiday season will soon be over, leaving us with considerably lighter bank accounts and slightly tighter waistbands. This is the time that we reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the months to come. Many of us set our New Year’s resolutions but, honestly, how many of us keep them? The problem is that we often set goals that are too lofty, too broad, and too hard to achieve in a short amount of time. If we truly want to grow and improve in the coming new year, we need to set <a href="https://www.smartsheet.com/blog/essential-guide-writing-smart-goals">S.M.A.R.T. Goals</a>. What does the acronym S.M.A.R.T. stand for? Read on and find out!</div><div><br></div><h3>S – SPECIFIC</h3>The goals we set for ourselves need to be clearly defined. Let’s say that our goal is to become more active.<br><br><strong>WHAT </strong>are we going to do and <strong>WHERE </strong>are we going to do it … walk the dog around the block, run 5KM on the waterfront trail, or workout at the gym?<br><br><div><strong>WHEN </strong>are we going to do it? Set some specific times that really work with our schedules.</div><br><div><strong>WHO </strong>will be coming with us or keeping us accountable?</div><br><strong>WHY </strong>is this important to us?<br><br><h3>M – MEASURABLE</h3>We need to clearly define how we will know when our goal is achieved. If the goal is to pay down a debt, have we succeeded when we make the first payment or when the balance is zero? If we are trying to lose weight, are we looking for a certain number on the scale or just when our jeans fit comfortably again? Track your progress along the way with calendars, charts and lists so the results can be easily seen.<br><br><h3>A– ACHIEVABLE</h3>We often set ourselves up for failure with a goal that is just not attainable. Very few of us will become millionaires by the end of the year or win an Oscar. We need to be sure that our goal matches our current skills, abilities, and realities. If it doesn’t, how will we make it happen?<br><br><h3>R – RELEVANT</h3>Is our goal actually something that makes sense for us right now? Striving to pay off debt when we can’t currently make ends meet every month might not be the best choice. Perhaps a better, more relevant goal, would be to join a Simcoe County Circles program to increase our social capital and make next year the year we pay off our bills.<br><br><h3>T – TIME-BOUND</h3>Most of us work best under pressure when we have a deadline to meet. Our goal should have a clearly defined timeline. Where do we want to be a week from now, 3 months, 6 months, the end of next year? Again, we need to make the deadlines realistic. If we’re taking things day by day, then we need to make our intentions daily.<br><br><div>We could all benefit from a S.M.A.R.T. goal to improve our lives. If your goal is to achieve economic stability, <a href="http://www.simcoecountycircles.com/">Simcoe County Circles</a> can help.</div><div><br></div><br>12/17/2018 5:00:00 AM
How to Reduce Your Energy Costshttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/how-to-reduce-your-energy-costs.aspx1/15/2020 4:05:19 PMHow to Reduce Your Energy Costs<p>​December 11, 2019</p><p>Winter in Simcoe County can be harsh and keeping heating costs reasonable can become a challenge. In our latest blog, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to stay warm while still keeping costs down. <br></p><strong>Set the thermostat lower.</strong> Lowering the thermostat by even just a couple of degrees  can help save you money right away. Many households will go even lower at bedtime and add more blankets to combat the chill. If you feel chilly, instead of raising the thermostat, put on a sweater and socks or slippers. You can also buy a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your temperatures for day and night. If you’re a renter, or a landlord, keep in mind that a landlord is responsible for providing heat to a residential dwelling at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius between September 15 and June 1 of each year.<br><br><strong>Use fans.</strong> Ceiling fans have two directions, one to draw air up and one to push air down. Using them to circulate the warm air will help eliminate cold spots. You can also use oscillating fans to move the air around. <br><br><strong>Keep vents and heaters clear. </strong>Make sure your air registers aren’t covered by furniture or rugs and keep radiators clear and open. The heat will travel farther if it doesn’t have to go around obstacles. <br><br><strong>Seal the leaks. </strong>The most common areas that heat loss occurs are around windows, doors, electrical sockets, baseboards and attics. Sealing any leaks can save you at least 10-20% on your heating bill. Seal the gaps with caulk or weather stripping. The major culprit for heat loss is your windows. You can buy a window covering kit at your local hardware or dollar store and cover the windows to keep any drafts out.<br><br><strong>Close your curtains.</strong> Closing curtains and blinds at night can help insulate your home when temperatures are generally at their coldest. If you have any uncovered windows, hanging a blanket over the window at night will help. <br><br><div><strong>Let the sun in. </strong>During the day, let the sunshine in. If you have your windows covered in plastic to keep drafts out, letting the sunshine in it can raise the temperature of a room by at least 2 degrees or more. </div><div><strong><br></strong></div><div><strong>Check your filters.</strong> If you have forced air, check the filters on your furnace to make sure they are clean and at peak performance. The general rule for changing your furnace filter is every 3 months. If you have pets or smoke inside the house, you will need to check and change your furnace filters more often. </div><div><br></div><div><br></div>12/11/2019 5:00:00 AM
How to Vote in the Federal Electionhttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/how-to-vote-in-the-federal-election.aspx1/15/2020 4:28:12 PMHow to Vote in the Federal Election<p>​October 15, 2019</p>The Federal Election is quickly approaching on October 21, 2019, with some advance polls already open. Being informed is the first step in ensuring that you make an electoral decision that you feel is best for your needs and the needs of your family. Whether this is your first time voting or you just need a quick refresher, let’s look at everything you need to know in our latest blog. <br><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="1565" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/how-to-vote-in-the-federal-election/scc-vote/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SCC-Vote.jpg?fit=600%2C400" data-orig-size="600,400" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="SCC Vote" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SCC-Vote.jpg?fit=300%2C200" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SCC-Vote.jpg?fit=600%2C400" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/SCC-Vote.jpg" alt="" style="height:220px;width:330px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><br></div><h2>Am I Registered?</h2>Most Canadians who are of legal voting age are automatically registered. If you are registered, you should have received a voter information card in the mail. It tells you where and when you can vote. If the name and address on your card are correct and you meet the indicated eligibility criteria, you’re ready to vote. Bring this card with you, along with accepted ID, to make the voting process easier when going to vote.<br><br>If you didn’t get your voter information card or if the information on it is wrong, your voter information may not be up to date. Use the <a href="https://ereg.elections.ca/CWelcome.aspx?lang=e">Online Voter Registration Service</a>, contact your <a href="https://www.elections.ca/Scripts/vis/FindED?L=e&QID=-1&PAGEID=20">local Elections Canada office</a> or call 1-800-463-6868 to check and update your information<br><br>If you find that you are not registered, you can use the <a href="https://ereg.elections.ca/CWelcome.aspx?lang=e">Online Voter Registration Service</a> to register before Tuesday, <strong>October 15th at 6 PM</strong>. You can register at any Elections Canada office across Canada before <strong>Tuesday, </strong><strong>October 15, 2019</strong>, and at your polling station on advance polling days or election day, <strong>Monday, October 21, 2019</strong>. <br><br><div>If you are already registered but your address has changed, you can use the same Online Voter Registration Service to update your information. You can also go to any Elections Canada office in person. If you split your time between more than one address, such as a home and cottage, use the address that you consider to be your primary residence.</div><br><h2>How Do I Vote?</h2>Elections Canada offers many ways for you to vote. <br><ul><li>On election day at your assigned polling station on <strong>Monday, October 21, 2019</strong></li><li>On advanced voting days at your assigned polling station (check dates and times on <a href="http://elections.ca/">elections.ca</a>) </li><li>At any Elections Canada Office before <strong>Tuesday, October 15, 2019</strong>, at 6 PM</li><li>Vote online before <strong>Tuesday, October 15th, 2019</strong> at 6 PM </li></ul> <br><h2>What ID Do I Need to Bring?</h2>To vote in the federal election you have to prove your identity and address. There are three different ways to do this:<br><br><strong>Show one of these pieces of ID</strong><br><ul><li>Driver’s Licence </li><li>Any other card issued by a Canadian government with your name, photo and current address</li></ul><strong>Option 2: Show two pieces of ID</strong><br><ul><li>Both must have your name and at least one must have your current address.</li><li>See the <a href="https://elections.ca/content2.aspx?section=id&document=index&lang=e#list">list of accepted ID here </a>to prove your identity and address under Option 2</li></ul><strong>Option 3: If you don’t have ID</strong><br><ul><li>You can still vote if you declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you.</li><li>The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address. A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care institutions).</li></ul> <br><h2>Can I Leave Work to Vote?</h2>The <a href="https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-2.01/index.html">Canada Elections Act, ss.132-134</a> sets out the rules for employers regarding an election. Under this Act, voters are entitled to three consecutive hours free from work during voting hours to cast their ballots at their assigned polling station. <br><br>For more detailed information on the topics discussed in this blog, you can visit <a href="http://elections.ca/">elections.ca</a> or <a href="https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-2.01/index.html">Canada Elections Act, ss. 132-134</a>.<br><br>10/15/2019 4:00:00 AM
Is Basic Income the Answer?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/is-basic-income-the-answer.aspx1/15/2020 4:38:22 PMIs Basic Income the Answer?<div><div>June 3, 2019</div> </div><div>At Simcoe County Circles, we believe that no one should live in poverty. If given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved by just about anyone. Is Basic Income the answer to reducing or eliminating poverty in our communities? Let’s explore this concept in our latest blog by examining the recent <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-basic-income-pilot">Ontario Basic Income Pilot</a> project.</div><div><br></div><h2>What is Basic Income?</h2><div>Basic Income is <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-basic-income-pilot">defined as</a> “is a payment to eligible couples or individuals that ensures a minimum income level, regardless of employment status”. Basic income differs from social assistance because it is given to anyone who meets the income eligibility criterion, including those who may be working but earning below the basic income level.</div><div><br></div><h2>Income Levels</h2><div>The now-finished project was aimed at individuals aged 18-64 who earned less than $34000 per year, $48000 per year for a couple. The pilot project ensured that individual participants received up to $16,989 per year, $24,027 per year for a couple. The basic income amount was decreased by $0.50 for every dollar earned through work. Participants who received Employment Insurance or Canada Pension Plan payments had their monthly basic income payments reduced dollar for dollar. Those with a disability received an additional $500 per month. Seniors (65+) were not included in the pilot group as most seniors receive more income through their current benefits and payments.</div><div><br></div><h2>Areas of Concern</h2>The Ontario Basic Income Pilot project was designed to test how a basic income might help low-income individuals and families better meet their basic needs while improving the following:<br><ul><li>food security</li><li>stress and anxiety</li><li>mental health</li><li>health and healthcare usage</li><li>housing stability</li><li>education and training</li><li>employment and labour market participation</li></ul> <br><h2>Outcomes</h2>Participants in the pilot program reported that the Basic Income funds helped them to find and keep jobs, start businesses, pursue education and training, and improve the health and well-being of themselves and family members. More than half of the participants make improvements to their housing situation, while nearly a third went back to school or skills training to improve their employment options. The impact on mental wellbeing was substantial, with 88% of those surveyed saying that they were less stressed and anxious, with 73% reporting less depression.<br><br>All in all, the Ontario Basic Income Pilot project appeared to have made real and impactful changes to people and families who were ready and willing to make a difference in their lives.<br><br>Although Simcoe County Circles does not provide financial assistance, we can help you with the skills and connections you need to leave poverty behind once and for all. Find out more about our programs by visiting <a href="http://www.simcoecountycircles.com/">www.simcoecountycircles.com</a> or by calling 705-549-1890.<br><br>​<br><br>6/3/2019 4:00:00 AM
Is the answer Social Capital?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/is-the-answer-social-capital.aspx1/15/2020 7:05:31 PMIs the answer Social Capital?<div>​January 26, 2018<br></div><h2><br></h2><h2>We believe that an important tool in the toolbox necessary to get out and stay out of poverty is social capital!</h2><div><br></div><div>Have you ever found yourself in a new situation, good or bad that you had no idea how to manage? You knew that you had to make a change but you had no idea how to maneuver this new environment? No idea what to do, or how to respond… uncomfortable, like an outlier? How did you figure it out? Did you Google it, read up, find some info online, collect resources from an info center? What if this new situation was to become your permanent reality? Would Google be enough?</div><br>I know that when that happened to me, at a time in my life when I knew I had to make a huge change…one that no one in my inner circle or community knew anything about or even understood. I thought “Hey I can be pretty resourceful…I can handle this!” However before long I began to feel stalled, stuck, unsure, confused and most devastatingly alone and desperate to feel connected to someone, anyone who could relate to what I was going through. I even contemplated clawing my way back to the crappy life I left behind…btw that did NOT work.<br><br>Fortunately what I found (at the end of my rope) was a “real-life” community of people who understood my struggle. And their compassion, openness and willingness to stand with me gave me what I needed,  so that I could move myself forward.<h2><br>What I found was, the #1 thing we all need…<br>Social Capital</h2><div><strong><em><br></em></strong></div><div><strong><em>Social capital in its simplest form is the ability to build and maintain trusting relationships with people outside our comfort zone.</em></strong></div><div><strong><em><br></em></strong></div><h3>So how does the idea of Social Capital fit in with the Circles initiative?</h3><div><br></div><div>You know the adage, “People by from who they know, like and trust” – This includes “buy into”. And for those of us peddling social services, “helpful” resources and tools that can fix the problems of the world, this adage is one we need to be significantly mindful of.</div><br><strong><em>The reality is, it does not matter how “great” your product is, if they don’t trust you they aren’t buying.</em></strong><br><br>Plainly said, we need people who see us and are willing to stand with us through joy and pain, people willing to share in our human experience regardless of how “alike” we are. Only then will we truly believe they “get us”, we are willing to buy-in and we will know we belong.<br><br><div><em>(To hear more on the subject of social capital, where the concept originated and the global impact </em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=829s6qDORXE&index=9&list=PL4VgbpLB5IDcGuBc2Tdf2JgVbJuaR6SHQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>watch THIS</em></a><em>!)</em></div><div><em><br></em></div>Circles is mindful of this. The Circles initiative is a supportive network of diverse individuals across the financial spectrum that focuses on building relationships of mutual trust and respect. It increases the quality and quantity of social capital for all its members, specifically those in poverty looking to reach financial self-sufficiency.<br><br>The authentic relationships of reciprocity empower those members who are in poverty to seek out new solutions and help them build a stable sustainable future they know they belong in.<br><br>We meet almost weekly, “leave our hats at the door”, share a meal like a family. We talk, ask questions and really listen. And most importantly we build authentic trusting relationships – we aren’t selling and everyone buys-in.<br><br>The longest standing Canadian Circle graduates between 15-20% of its participants a year, resulting in annual cost savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Add in the economic growth potential of the new, financially self-sufficient consumers and we have a true win-win-win!<br><br><div>Simcoe County Circles, although in the early stages, has already had a measurable impact on the lives of the Midland/Penetanguishene/Tiny/Tay residents and we look forward to initiating a Circle in every corner of Simcoe County.</div><div><br></div><h3 style="text-align:center;"></h3><h3 style="text-align:center;">Reach out and book a Circles info session for you, your organization or community group today!</h3><p><br></p><p><br></p>1/26/2018 5:00:00 AM
Planning for the Holidays on a Budgethttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/planning-for-the-holidays-on-a-budget.aspx1/15/2020 4:24:15 PMPlanning for the Holidays on a Budget<div><div>November 5, 2019</div> </div>If you’re already struggling to make ends meet, which so many of us are, the upcoming holiday season will only add more financial pressure. Everyone wants to give their family the best holiday they possibly can without going further into debt. With a little planning and some creativity, you can have a wonderful holiday and not break the bank.<br><br><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="1583" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/planning-for-the-holidays-on-a-budget/scc-holiday-budget-blog/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/SCC-Holiday-Budget-Blog.jpg?fit=600%2C400" data-orig-size="600,400" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="SCC Holiday Budget Blog" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/SCC-Holiday-Budget-Blog.jpg?fit=300%2C200" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/SCC-Holiday-Budget-Blog.jpg?fit=600%2C400" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/SCC-Holiday-Budget-Blog.jpg" alt="" style="height:auto;" /> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><br></div><h2>Create a Holiday Budget</h2><div>Whether you create a simple spreadsheet or put pen to paper, seeing your holiday budget in black and white is a great motivator to stick to it! Organize your gift budget by individual family members, keeping their wish lists in mind, and create a separate budget for additional groceries, decor, etc. Don’t forget to budget for stocking stuffers! These little items can add up fast.</div><div><br></div><h2>Pay Cash</h2><div>It’s so easy to tap or swipe our credit and debit cards without thinking of the consequences. By using cash as much as possible, you may find it easier to stick to your budget. This will also save you from the shock of the credit card bills (and interest charges) after the holidays.</div><div><br></div><h2>Reduce, Reuse, Recycle</h2><div>Admit it, you likely have a hidden stash of gift bags and boxes from years past. Don’t be afraid to reuse them! It helps the environment, reduces waste and saves money. Keep the kids busy with a roll of plain paper and holiday stickers, markers, etc, to create their own custom wrapping paper. If and when you do need to stock up, tape, scissors, ribbons, gift boxes and more can all be found at your local dollar store for a fraction of the price of department stores.</div><div><br></div><h2>Get Creative</h2><div>Instead of buying new decorations each year, have the kids make them. Grandparents LOVE to receive homemade, personalized gifts so have the kids make some extra decorations to become treasured gifts. Schedule a day of holiday baking with the family or friends. Make it a cookie exchange, which can then be used as gifts for teachers, neighbours or holiday entertaining. Planning a holiday family movie or story night at home is a great way to spend time together and enjoy some of those baked goods!</div><div><br></div><h2>Subscribe & Save</h2><div>If you shop online, most retailers will offer a generous discount code for subscribing to their email updates. Watch these updates to take advantage of special offers and free shipping dates. Combine orders with friends or family to reach the minimum purchase required for free shipping. Many online retailers, such as Amazon, offer a trial membership that includes free shipping. Just don’t forget to set a reminder to cancel if you don’t wish to use it after the trial period.</div><br><h2>Make It a Potluck</h2>During the holiday season, it is always common to share meals with family and friends. Everyone can pitch in with their signature dish and the less domestically-inclined can be in charge of plates, cutlery and dinner rolls! This is especially helpful if guests have dietary restrictions or picky eaters – their contribution will guarantee that there is something on the table that they can enjoy.<br><br>This is also a great time to create meals that use up pantry and freezer items that you already have on hand. Changing the presentation can bring a festive feel to even the most ordinary foods. For example, if you usually mash your potatoes, try oven roasting them, or adding sweet potatoes for colour.<br><br><div>No matter how you choose to celebrate this season, keep in mind that the memories will linger well after the gifts are opened and the decorations put away for another year.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><br>11/5/2019 5:00:00 AM
Simcoe County Circles: Celebrating Our Community Involvement!https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/simcoe-county-circles-celebrating-our-community-involvement.aspx1/15/2020 4:35:19 PMSimcoe County Circles: Celebrating Our Community Involvement!<div><div>July 30, 2019</div> <br></div>Simcoe County Circles is proud to be a supporter of many fun, exciting and important events around our communities. Being part of these events isn’t just something we do for fun. These are events that bring our communities closer together and strengthen our ties – but they’re also definitely a ton of fun!<br><br>2019 has been pretty great so far and we’re very excited to see what the rest of the year brings us.<br><br><div>Looking back, we’d like to highlight two events that we were thrilled to support.</div><div><br></div><h2>GBDSS Wellness Fair</h2><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="1470" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/simcoe-county-circles-celebrating-our-community-involvement/2019-wellness-fair-group/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-Wellness-Fair-Group-e1564516726921.jpg?fit=400%2C300" data-orig-size="400,300" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.2","credit":"","camera":"iPhone SE","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1557926950","copyright":"","focal_length":"4.15","iso":"25","shutter_speed":"0.00041597337770383","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="2019 Wellness Fair Group" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-Wellness-Fair-Group-e1564516726921.jpg?fit=300%2C225" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-Wellness-Fair-Group-e1564516726921.jpg?fit=1024%2C768" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/2019-Wellness-Fair-Group-e1564516726921.jpg" alt="" style="height:300px;width:400px;" /> </div><br>This was a fantastic event on May 15th, hosted by the Georgian Bay District Secondary School. Held in Midland’s beautiful Little Lake Park, the day was geared towards students to help promote positive thinking, as well as inspiring and empowering youth for the future.<br><br><div>Members of the Simcoe County Circles team were on hand to enjoy the day and to talk to students, teachers and other members of the community about the programs and services we offer.</div><div><br></div><h2>The Yummiest Race Run In Ontario!</h2><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="1469" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/simcoe-county-circles-celebrating-our-community-involvement/butter-tart-trot-2019/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Butter-Tart-Trot-2019.jpeg?fit=320%2C240" data-orig-size="320,240" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"1.8","credit":"","camera":"iPhone 7","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1559991732","copyright":"","focal_length":"3.99","iso":"20","shutter_speed":"0.00021901007446343","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Butter Tart Trot 2019" data-image-description="<p>Butter Tart Trot 2019</p> " data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Butter-Tart-Trot-2019.jpeg?fit=300%2C225" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Butter-Tart-Trot-2019.jpeg?fit=320%2C240" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Butter-Tart-Trot-2019.jpeg" alt="Butter Tart Trot 2019" style="height:225px;width:300px;" /> </div><br>On June 8th, Simcoe County Circles was excited to be a part of the Butter Tart Trot! Known as “the yummiest race run in Ontario”, this family-geared charity event coincided with Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival. Beginning and ending at Ste. Marie among the Hurons, this super fun race involved lots of butter tarts! The SCC team was there to keep all of the runners cool and refreshed with water along the way! We were so proud to hand out nearly 1000 cups of water (and who knows how many butter tarts?!) to an incredible 476 runners.<br><br>The race was a total success, as all of the proceeds went toward Camp Quality Southern Ontario. Located in Schomberg, they are a not for profit camp that provides an uplifting experience for children affected by childhood cancer. It costs $1500 per child to send them to camp, so each and every little bit raised by these butter tart loving racers went a very long way. To learn more about the camp, visit www.campquality.org<br><br><div>These events are just a couple of examples of the way we love to be involved with and support our communities. Creating positive, uplifting and forward-looking points of view is key to bringing productive change to our communities. Simcoe County Circles has people, plans and actions to help plan for the future, getting ahead or helping with more pressing issues. For more information, call us at 705-549-1890.</div><div><br></div><br>7/30/2019 4:00:00 AM
Simcoe County Circles Guide to The Living Wagehttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/simcoe-county-circles-guide-to-the-living-wage.aspx1/15/2020 4:36:27 PMSimcoe County Circles Guide to The Living Wage<div><div>June 10, 2019</div> <br></div>The<a href="/"> County of Simcoe</a> recently released their<a href="https://simcoe.civicweb.net/document/63991/CCW%202019-153%20Schedule%201%20.pdf"> 2018 Living Wage Recalculation</a> for Simcoe County report and it has been a hot topic of discussion for many local groups and individuals. How is the Living Wage defined and calculated? Is it realistic? How were the parameters decided? Let’s take a look at this hot topic in our latest blog.<br><br>The living wage isn’t the same as the minimum wage employers are required to pay their employees. The living wage is based upon the actual cost of living in the community. As an example, while a fast food service employee will make the same wage working in Elmvale as they will in Toronto, the cost of living in Toronto will be much higher, and the living wage will reflect that.<br><br>A living wage is calculated to include the basic needs of a household – rent, food, transportation and childcare costs. For North Simcoe (including Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay), these costs were revealed to be $68,580 for a family of four, with both parents working full-time jobs, two children (seven and three), with one parent doing part-time studies and one of the children in before and after school daycare.<br><br><div>These costs break down to an hourly, livable wage of $18 per hour for residents of Simcoe County, with a full breakdown as follows:</div><blockquote>Childcare – $16,377<br>Rent – $15,720<br>Transportation – $10,145<br>Food – $8,429<br></blockquote><br>These costs are calculated as an average and are supposed to act as a guideline to figure out a full family’s living wage. Naturally, it’s case-specific – someone single will have a very different living wage than a couple, and that couple will have a different wage than a couple with kids or a single parent.<br><br>Local initiatives have begun to appear throughout communities, in which local business owners are proud to offer wages to their employees that match the living wage, going above and beyond the bare minimum that they are obligated to pay. For a full list of community initiatives and a living wage employer directory throughout all of Ontario, visit <a href="http://www.ontariolivingwage.ca/">http://www.ontariolivingwage.ca/</a><br><br><div>The minimum wage is often times not enough for some. While legislation has made it possible to make sure employees are paid fairly, the location in which you live can make it harder than it should be to get by on a minimum wage, compared to what the average living wage should be. If you are having trouble getting by on your wage, <a href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/">Simcoe County Circles</a> can help you develop a real plan that will help you move to financial self-sufficiency.</div><div><br></div><br>6/10/2019 4:00:00 AM
Stop Struggling. Start Getting Ahead.https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/stop-struggling-start-getting-ahead.aspx1/15/2020 4:39:26 PMStop Struggling. Start Getting Ahead.<div><div>April 30, 2019</div><div style="text-align:center;"> <br></div></div><blockquote style="text-align:center;"><em>“Before Getting Ahead I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started Getting Ahead and found out I wasn’t the only one. I found the resources I needed to start making my future the way I want it to be. I am now doing courses I didn’t know were available.” ~Getting Ahead Graduate</em></blockquote>Housing. Jobs. Food. Transportation. Without these basic necessities, life is a struggle. With so many families living paycheque to paycheque, it can be very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s where Simcoe County Circles comes in, to help you on the road to building a better life for you and your family.<br><br>Our free Getting Ahead workshops will make it easier for you to feel empowered to change your life. Throughout this 15-session workshop series, we put the concepts, tools, and relationships in your hands to help you make a difference in your own life and in your local community.<br><br>You’ll learn the steps you need to take in order to move from a “just getting by” world to a “getting ahead” world … from experienced leaders who have a lived experience of poverty. No one will tell you what to do but they will guide you through the process of becoming an expert on your own life. Together you will examine your own experience and your community to learn how you can build your resources and move towards financial self-sufficiency. You will create your future story, your way.<br><blockquote style="text-align:center;"><div><em>“Getting Ahead has changed me in so many ways. Before I started Getting Ahead my days were dark and dreary. Getting out of bed was a chore. Thanks to Getting Ahead I was introduced to so many services that I didn’t know were out there. I have obtained several certificates which has really boosted my confidence.</em></div><div><em>Thank you Getting Ahead. “ ~Getting Ahead Graduate</em></div></blockquote><h2>Each Getting Ahead program includes:</h2><ul><li>15 sessions, 3 days a week for 5 weeks</li><li>Food provided</li><li>Guidance in your own learning, planning and examination process</li><li>Access to resources that will support your success</li><li>Empowerment, knowledge, education</li></ul><h3>WHERE:</h3>North Simcoe Learning Centre<br><div>51 Dunlop Street, Penetanguishene</div><div><br></div><h3>WHEN:</h3>May 13- June 14, 2019<br>Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 AM -1 PM<div style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;"><br><span>Spaces are limited!</span></span></div><div style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">To register for Simcoe County Circle’s FREE 15-session Getting Ahead workshop series, call Vicki Hannan at 705-722-3132 ext. 1828.<br></span></div><div><br></div><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div>4/30/2019 4:00:00 AM
Together we can overcome povertyhttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/together-we-can-overcome-poverty.aspx1/15/2020 7:14:02 PMTogether we can overcome poverty<div><div>September 6, 2017</div> <br></div><p><img data-attachment-id="595" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/together-can-overcome-poverty/around-the-world/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/around-the-world.jpg?fit=620%2C620" data-orig-size="620,620" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="around the world" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/around-the-world.jpg?fit=300%2C300" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/around-the-world.jpg?fit=620%2C620" class="size-medium wp-image-595 alignleft" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/around-the-world.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:left;height:300px;width:300px;" />For many, living in financial hardship is a daily struggle. One in 7 Canadian adults and 1 in 5 Canadian children are currently living in poverty.  Globally, World Bank projections suggest that about 700 million people are affected by poverty with about 1.2 billion living on less than $1.25 USD per day. Thankfully, there are many organizations focused on improving the quality of life both within our country and across the world.</p>The key to reducing poverty is to provide opportunities for advancement.  Economic growth goes hand in hand with human growth.  For this be established, people need to have access to healthy food, clean water, education and stable living conditions. According to “Our World In Data”, <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty/">the world’s poverty rate has declined rapidly over the last 30 years. </a> That’s certainly promising, but there is still much work needed to be done.<br><br><div>Fortunately, there are some great organizations that take poverty reduction seriously.</div><br><h2><a href="https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary/rotary-foundation">The Rotary Foundation</a></h2><div><br></div><div>Everyone knows someone who’s a part of Rotary. Rotarians are a proud bunch. They’re in the community raising funds in all sorts of creative ways and they always seem to have fun doing it.</div><p style="margin:0px 0px 20px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;color:#000000;font-family:lato, sans-serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;letter-spacing:normal;text-align:start;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;background-color:#f1eee9;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;"><img data-attachment-id="596" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/together-can-overcome-poverty/rotary/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/rotary.png?fit=2500%2C2500" data-orig-size="2500,2500" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="rotary" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/rotary.png?fit=300%2C300" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/rotary.png?fit=1024%2C1024" class="wp-image-596 alignright" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/rotary.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:right;height:auto;" /></p><p>The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. Their causes include:</p><ul><li>Promoting Peace</li><li>Providing Clean Water</li><li>Saving Mothers and Children</li><li>Supporting Education</li><li>Growing Local Economies</li><li>Fighting Disease</li></ul><br><h2><a href="http://www1.wfp.org/">The World Food Programme</a></h2><p><img data-attachment-id="597" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/together-can-overcome-poverty/wfp/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/wfp.png?fit=200%2C200" data-orig-size="200,200" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="wfp" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/wfp.png?fit=200%2C200" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/wfp.png?fit=200%2C200" class="size-full wp-image-597 alignright" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/wfp.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:right;height:auto;" />With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WFP tackles urgent issues that impede food security throughout the developing world.</p><div>The World Food Programme is the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience serving 80 million people in around 80 countries around the world.  The hopes of this program are to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030.</div><div><br></div><h2><a href="https://www.unicef.org/">UNICEF</a></h2><p><img data-attachment-id="598" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/together-can-overcome-poverty/unicef/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/unicef.jpg?fit=236%2C239" data-orig-size="236,239" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="unicef" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/unicef.jpg?fit=236%2C239" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/unicef.jpg?fit=236%2C239" class="size-full wp-image-598 alignright" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/unicef.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:right;height:auto;" />Anyone from my generation will remember collecting on behalf of UNICEF while trick-or-treating at Hallowe’en. I loved hearing the sound of the pennies and nickels dropping into my little orange box. I smiled proudly and thanked the donor and waited anxiously for the treat that came next.</p><p>UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children’s rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF was created with a distinct purpose in mind: to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.</p><p><br></p><p>H<img data-attachment-id="599" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/together-can-overcome-poverty/simcoe-county-small-png/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Simcoe-County-Small-PNG.png?fit=541%2C741" data-orig-size="541,741" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Simcoe County Small PNG" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Simcoe-County-Small-PNG.png?fit=219%2C300" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Simcoe-County-Small-PNG.png?fit=541%2C741" class="size-medium wp-image-599 alignleft" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Simcoe-County-Small-PNG.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;padding:0px;outline:currentcolor none medium;border:medium none;max-width:100%;display:inline;float:left;height:300px;width:219px;" />elping reduce poverty globally is only part of the solution. Right here, at home in our own backyard, people need help. Simcoe County Circles® is working hard to create <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=7d928142-825c-44dc-9416-4cfa0c7deb91">Bridges Out of Poverty</a> and help people with <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13">Getting Ahead. </a>Our approach combines best practices in several disciplines including community organizing, case management, grassroots leadership, S.M.A.R.T. goal setting, financial literacy, mentoring, peer-to-peer counseling and learning, and child/youth development.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><h3 style="text-align:center;">If you know of anyone who would like to be a part of our programs, please share our contact information. Together we can all make a difference.</h3><p><br style="font-size:20px;"></p><h4 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">Simcoe County Circles</span></h4><h4 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">www.simcoecountycircles.com</span></h4><h4 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">Dionne Thomson</span></h4><h4 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">Coordinator</span></h4><h4 style="text-align:center;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;">705-790-9885</span></h4><p><br></p><p><br></p>9/6/2017 4:00:00 AM
What an amazing year it has been!https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been.aspx1/15/2020 6:51:38 PMWhat an amazing year it has been!​June 14, 2018<div> <br></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="767" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been/this-way-to-awesome/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/This-way-to-awesome.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="This way to awesome!" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/This-way-to-awesome.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/This-way-to-awesome.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/This-way-to-awesome.png" alt="" style="height:318px;width:604px;" /> </div><br>November 2nd, 2017 at our first Circle night, we knew, within minutes, that lives were going to change. Yes we had a lot to learn and we happily dove in, knowing that every minute invested in this initiative was going to significantly impact the community.<br><br>Throughout our months together, the Leaders and Allies built formidable relationships and have grown to care about each other like a family. In the first few meetings the group took the time to get comfortable with each other and by February we easily settled into our groove.<br><br>We have each grown and been supported. Our very own Circles Coach, Michelle Peddle, learned how to cook her first turkey dinner. We prepared food together, tried new things, who knew tofu was so delicious. Took big leaps out of our comfort zones, tried yoga poses that looked impossible. Asked the hard questions and held space as they were answered.<br><br>Our child minding staff Ashley G, Ashley P and Jenna engaged in structured play, literacy and numeracy support for our young leaders which led to a unanimous outpouring of appreciation for Circles from the little ones. Their parents reported that days before “Circles Night” the kids could barely contain their excitement; which the parents took advantage of to use as positive incentive throughout the week. “That’s awesome, why don’t you share that at Circles!” We were all wowed when the tooth fairy came and when gold stars were given. We offered hugs and support when pets were lost and challenges met.<br><br>On our last night together, before our summer break, we officially announced the Circle Matches (Leaders with Allies) and we were blown away by the enthusiasm and camaraderie shown by all. The week before, the Allies and Leaders came together to discuss how they could share the great energy and sense of belonging they had been creating, with the community. After a lot of discussion they landed  on an amazing idea. They decided that if Michelle volunteered to run the half-marathon at the <a href="http://www.buttertarttrot.ca/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Butter Tart Trot </a> (a charity run during the <a href="http://buttertartfestival.ca/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Butter Tart Festival</a> that raises funds for for <a href="http://campquality.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Camp Quality</a>), we would all join her and volunteer at the event as a group. That last night we celebrated by making supportive signs and balloons for the runners, we laughed and like a family joked about who would need 6 alarm clocks and 4 texts reminders to wake up at 5:00am (yes you read that right!!!)<br><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="769" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been/group-end-of-20172018/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/group-end-of-20172F2018.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="group end of 20172018" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/group-end-of-20172F2018.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/group-end-of-20172F2018.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/group-end-of-20172F2018.png" alt="" style="height:242px;width:460px;" /> </div><br>We made our way to the race site at 6:30am Saturday morning to volunteer and cheer on the racers. We were met by the warm and gracious leaders of the event, Irene & Courtney Parker, and were quickly put to work!  One of our Leaders brought her children who were a welcome addition, sharing their positive energy and joy with each racer who crossed the finish line. They were appropriately tasked with handing out medallions and hats! This gave them the chance to join Michelle and help her cross the finish line! Kids definitely have a way of putting things in perspective, both Michelle and I knew that that day, those moments would be remembered for a long time!<br><br><div>We were all so excited and grateful for the opportunity to give back and be part of this renowned community event! Invigorated by the positive energy of over 600 runners and volunteers our Leaders declared that next year we are running as Team Circles. Amazing!!! For all of our leaders this was their venture into the world of volunteering and I guarantee it won’t be their last!</div><br><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="764" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been/setting-up/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/setting-up.jpg?fit=1600%2C1200" data-orig-size="1600,1200" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="setting up" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/setting-up.jpg?fit=300%2C225" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/setting-up.jpg?fit=1024%2C768" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/setting-up.jpg" alt="" style="height:250px;width:330px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="765" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been/handing-out-medals/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/handing-out-medals.jpg?fit=694%2C828" data-orig-size="694,828" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="handing out medals" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/handing-out-medals.jpg?fit=251%2C300" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/handing-out-medals.jpg?fit=694%2C828" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/handing-out-medals.jpg" alt="" style="height:397px;width:332px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="766" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been/hayley-and-michelle/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/hayley-and-Michelle.jpg?fit=1068%2C1769" data-orig-size="1068,1769" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="hayley and Michelle" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/hayley-and-Michelle.jpg?fit=181%2C300" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/hayley-and-Michelle.jpg?fit=618%2C1024" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/hayley-and-Michelle.jpg" alt="" style="height:396px;width:241px;" /> </div><br>Michelle and I were chatting yesterday about how blown away we are by the amazing transformations we have witnessed in our Circles group this year. All of our Leaders have stretched themselves outside their comfort zones and openly discussed how proud they are at how far they’ve come. We are proud to say that every member has expressed a deep desire continue with Circles and to keep their plans moving forward and their momentum high.<br><br>We have a few fun Circles gatherings scheduled for the summer (boat cruise and bowling), along with 2 <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=2a16d012-b600-4a65-834f-4f359ad9cf13" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Getting Ahead </a>sessions…which all of our Leaders have chosen to volunteer at, as co-facilitators!<br><br>We have an amazing group that has really come together and started to become a family! We are eager for September when we have the chance to add a few more Leaders and Allies to the mix!!!<br><br>Our Allies, similar to many Allies from Circles all over North America, have shared that the relationships they have built with the Leaders and each other have been mutually beneficial and rewarding. The true sense of belonging and connection has been felt by all.<br><br>Some of the “Plan of Change” elements our Leaders have voluntarily undertaken, which ultimately lead them towards their ultimate goal of financial self-sufficiency, are:<br><br><em><strong>Education</strong></em><br><ul><li>Literacy upgrading & post-secondary preparation</li><li>Enrollment in post-secondary courses</li><li>Enhanced relationship and increased use of local education providers – <a href="http://www.gatewaycentreforlearning.ca/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gateway Centre for Learning</a> and the <a href="http://thelearningcentres.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">North Simcoe Adult Learning Centre</a></li></ul><strong><em>Employment</em></strong><br><ul><li>Entrepreneurship (product design and prototype creation, connection with business supports)</li><li>Workplace Readiness Training</li><li>Vocational Assessment</li><li>Enhanced relationship with and increased use of the <a href="https://ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca/for-job-seekers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">YMCA Employment Resource Centre</a></li></ul><strong><em>Community Building</em></strong><br><ul><li>Volunteered at a local Charity event</li><li>Research into other volunteer opportunities</li></ul><strong><em>Health & Wellness</em></strong><br><ul><li>Access to non-crisis health care supports</li><li>Action towards and discussion about proactive health strategies (mindfulness, yoga, meditation)</li></ul>Circles is a voluntary program, each member chooses to take the time and energy to show up for each other and themselves. We, the Leaders, Allies, kids, volunteers and staff are proof that great amounts of learning and action can happen when you take the time and energy to build relationships of mutual respect.<br><br>Thank you to each Leader, Ally and advocate who helped make our first year such a great success! A special thank you to our guests Gayle Montgomery and Kim Godin of <a href="http://circlescanada.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Circles Canada</a> and <a href="http://www.forrestwillett.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Forrest Willett,</a> a local, world renowned motivational speaker for sharing your stories of growth and success. We are well on our way to creating a powerful, supportive community where there are enough relationships, reasons and resources for everyone to thrive!<br><br><img data-attachment-id="771" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-an-amazing-year-it-has-been/dionne-end-of-20172018/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Dionne-end-of-20172F2018.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Dionne end of 20172018" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Dionne-end-of-20172F2018.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Dionne-end-of-20172F2018.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Dionne-end-of-20172F2018.png" alt="" style="height:283px;width:534px;" /><div style="text-align:right;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;"><strong><em><span style="font-size:22px;">See you in September!!</span><br></em></strong></span></div><div style="text-align:left;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;"><br></span></div><div style="text-align:left;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-3" style="font-size:20px;"><strong></strong></span><br></div>6/14/2018 4:00:00 AM
What is a Circles Ally?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/what-is-a-circles-ally.aspx1/15/2020 6:41:42 PMWhat is a Circles Ally?<div>​January 25, 2019</div><div><br></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="916" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-is-a-circles-ally/unnamed-1/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/unnamed-1.jpg?fit=512%2C269" data-orig-size="512,269" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Become An Ally" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/unnamed-1.jpg?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/unnamed-1.jpg?fit=512%2C269" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/handshake.jpg" alt="" style="height:270px;width:512px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div><div style="text-align:left;">Simcoe County Circles is currently looking for Allies in the Midland/Penetanguishene area to join us and help make a difference in our community.</div><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div><h2>What is a Circles Ally?</h2><div>A Circles Ally is a volunteer that would like to be a mentor to an individual or family living in poverty and assist them with their Plan of Change. We are looking for people to build intentional friendships through mutual respect who would like to support individuals with their future plans. Allies will help increase their Social Capital by sharing contacts, information and experiences.</div><div><br></div><h2>What is Involved?</h2><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="917" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-is-a-circles-ally/unnamed/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/unnamed.jpg?fit=512%2C348" data-orig-size="512,348" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="unnamed" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/unnamed.jpg?fit=300%2C204" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/unnamed.jpg?fit=512%2C348" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/coffee-meeting.jpg" alt="" style="height:227px;width:335px;" /> </div><br>Simcoe County Circles meet every Thursday from 5 PM to 7 PM. During 3 of these monthly sessions, we meet to enjoy a casual family style dinner together then break into groups for fun and informative activities and learning. Leaders are encouraged to bring their children who will participate in activities of their own.<br><br><div>One Thursday a month is reserved for the Ally and Leader to have some time together. This could be as simple as meeting for a coffee, going grocery shopping or just having a conversation allowing a stronger partnership to form, as the Ally and Leader share ideas, build their resources and increase their contacts.</div><div><br></div><h2>Want to Find Out More?</h2>If you are interested in finding out how you can help local families take charge of their destinies, please visit our website at <a href="http://simcoecountycircles.com/">www.simcoecountycircles.com</a>. If you would like more information, we are always happy to answer any questions. Feel free to give us a call at 705-549-1890.<br><br><div>The next <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=a41fbfa1-82ca-4939-9932-d97b8d6ad3e9&TermSetId=fb933945-005d-43ad-bb62-b84ef1fa9284&TermId=7d928142-825c-44dc-9416-4cfa0c7deb91">Bridges out of Poverty</a> training session will be held at the North Simcoe Learning Centre on Friday, February 22, 2019. Registration is at 8:30 AM and the workshop runs from 9 AM -4 PM. The cost is $25 which includes a workbook and lunch.</div><div><br></div><br>1/25/2019 5:00:00 AM
What is The Cliff Effect?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/what-is-the-cliff-effect.aspx1/15/2020 6:38:36 PMWhat is The Cliff Effect?<div><div>February 26, 2019</div> <br></div>Have you ever felt like each step towards economic stability takes you two steps backwards? That as quickly as you start to earn a steady paycheque, your benefits and supports begin to disappear? Do you ever feel that it would be easier just to remain in poverty? Those feelings are part of The Cliff Effect, the phenomenon that occurs when social assistance benefits are taken away quicker than you can earn to replace them. Let’s explore The Cliff Effect and how Simcoe County Circles can help you navigate these important economic and lifestyle changes.<br><br><div>Let’s take Linda, for example. Linda is a single parent with 2 sons who is currently on social assistance and without child support. The boys are in subsidized daycare and they live in subsidized housing. Linda has some health issues that require prescriptions, which are thankfully included in her social assistance benefits. Linda is tired of living in poverty and wishes that she could join the workforce to create a brighter economic future for herself and her boys. So what is stopping her?</div><div><br></div><h2>One Step Forward</h2><div>Let’s say that Linda accepts a full-time job in a retail environment. Her monthly income will increase, which is a definite step in the right direction. But let’s look at the steps backwards.</div><br><h2>Two Steps Back</h2>Now that Linda is working, and no longer on social assistance, her housing and daycare subsidies will greatly decrease or even disappear completely. Linda’s employer doesn’t offer health benefits, so her prescriptions and any other health expenses will now have to come out of her pocket. Once Linda files her next tax return, her higher income level will lead to a decrease in her monthly benefit payments like HST, Trillium and more. Her day-to-day expenses have greatly increased and she feels like giving up, like maybe going back to work wasn’t the best choice after all.<br> <br><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="981" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/what-is-the-cliff-effect/pexels-photo-1266005/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pexels-photo-1266005-e1551204090358.jpeg?fit=500%2C358" data-orig-size="500,358" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="How Simcoe County Circles Can Help" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pexels-photo-1266005-e1551204090358.jpeg?fit=300%2C215" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pexels-photo-1266005-e1551204090358.jpeg?fit=500%2C358" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/pexels-photo-1266005-e1551204090358.jpeg" alt="How Simcoe County Circles Can Help" style="height:284px;width:400px;" /> <br></div> <h2>How Simcoe County Circles Can Help</h2><div>Linda is not alone in her feelings of frustration. The road to economic stability can be very rough with abrupt stops and starts, just like being dropped off of a cliff. That’s where Simcoe County Circles can help. We are here to support people like Linda in this rough transitional time. Our circle of intentional friendships and Ally’s can help to provide problem-solving skills, resources and non-judgemental support to those who are determined to create a better economic future for themselves and their families. Find out more about how Simcoe County Circles can help by calling 705-549-1890.</div><div><br></div><br>2/26/2019 5:00:00 AM
What’s Great about Getting Ahead?https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/whats-great-about-getting-ahead.aspx1/15/2020 7:24:28 PMWhat’s Great about Getting Ahead?<div><div>August 16, 2017</div> <br></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="584" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/great-getting-ahead/whats-great-about-getting-ahead-1/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Whats-great-about-getting-ahead-1.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Whats great about getting ahead (1)" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Whats-great-about-getting-ahead-1.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Whats-great-about-getting-ahead-1.png?fit=940%2C788" title="Simcoe County Circles - Getting Ahead Initiative" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Whats-great-about-getting-ahead-1.png" alt="Simcoe County Circles/Getting Ahead/ Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative Launched Jan 2017" style="height:258px;width:300px;" /> </div><h2>The goal of Getting Ahead:</h2><div>To help individuals in poverty to build their resources for a more prosperous life for themselves, their families, and their communities. By creating an actionable plan for change graduates of the Getting Ahead program build the capacity to move towards being financially self-sufficient.</div><div><br></div><h2>The Getting Ahead curriculum:</h2><ul><li>Involves work done in a safe learning environment with the support of an experienced facilitator and co-facilitator with lived experience of poverty.</li><li>Enables you, the participant, (also known as “investigators”) to examine your own experience of poverty as well as explore issues in the community that impact poverty (banking, housing, jobs, transportation). This will provide critical information the community can use to take action to end poverty.</li><li>Guides you through an assessment of your own resources and how to build those resources as part of your move to self-sufficiency.</li><li>Puts the concepts, tools, and relationships in your hands to help you make a difference in your own life and in the lives of your community.</li></ul><h2>The impact of Getting Ahead</h2><div>Specifically, participants in the Getting Ahead program are afforded the time and support the need to truly evaluate their personal circumstance. Here are a few comments from the recent Getting Ahead Grads about their experience with the program.</div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="574" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/great-getting-ahead/getting-ahead-group-2-testimonial-linda/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Linda.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Getting Ahead Group 2 Testimonial Linda" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Linda.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Linda.png?fit=940%2C788" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Linda.png" alt="" style="height:251px;width:300px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="575" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/great-getting-ahead/art-work-k-mcmurranjpg/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Art-work-K-McMurranjpg.jpg?fit=706%2C960" data-orig-size="706,960" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Art work K McMurranjpg" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Art-work-K-McMurranjpg.jpg?fit=221%2C300" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Art-work-K-McMurranjpg.jpg?fit=706%2C960" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Art-work-K-McMurranjpg.jpg" alt="" style="height:740px;width:545px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:right;">-K. McMurran, Artist & Getting Ahead Graduate, 2017-</div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="582" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/great-getting-ahead/getting-ahead-group-2-testimonial-colleen/#main" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Colleen.png?fit=940%2C788" data-orig-size="940,788" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Getting Ahead Group 2 Testimonial – Colleen" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Colleen.png?fit=300%2C251" data-large-file="https://i2.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Colleen.png?fit=940%2C788" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Getting-Ahead-Group-2-Testimonial-Colleen.png" alt="" style="height:251px;width:300px;" /> </div><h3><br>At the end of our most recent Getting Ahead six-week workshop, all 7 investigators unanimously shared the following…</h3><ul><li>They now see potential where it did not exist before.</li><li>They see their community as open and supportive which they couldn’t see before.</li><li>They believe in themselves in ways they didn’t know were possible and every one of them is eager to take what they have learned and forge a new path towards success.</li><li>They have all requested to join the Simcoe County Circles – North Circle, (which begins in November).</li></ul><h3 style="text-align:center;">Getting Ahead has the great capacity to significantly change the lives of those living in poverty.</h3><div><br></div><div>Now, more than ever, we need programs that help to increase people’s capacity to believe in themselves and their communities. That is why we believe that Getting Ahead, Bridges Out of Poverty and Circles are integral to any sustainability planning in Simcoe County.</div><div><br></div><h2>When is the next Getting Ahead</h2><div>Simcoe County Circles will be offering Getting Ahead for residents of the Midland/Penetanguishene/Tiny/Tay region</div><div><br></div><h3>September 14th – October 26th</h3><ul><li>Tuesdays and Thursdays</li><li>9:30 – 1:00pm</li><li>Transportation and Child Minding for pre-school aged children available</li><li>Take-home lunch provided</li></ul><h2>Interested and want to find out more?</h2><h4>Attend a 30 minute Getting Ahead Information Session</h4><ul><li><strong>Wed Aug 30th</strong></li><li><strong>North Simcoe Learning Centre – 51 Dunlop St, Penetanguishene</strong></li><li><strong>10:00am OR 2:00pm </strong></li></ul><h2><br></h2><h2>Already decided that Getting Ahead is right for you</h2><h4>Connect with Simcoe County Circles and get registered today!!</h4><p><br></p><p><br></p>8/16/2017 4:00:00 AM
Why Financial Literacy is an Imperative Life Skillhttps://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/why-financial-literacy-is-an-imperative-life-skill.aspx1/15/2020 4:32:32 PMWhy Financial Literacy is an Imperative Life Skill<p>​September 17, 2019</p><p><br></p><div style="text-align:center;"><em>Financial Literacy (definition):</em></div><div style="text-align:center;"><em>1) The ability to make responsible financial decisions.</em></div><div style="text-align:center;"><em>2) The education and understanding of various financial areas including personal finance, money, borrowing, and investing.</em></div><br>Whether deciding if you should go out for lunch again this week, if you can afford to put your youngest child in hockey, or what strategy to take for a long-term investment, financial literacy plays an integral role in everyone’s daily life. <br><br>Yet the way we shop and spend has changed over recent years. With previous generations spending only the cash in their pockets and making due with what they had,  today’s digital era of online shopping, electronic money transfers, and paying one credit card off with another lies inherent. And without educated financial skills, it’s easier than ever to overspend and wind up in debt. <br><br>Money is the energetic currency of the world and a lack of understanding about individual and family finances can cause a volcanic domino effect that oozes over every aspect of your life. Balancing budgets, saving for college, planning for retirement… Nothing is untouched.<br><br>If you’ve ever been in crippling debt or caught in the web of poverty, then you’ll understand how difficult it can be to get ahead. When struggling to keep afloat, you can’t just bury your head in the sand and simply hope things improve. It takes laser focus, detailed money management awareness, and efficient organizational skills to go from barely surviving to truly thriving. <br><br>That’s right. It takes financial literacy skills.<br><br>By educating and empowering our youth with the tools necessary to make wise financial decisions from a young age — or ANY age (because it’s never too late to start!) — we can help break the cycle of poverty and teach people how to make better decisions when it comes to money. <br><br>This year’s new agenda for Ontario schools to teach financial literacy skills to those in Grade 4 to 12 is a welcome curriculum addition — and a great opportunity to open up conversations about debt and financial health within the community. This may also help break the stigma and encourage anyone who is struggling with finances to come forward and seek help. <br><br>As they mature, these teachings will positively impact students’ smaller everyday decisions, like buying groceries within a set budget to paying rent on time and maintaining a car and further improve their abilities to identify larger long-term investments. <br><br>Just as important, teaching money matters to our youth will enable them to fix financial mistakes when they occur and plan for a better future with confidence, so they can create a better life for themselves and their families. <br><br>Financial literacy transforms lives. <br><br><div>Tell us, how has financial literacy improved your life? What advice would you give someone looking to advance their money management skills?</div><div><br></div><div style="text-align:center;">********************************************************************</div><p>For more information about Ontario financial literacy education, visit <a href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/surveyliteracy.html">http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/surveyliteracy.html</a>. <br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>9/17/2019 4:00:00 AM
You Can Now Attend Bridges Out Of Poverty In The Evening!https://www.simcoe.ca/OntarioWorks/Pages/scc/you-can-now-attend-bridges-out-of-poverty-in-the-evening.aspx1/15/2020 6:56:45 PMYou Can Now Attend Bridges Out Of Poverty In The Evening!<div><div>June 4, 2018</div> <br></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="748" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/evening-bridges-out-of-poverty/evening-bop/#main" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/evening-BOP.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="evening BOP" data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/evening-BOP.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/evening-BOP.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/evening-BOP.png" alt="" style="height:335px;width:635px;" /> </div><h2>Now Available: Evening Sessions of Bridges Out of Poverty</h2>Through our many conversations with individuals throughout the County, across many sectors, we have come to understand that many of our community members, interested in Circles and Bridges Out of Poverty, are not able to get away for an entire day to attend the full-day Bridges Out of Poverty workshop.<br><br>We’re listening! And we want each and every individual, who is interested, to have the opportunity to increase their awareness of poverty in our community and be given the chance to shift their perspective and feel empowered to be part of the solution to this critical problem.<br><br>Throughout the Bridges Out of Poverty workshop we discuss the following topics. More specifically we look at how perspective and limited access to the voice of lived experience can impact our capacity to be part of the solution in a way that honors and respects all involved.<br><ol><li>The 8 Resources of Success</li><li>The Power of Relationships</li><li>Mental Models</li><li>Causes of Poverty</li><li>Stress</li><li>Language</li><li>Hidden Rules</li></ol>We focus on solutions-based thinking and using the power of story we tap into the great and many successes being achieved by individuals in poverty through the support of social service organizations, community groups and employers. The hope is that we can capitalize on our collective strength as a means to enhance our ability to problem-solve and make decisions that best represent our desired outcomes that are equitable, community-centred and focus on economic development.<br><br><strong>To support individuals who cannot attend a full 1-day session we have split the 6-hour workshop into two 3-hour sessions:</strong><br><br><strong><em>June 21st & June 28th</em></strong><br><strong><em>6-9pm (both evenings)</em></strong><br>North Simcoe Learning Centre<br>51 Dunlop St<br>Penetanguishene<br><br>To register for this amazing opportunity to learn more about the experience of poverty in Simcoe County and how you can get involved in our impactful poverty reduction initiative simply email Dionne Thomson at dithomson@scdsb.on.ca to get on the list! NB seating is limited.<br><br>We are pleased to be able to offer the first alternative option to attending a full-day workshop. We are also exploring weekend and multiple 1-hour daytime and evening sessions. Stay tuned for more information to come out in the new year.<div style="text-align:center;"><br><em><strong>Click the image to download a copy of this flyer and feel free to share it with your organization, community and friends!</strong></em></div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="722" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/june-21-28-2018-bop-flyer/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/June-21-28-2018-BOP-FLyer.png?fit=480%2C672" data-orig-size="480,672" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="June 21-28 – 2018 BOP FLyer" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/June-21-28-2018-BOP-FLyer.png?fit=214%2C300" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/June-21-28-2018-BOP-FLyer.png?fit=480%2C672" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/June-21-28-2018-BOP-FLyer.png" alt="" style="height:764px;width:545px;" /> </div><div style="text-align:center;"><img data-attachment-id="698" data-permalink="http://simcoecountycircles.com/answer-social-capital/ask-me-about-circles-2/#main" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Ask-me-about-Circles-2.png?fit=1200%2C630" data-orig-size="1200,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Ask me about Circles" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Ask-me-about-Circles-2.png?fit=300%2C158" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/simcoecountycircles.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Ask-me-about-Circles-2.png?fit=1024%2C538" src="/OntarioWorks/PublishingImages/scc/Ask-me-about-Circles-1.png" alt="" style="height:225px;width:427px;" /> </div><div><br></div><div><br></div>6/4/2018 4:00:00 AM