April 30th, 2014 - News Release
Over seventy people participated in a very successful one day workshop focusing on social issues in Halton Hills. The event was held on April 25 at St. Andrew’s United Church. Participants included representatives from Halton Region, the Town of Halton Hills, a wide range of “not for profit” groups and organizations, as well as church groups and private citizens.
Mayor Rick Bonnette’s address illustrated how the social component is an integral part of the Integrated Community Sustainability Strategy (ICSS), which was recently adopted by Council. Damian Szybalski, Manager of Sustainability, Town of Halton Hills gave a presentation outlining the overall framework of the ICSS, and highlighted the contents of the Social component of the Strategy. The other three parts of the Strategy are the Economy, Culture, and the Environment.
Regional Councillor Clark Somerville explained the important role that Halton Region plays in the delivery of many social services in Halton Hills, including child care subsidies, subsidized housing, employment skills, managing the Ontario Works program, services for seniors, and mental health programs.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Joey Edwardh, Executive Director of Community Development Halton, gave the audience a snapshot of the demographic and social dimensions of Halton Hills as a community of communities. She emphasized that social services enhance the quality of life of the entire community, and the importance of neighbourhoods as the core mechanism for people to look after each other.
Beatrice Sharkey used the evolution of the Cultural Roundtable as
gave an example of how a small group of people can build an effective
network to share information, improve cooperation and partnership, and increase
the effective use of resources. She emphasized how the social services sector could
benefit from such a mechanism locally.
Small group discussions tackling issues in the social services sector were animated and productive, and a key outcome was strong support for the concept of creating a structured ongoing network in the social services sector. Volunteers will be following up to make this concept a reality.
Event organizers David Clayton and Nancy Heinmiller, (who were the original co-Chairs of the Social component of the ICSS) said: “Our objective was to emphasize that the social services sector is as important as the other three components of the Sustainability Strategy, and to sow the seeds for a network that would bring greater cohesion and effectiveness to the social services sector in Halton Hills. We are pleased that we went some distance in achieving these goals, and greatly appreciate the help of the team who helped organize the event, and the enthusiastic participation of those who attended”.
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