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Province Partners with CultureLink on Community-based Poverty Solutions for Toronto Youth

News Release

Province Partners with CultureLink on Community-based Poverty Solutions for Toronto Youth

Local Poverty Reduction Fund Supports Community-Driven Poverty Solutions

Treasury Board Secretariat

Ontario is supporting a CultureLink Settlement Services project to help Toronto youth affected by poverty graduate high school.  

Through the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, Ontario is investing $752,800, over three years, to help CultureLink Settlement Services implement and evaluate a program designed to reduce the high school dropout rate of Somali youth in Toronto.

The program will provide youth with mentors, who will support students with individualized learning plans, monitor academic performance and classroom attendance, and work with teachers to support student success.  A Somali-speaking project coordinator will also work with parents to reinforce classroom learning.

Evidence gathered from this project and others will be used to support poverty reduction programs across the province that have been proven to work and that can expand over time.

Fighting poverty is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a $50 million, six-year initiative that supports community-driven projects, which measurably improve the lives of those disproportionately affected by poverty, including: women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Aboriginal peoples.
  • Organizations have two more opportunities to apply for funding in 2016 and 2017.

Additional Resources


Deb Matthews

“With this funding, CultureLink will be able to evaluate its service delivery model and help us learn more about what approaches are making a difference for youth facing poverty in communities across Ontario.”

Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

Peter Milczyn

“CultureLink will be able to use a well-researched and evidence-based model of success to deliver a program that will make a meaningful and long-term difference to helping young students succeed in and out of the classroom. The mentorship program is an excellent way of making sure students stay on track with their academic goals as well as providing individualized one-on-one support when needed.”

Peter Milczyn

MPP, Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Yvan Baker

“CultureLink has a proven track record of working with local organizations to improve the lives of many in our community. This funding will not only help bring to Toronto a successfully developed program used in cities across North America but also integrate local expertise, skills and knowledge. I am excited to see how this mentorship program will help make a difference in the educational experience of young students”

Yvan Baker

MPP, Etobicoke Centre

Media Contacts



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