The United Way in Greater Simcoe County is officially taking the Muskoka region under its wing.
Following nearly two years of internal meetings and discussions with district officials, the organization has decided to transition into the United Way Simcoe Muskoka. While that doesn’t mean there will be a physical location set up in Muskoka, CEO Dale Biddell says there will be a strong presence of staff travelling the region.
The United Way is no stranger to Muskoka, having invested over $1 million in agencies between Simcoe and Muskoka. But, Biddell says there is clearly a need for more focus and partnerships in Muskoka.
Based on a recent Vital Signs report from the organization, Muskoka appears to have a growing senior population. The report shows about 41 per cent of residents are over the age of 55 and Biddell says identifying this demographic plays a large role in deciding where funds should be allocated.
The report also identifies the need for social housing has increased as well with a jump of about 140 people to nearly 700 on the waiting list between 2011 and 2015. On that list about 58 per cent are single adults, 22 per cent are families and 20 per cent are seniors.
Biddell says information like this will be used as a deciding factor in approving applications sent to the United Way. She says the approval committee is made up by a group of volunteers from these communities.
The organization will be holding a kick-off for its official entry into the Muskoka region in partnership with the District of Muskoka. Anyone interested in attending is invited to find out more about the organization tonight at The Pines in Bracebridge starting at 5:00pm.
You can find more information on the Vital Signs report here.