Another year has begun! Some of the challenges are new, some are old; our work goes on.
Emergency pandemic funding has ended, yet needs among our clients continue to grow. Housing costs are up, utility bills are up, food prices are up. Funding has not increased, ODSP rates continue to be negligently inadequate, and vulnerable people have to work harder and harder every week to meet their basic needs. Like other service agencies, Bruce House will have to make difficult choices as we draft our budget for April 1st, yet again called upon to do more with less.
Our work with the Ottawa Food Bank’s advocacy group continues, we will demand action from our governments. Food merely solves today’s hunger; to solve food insecurity we need to tackle the root causes of poverty.
We will continue to advocate, loudly, for more affordable and subsidized housing. People need homes now, not in the 7-10 years of the current waiting list!
We are busy planning A Taste for Life—this year on April 19—and look forward to our summer events: Drag & Balls and the National Capital Pride Run. We continuously look for new grant opportunities, partnerships, and opportunities.
We are hopeful that new housing initiative, bill C-22 (federal disability supports), and other initiatives will benefit our clients soon. Injectable HIV treatments, increasing focus on mental health, and greater public awareness of issues faced by vulnerable populations are all reasons to hope.
And, last but not least, we will be celebrating our 35th anniversary this year! That means 35 years of community working together in generosity and compassion to support people living with HIV in Ottawa. Thank you!