Skip to main content

Communities where everyone can thrive

People smiling and celebrating, wearing rainbow headbands and holding a sign that says ‘United with Pride’

This week we’re talking about our work with 2SLGBTQ+ and Indigenous communities, a new Community Hub and voter engagement.

Dear Friend,

Together with supporters like you, we are working to build strong communities across our region for everyone who lives here. Vibrant places where diversity is celebrated. Where we hear and protect unique voices. Where everyone feels safe and has a sense of belonging. A GTA for all, where everyone can thrive.

And as we celebrate Indigenous History Month and Pride Month, I want to take the opportunity to share some of the work you help make possible, your support in action.

On the ground, our community partner agencies like Na-Me-Res provide outreach and transitional and permanent housing for Indigenous men. Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training offers employment and training services, helping to meet the needs of our Indigenous communities. We are working with the Indigenous Partnership Council — who are First Nations, Inuit, Métis Peoples with a range of expertise from educational institutions, shelters and housing and social services — to guide United Way in how we meet the complex and layered needs of Indigenous communities, honour and support Indigenous self-determination and provide funding where it will have the greatest impact. We know we must play an active role, but more importantly, we must listen and learn how to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples to lead culturally-responsive solutions.

I am also excited to walk with our United Way team in the Pride parade later this month and celebrate with the 2SLGBTQ+ community. United to ensure our friends and neighbours feel safe and connected, like Diana did after accessing a program at United Way-funded LOFT Community Services that supports trans people facing mental health and housing challenges. Standing shoulder to shoulder with United Way-supported The 519, providing essential services for 2SLGBTQ+ people including counselling, queer parenting resources and programs for refugees and newcomers.

With your support, we are in action — in community — to meet the needs of today while looking towards the future. And to help lead us to new heights, we are honoured to announce our 2024 Community Campaign Chair Victor Dodig, President and CEO of CIBC, and our Major Individual Giving Chair Monique Jilesen, Managing Partner at Lenczner Slaght. These long-time United Way champions will inspire others in our fundraising efforts this year — support that is so important in ensuring we can continue to build stronger, more equitable, safe and connected neighbourhoods across our region.

Thank you, friend, for helping us put mission into action, for standing with us to build a GTA for all.

Daniele Zanotti
President & CEO
United Way Greater Toronto

Things to Know Right Now

Engaging voters

With the Mississauga mayoral election coming up on June 10, five of the leading candidates shared their visions for the future of the city in a debate we co-hosted last week along with our partners Sheridan College, Mississauga Board of Trade and the Metamorphosis Network. Voters heard from the candidates on some of the key issues the city is facing, including affordability, housing, transportation and settlement. Read the highlights!

2024 Annual Meeting of the Members

Join us at our virtual 2024 Annual Meeting of the Members on June 19 as we present The Next 10 Years: How do we build a GTA for all? Our President & CEO Daniele Zanotti will moderate a panel discussion with Cheryll Case, Founder of CP Planning, Mary Rowe, President and CEO of Canadian Urban Institute, and Benjamin Tal, Managing Director and Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC Capital Markets as they examine some of the critical challenges awaiting us in the next decade and explore how we can work together to protect community space and access to local services. Register now.

Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month

A woman dressed in a sari and dancing
Courtesy of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians

Our South Asian Community Advisory Council (SACAC) partnered with the United Way-funded Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month. The event included an art installation, live painting, a drumming performance and an enriching panel moderated by SACAC chair Farheen Khan with South Asian business leaders Aman Adatia, Managing Partner of FARE Group and Co-Founder & CEO of Epok Enterprises, Prasanna Ranganathan, DEIB Advisor & Consultant, Saadia Muzaffar, Founder and President of TechGirls Canada and Co-Founder of Tech Reset Canada, Puja Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of KAPS Realty Group, and Esa Para Esananda, Real Estate Broker. The panellists explored the importance of roots, values, authentic leadership and anti-oppressive approaches for inclusive community building and leading a path for future generations.

Update from the Frontlines

Breaking ground at a new Hub in Thorncliffe Park

We were thrilled to celebrate the ground-breaking ceremony of the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub. This transformative project, supported by United Way funding, will protect and expand vital community space, providing integrated health, dental and social services while fostering strong, inclusive neighbourhoods. Learn more about the work we’re doing around Community Hubs and the positive change they create in neighbourhoods.

Connecting people to culturally relevant support

A man and woman sit smiling at the camera sitting on some outdoor steps.

Adrian is an Ojibway visual and tattoo artist, dedicated to helping other young Indigenous artists build their careers. But a few years ago, Adrian wasn’t in a good place and when he experienced homelessness and struggled with his mental health, he didn’t know where to turn. Luckily, he was connected to the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, an organization led by and supporting Indigenous communities and funded by United Way. Adrian’s case worker, Bella, helped him find housing and mental health support, but also a sense of community.

You Might Also Like

Want to see your support in action?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates about how your local love is making a difference across the GTA.

Share this article: