Guelph Community Foundation’s Vital Signs Report
Guelph & Wellington County is getting a check-up today through the launch of The Guelph Community Foundation’s Vital Signs report. The topline data-based report takes the pulse of our community and highlights what we are doing well, and where we could improve. So, what do the numbers say about us?
The good news: our local economy is diverse, median incomes are high and unemployment is often the lowest in the country. Our environment is beautiful and healthy. Our communities are safe. Generally, people are active and feel like they belong.
Our challenges? Many people face barriers that prevent them from fully participating in everything our community has to offer. Thousands struggle with housing affordability and households experience food insecurity. Others face mental health or mobility issues. Some of our teen’s literacy scores are declining and one in three kindergarten students is vulnerable in at least one aspect of their early development.
“The purpose of the Vital Signs report is to engage the community in important conversations across Guelph and Wellington County,” said Chris Davison, Chair of the Board at The Guelph Community Foundation. “The snapshot of data is intended to encourage us all to think about what is most pressing and to ask the bigger questions,” Davison explained. How do we position ourselves for the future? How do we ensure everyone in our community has an equal opportunity to be happy, healthy and to thrive? Where do we want Guelph and Wellington County to be in five, ten and twenty years?
There are two “living” data portals that complement the topline data of the Vital Signs report, where people can dig deeper for more information. These data portals are hubs where new statistics will be organized and housed as it is released in the coming months.
The Vital Signs launch event today had capacity attendance at the new 4th floor space at 10 Carden in Guelph and included panel discussions featuring experts from Police Services, Guelph Wellington Local Immigration Partnership, Children’s Early Years Division from the County of Wellington, Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy, Guelph Community Health and Age Friendly Guelph. The launch was kicked off with greetings from Guelph Mayor, Cam Guthrie, and Wellington County Warden and Mayor of the Township of Puslinch, Dennis Lever.
This Vital Signs project is a collaborative effort with Toward Common Ground, a partnership of 13 local social and health service organizations, The Guelph Community Foundation and the University of Guelph’s Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI). Information was drawn from a number of sources, including Statistics Canada (Census, Labour Force Survey, Canadian Community Health Survey), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, Education Quality and Accountability Ontario (EQAO) and other local, provincial and national sources.
About Vital Signs
Vital Signs is a national program led by community foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and supports action towards improving our quality of life. Started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001, today close to 100 communities across Canada and around the world use Vital Signs to mobilize the power of community knowledge for local impact. To view an electronic copy of Guelph & Wellington County’s Vital Signs report please visit: http://guelphcf.ca/CommunitybrInitiatives/VitalSigns.aspx
About Toward Common Ground Toward Common Ground (TCG) centralizes data and information about our community. TCG identifies needs and takes collective action that improves the lives of people in Guelph and Wellington, as it relates to social and health well being. For more information about TCG and how they are a partnership of social and health service organizations that developed a collective planning model for Guelph & Wellington please visit:
Data Portals for additional and updated data can be found at
http://www.towardcommonground.ca/en/dataportal/data-portal.aspx and www.wdgreportcard.com
About The Guelph Community Foundation:
The Guelph Community Foundation (GCF) seeks to improve the quality of life and vitality in Guelph and surrounding communities by facilitating the creation of permanent resources for charitable giving. Founded in 2000, GCF offers a simple and enduring way for you to support your community and charitable organizations, ensuring your contributions will grow and continue to make a difference today, tomorrow and for the future. Our vision is to build community vitality in three ways: donor engagement, granting and leadership. Total funds under administration are $14 million with over $10 million in permanent endowed assets. Since inception, over $4.2 million has been distributed to over 950 charitable initiatives. In addition to the Kids to Camp granting program, The Foundation also provides Community Grants and private fund holder grants to support community building activities. Applications are accepted for Community programs in July. The Guelph Community Foundation’s office is located at 46 Cork Street East in Guelph. For more information about The Foundation, and how we reach and impact our community please visit our website at http://www.guelphcf.ca