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Headwaters Communities in Action

2016- Poverty work begins • WHAT is RBA? • Farm to School takes off • CWB and Rural Ontario Institute

Snow is here to the delight of some and the chagrin of others, however the days are getting longer already and we’ve had some welcome doses of bright sun in Headwaters. 2015 was a very productive year and HCIA is now reserving time with local councils to bring them up to speed on a year of terrific work with partners and sponsors, and also what great things for our community lay ahead.

In This Issue

Poverty Work in Dufferin

As mentioned in our December newsletter, on November 24, 2015 the Dufferin Poverty and Housing Forum was held at the Orangeville Salvation Army New Hope Community Church. Over 80 attendees representing a diverse range of community members - service organizations, local business, education, health care, municipal government and individuals came together to hear about the growing issue of poverty in Dufferin County and poverty reduction initiatives in surrounding communities. The range of presentations and interactive discussion throughout the day provided a variety of lenses to the issues and attendees were inspired by stories of action and success in other communities as well as personal stories of hardship.

Presenters included:

  • Ontario Government Deputy Minister of Poverty Strategy
  • Dufferin Community Community Services
  • Canadian Mortgage and Housing
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
  • Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction
  • Guelph and Wellington Poverty Reduction Task Force

The forum gave opportunity to gage interest in taking action to end poverty in Dufferin County by bringing key people together who want to work collaboratively on solutions and strategies. Attendees at the forum were clear. Dufferin County needs a poverty reduction strategy. At the end of the day we had asked attendees to share with organizers what their level of involvement with poverty reduction could be should a steering table be created to provide direction. For those who indicated a core level of interest a follow up meeting is in the planning stages.

Dufferin Poverty and Housing Forum

Survey results from the forum, which had over 80 attendees, shared the following feedback with organizers:

  • 58% of attendees felt local poverty is a serious issue.
  • 8% of attendees felt minimum wage alone is not enough to move people out of poverty.
  • 8% of attendees felt that the greatest impact on an individual’s overall health is income and social factors.
  • 92% of attendees felt that government at all  levels, local Social Service Agencies including non for profit, charities and the broader community are all responsible for addressing poverty. 
  • Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction
  • Ultimately 98% of attendees shared that it is important for Dufferin County to have a Poverty Task Force made up of a variety of key stakeholders (local agencies, municipal government, local businesses, community members) responsible for creating a strategy to address issues that impact poverty in Dufferin County. 

The next meeting will allow the core steering committee group to meet and begin discussions on strategic direction and next steps to addressing poverty locally.

The meetings will focus on:

  1. Developing a shared view of poverty and begin the process to establish a draft plan for a Dufferin Poverty Task Force
  2. Working towards an agreed upon and shared definition of poverty and strategic goals to address the issue locally.
  3. Outline conditioning of well-being if poverty was addressed, what poverty currently looks like locally and what partners we will need involved to achieve our desired result.
  4. Determining the tasks at hand with measurable outcomes.
  5. Establish the necessary criteria for the recruitment of a coordinator and host agency.
  6. Acquiring a coordinator for the strategy including financial plan.

The next meeting will allow the core steering committee group to meet and begin discussions on strategic direction and next steps to addressing poverty locally. Those interested in learning more and getting involved with the Dufferin Poverty Reduction table can contact Keith Palmer, Director of Dufferin County Community Services:


Let's Start a Conversation About Health…and Not Talk About Health Care at All

A powerful video created by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit demonstrates the impacts of poverty on the health of our community.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit Video


What is Results-Based Accountability™?

This is a tool being used by groups to apply focus to good energy. Results-Based Accountability™ (RBA), also known as Outcomes-Based Accountability™ (OBA), is a disciplined way of thinking and taking action that communities can use to improve the lives of children, youth, families, adults and the community as a whole.

RBA is being used by HCIA and will be used in addressing Poverty. RBA is also used by organizations to improve the performance of their programs or services. Developed by Mark Friedman and described in his book Trying Hard is Not Good Enough, RBA is being used throughout the United States, and in countries around the world, to produce measurable change in people’s lives.

RBA uses a data-driven, decision-making process to help communities and organizations get beyond talking about problems to taking action to solve problems. It is a simple, common sense framework that everyone can understand. RBA starts with ends and works backward, towards means. The “end” or difference you are trying to make looks slightly different if you are working on a broad community level or are focusing on your specific program or organization.

Results-Based Accountability

Results-Based Accountability

Food File

The HFFA HUB continues to work on a Headwaters Food Charter. As previously stated, the HUB will be conducting community conversations and feedback sessions to gather input from the community such that this regional Food Charter is truly representative. The HFFA Food Charter aims to be strategic and action oriented. Stay tuned for developments and opportunities to engage.

Huge congratulations to Jennifer Payne and her team on successfully garnering a Trillium grant for the highly successful Farm to School and Food Club program. There will be opportunities to find out much more and engage in this tremendous work as the year unfolds. The exciting details of the grant and the new work that is being planned will be shared at a kickoff event currently in the planning stages. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming communications. We hope our MPP Sylvia Jones is planning to attend and share in the excitement.

The Optimist Club of Orangeville

The Food File

Farmers-to-Processors Workshop

Thinking about taking your farm to the next level and processing on-farm? The Agri-food Management Institute and Georgian College are offering a workshop, Transition Smart: Farmers-to-Processors.

Two Dates: February 20 and 27, 2016 at the Georgian College Barrie Campus or March 12 and 13, 2016 in St. Jacobs.

Dufferin CountFarmers to Processors workshopy Demand  Study



Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week 

Stay on OFSC Prescribed Trails and don’t ride impaired, speed or ride after dark. Last winter, the OPP investigated 15 snowmobile-related fatalities, a decrease from the previous two winters (21 in the 2013-14 season and 18 in the 2012-13 season). While the OPP and OFSC are relieved to see fewer lives lost, data clearly indicates that riding impaired, speeding and riding after dark continue to be major contributing factors in snowmobiling incidents.

Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week


Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week

Community Well-Being Refresh gets a boost from Rural Ontario Institute

This year will bring our much anticipated Community Well-Being refresh report which will confirm the regional priorities identified via survey as well as a number of community conversations. The primary purpose of the 2015 Community Well-Being Refresh Project (currently in process) is to report on community well-being (CWB) and to ensure HCIA’s on-going and new work reflects existing and emerging community priorities as identified by the community and supported by secondary data sources.


The product of this project will be an Executive Summary Report and a series of eight CWB Briefs to update the 2011 report sections. This process will be completed in early 2016.


HCIA has been accepted to receive project support and funding from the Rural Ontario Institute on animating the findings of the Well-Being report via an ROI initiative called: Measuring Rural Community Vitality

HCIA qualified by meeting the essential criteria:

  1. We are rural (both the County of Dufferin and the Town of Caledon have populations less than 100,000)
  2. We have a confirmed municipality (County of Dufferin) as a partner.
  3. Outline conditioning of well-being if poverty was addressed, what poverty currently looks like locally and what partners we will need involved to achieve our desired result.
  4. We will be able to complete the work by 12/18/2016
  5. As a charitable organization, all of our work is public and we would make the evaluation reports public.
Community Well-Being Refresh

Dufferin Transportation Options

Find A Ride

Listings about existing transportation options available in Headwaters, learn about eligibility requirements, hours of service and cost.

Find A Ride

Headwaters Trail Maps

Trail Maps Listing

Over 20 trail descriptions, details and maps in the Headwaters region. Take a hike, enjoy a meal and browse our local shops!

Trail Maps Listing

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Headwaters Communities in Action