UPDATE: United Way Cuts Funding to Life After Fifty
Staffing and programming cuts are coming to a seniors program in Windsor.
After 56 years of funding 'Life After Fifty', the United Way Windsor-Essex has decided to stop funding the organization to the tune of about $220,000.
Life After Fifty Executive Director Joyce Nixon tells AM800 News, it amounts to a quarter of its budget.
"It has been a long standing relationship between Life after Fifty and the United Way, so of course we understand their change in focus but it is disappointing to our organization," says Nixon.
As a result of the funding cut, four staff positions are being eliminated and two programs, Our West End Neighbourhood and Promoting Seniors Independence Program, are being axed.
The cuts take effect March 31, 2020.
Nixon says it is looking for other avenues of funding.
"Our focus has been on senior's programming, we have been in the community since 1962, so we will certainly focusing on seniors as they are the fastest growing demographic."
Nixon says she was informed by the United Way in October of its decision, due to a change in focus as it is trying to help youth and reduce childhood poverty.
United Way Windsor-Essex Vice President of Finance and Operations Andy Bothamley says all of its current funded initiatives are funded for a five year period, up until March 2020.
After that, he says the United Way wants to focus its funding and energies on reducing childhood poverty.
"We are aligning our funding to go all in on strategies that work to alleviate childhood poverty, Windsor-Essex County as you may know has some of the highest rates of childhood poverty in Canada," he ways. "Communities continuely need to evolve and respond to the changing needs of the community and that's really United Way's roll and that's been our history over many years."
Bothamley adds this is about spending dollars in the right areas.
"When we raise money for Windsor-Essex County, we really need to have the best impact with the dollars that we can raise and think about the long term future and needs of our community," he says. "How do we have the best impact for the community that we all want to have?"
Bothamley says although two programs at Life After Fifty will be cut, the United Way will be supporting the vulnerable through other programs.
One in three people in Windsor are over the age of 50.