With a new financial benchmark in place, Woolwich Community Services has increased the number of households eligible for its support programs.
The agency last week increased the range of its low income cut-offs (LICO), a reflection of increases in the cost of living and other expenses. The adjustment takes into account inflationary bumps that mean higher nominal incomes now fall with the low-income category.
Now, WCS expects its programs and services to be available to more people, with a commensurate jump in demand expected, said executive director Kelly Christie.
“We know that it’s a struggle and sometimes we all just need a little assistance to keep us afloat,” she said.
To build a stronger community, there must be trust and support, says Christie, noting WCS hopes the expansion that came into effect October 1 will provide that to even more families living in the townships.
“Our goal is to build a safe, supported community and to provide resources and support people for where they’re at. We feel that we’re one step closer to helping people meet their needs.”
With the holidays around the corner, money can become tight and that often creates stress for families, she added, noting the provision of food hampers and toys through the Christmas Goodwill Program, for instance, can often diffuse the stress for many.
With the new LICO expansion, more families and individuals have the opportunity to seek assistance in a way that’s comfortable for them, says Christie.
“We all understand that sometimes life happens to all of us, and you don’t know when it’s going to happen,” she said of the varying circumstances that bring people to WCS.
It’s through the continuous support and donations from the community that WCS is able to sustain its programs and services, she added. Likewise, the agency listens to the community’s needs to determine where to focus its efforts, the changes to the financial eligibility criteria being just the latest example.
With the new implementation, WCS hopes that households will struggle less, allowing them to have the financial resources for other demands such as putting their children into swimming lessons or the like.
To learn more about the new LICO inclusion and to find out if you or your family are eligible, you can contact Tina Reed at 519-669-5139 or visit the WCS website.