Since 1994, LITE has supported jobs in Winnipeg’s inner city. As a Public Foundation, we raise money from generous Winnipeggers and spend it in ways that promote jobs and long-term development in the community.
Why? Take a walk through many of our inner city neighbourhoods and you’ll see a mix of situations. Bright and tidy efforts at community renewal and sturdy, long-time businesses exist side by side with some pretty big problems. You’ll see empty buildings, vandalism, homelessness and racism to name a few. Tragically, there is a legacy of social decline in the inner city. It’s evident to the casual observer as well as in income and employment statistics, which show growing numbers of people living in poverty and depending on social assistance.
Countless charities in Winnipeg assist people with immediate needs like food, temporary shelter and the like, but the best way to break the cycle of poverty is long term employment at a wage you can live on. People who can provide for themselves and their families feel better about their lives. They also contribute to improving their communities, because they know what their neighbourhoods need.
We can prove that people want to work, but it’s not as simple as it sounds to get a job. Many residents experience huge challenges when it comes to employment – they may lack a formal education or basic English, have previous involvement in the justice system, or be single parents without child care, for example. All these barriers make it hard to get – and keep – a job, even when employment is available, which it often is not.
This is why LITE directs donations to support jobs, and more importantly, to help people who want to overcome the challenges they face. Our name says it all: We invest locally toward employment.
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