Current Systemic Change Committee Report

Systemic Change Committee
2019 Annual Report

Committee Chair: Jere Hartnett
Committee Members:Alan Read,
Jim Ferguson,
Margaret LaFontaine,
Garth Brown

Systemic Change Committee Focus (Institutionalize Systemic Change/Social Justice within ONRC) Our Systemic Change (SC) work focuses on identifying barriers for those in need and working with them to remove the barriers helping them to get out of poverty. Our work includes education on bringing about SC, SC project assistance, providing SC resource synergy by networking and sharing ideas and best practice with other Vincentians.

2019 Accomplishments

Ozanam Education Fund
Over the past year we have responded to 37 new applications with funding of $74,000. Since establishing the Fund, we have responded to 260 applications with awards exceeding $466,000. This has made a significant difference in many people’s lives helping them get an education and a way out of poverty. We have recently implemented the tax receipt process for issuing T4s for Ozanam Fund recipients for the 2019 tax year. We have also expanded the membership on the Ozanam team.

Seeds of Hope
The Seeds of Hope project continues providing hope for future education for children in need. Hundreds have now been enrolled in this program.

Prison Release Kit Project
This project led by St. Paul’s Conference Burlington was launched in late 2017. It provides a kit with basic essentials that is issued to prisoners at the point of returning to the community. The project is now well established and able to sustain itself financially. It has distributed over 220 kits for both men and women.

Hamilton Diocese Liaison
We established a liaison with the Hamilton Diocese through one of our committee members. This helps us to ensure coordination of our SC/SJ work with that of the diocese. This has been successful and we encourage this practice in other Ontario Dioceses.

Fund Raising investigations
We continue to investigate opportunities for Fund Raising for our Ozanam Education Fund project.

New project investigations
Initiated new project investigations in both the “Senior’s needs” and the “Housing needs” areas.

2020 Opportunities

Systemic Change Orientation sessions
We continue to offer our assistance to Conferences and Councils for orientation sessions on Systemic Change sharing best practices and ideas for SC work in their area.

Systemic Change Projects
We continue to promote the expansion or replication of existing projects, such as Ozanam Education Fund, Seeds of Hope, Vinnie’s Wallet, Prison Release Kit, etc. We also encourage bringing forward ideas for new projects that will bring about positive change for those we serve.

Two new areas we are exploring are:
  • Resources for seniors:
    We are presently exploring ways to link “seniors in need” with available resources.

  • Housing for those in need:
    We have started to explore opportunities for those in need of sustainable living accommodations in our communities.

Challenges in 2019
  • Need for awareness and growth of Systemic Change work in each Conference and Council.
  • Need for better communication linkages with other Vincentians involved with Systemic Change work across the region.
  • Need to expand our committee membership with SJ representatives from neighbouring Particular Councils.
Overcoming the challenges in 2020
  • Continue to look for better ways to network on Systemic Change activities within the ONRC organization.
  • Continue to look for ways to engage new Vincentians in SC/SJ activities.
Financial Information Allocated $3,200 in 2020 budget for Systemic Change project assistance for project replications and new projects.

Submitted by:
Jere Hartnett
Chair, ONRC Systemic Change Committee