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addiction to connection

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Finding Hope Despite the Demands of Life

Message from the Director

In May 2022, the Ontario Nonprofit Network engaged nonprofit community researchers to conduct a survey of 1500 Ontario nonprofit organizations. The focus was on the experiences of nonprofits with regards to their financial health, staffing and volunteers and general operations.

Nonprofits in Ontario are in the midst of confronting fallout from the pandemic – an unprecedented demand for services, a domino effect of record-breaking inflation, deepening financial precarity and a relentless HR and volunteer crisis.

The conclusion of this survey was that our current solutions are not working. There is an urgent need for a coordinated sector response and long-term public policy solutions to not only mitigate challenges nonprofits are facing now, but also to prepare us for future emergencies.

My takeaways from this report align directly with what we are experiencing at Jericho Road:

  • Demand for nonprofit services is higher than ever before (we have seen an exponential increase in applications to our program).

  • Nonprofits are also filling the ever-increasing gaps for affordable housing, mental health and addictions programs.

  • Less than half of all organizations reported an increase in revenue and/or donations.

  • 75% of organizations indicated an overall increase in expenses in 2022 compared to 55% in 2021.

  • 75% of ALL organizations identified inflation and decreases in donations as the most significant factors challenging their organizations.

As a result of these challenges and HR vacancy rate of higher than 50% (nonprofit workers can no longer afford to stay in precarious low paying jobs), 86 out of every 100 organizations have reported scaling back programs and services, having longer waitlists (Jericho Roads current application wait time is 3-6 months) and/or discontinuing programs or services. Locally in Ottawa, almost half of all respondents know of other organizations that have permanently closed.

The situation is even more dire for organizations in the Faith Group subsector at 37%.

Until our society at all levels of community recognize that charities fulfill a huge need that our governments do not, all of us will ultimately close and we as humanity will have failed each other.

Now for the good news!

Thanks to our supportive and caring community, Jericho Road has been able to continually pour into our staff and residents to meet the post pandemic challenges and future ones to come. With great partnering organizations like the Ottawa Community Foundation, the Realtors Care Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ottawa Food Bank and our local Church communities, we continue to be a beacon of light to those whose feel lost in the dark.

For over three decades, Jericho Road has stood as a cornerstone within our community that started as a drop-in located in downtown Ottawa. Today our reach affects more than the individual recipients, extending our influence to encompass recovery education and support for friends, family, employers, and society.

The destructive nature of addiction perpetuates isolation, severing vital societal connections and propelling individuals toward harmful behaviors. Our residential addiction treatment program and Continuing Care housing serve as a lifeline, removing the barrier of isolation and fostering renewed relationships with loved ones and their entire social sphere. Our initiatives equip them with recovery tools and essential life skills enabling them to navigate this new way of life.

We are not alone on this journey and for that I am personally grateful for every individual, group and organization who help us, step by step, to guide those to a spiritual awakening so that they may continue to help others find their way out of those dark places.

As always, my door is always open for a coffee…

Kevin Williams

Executive Director

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