Increasing income inequality, precarious employment, lack of affordable housing, expensive childcare options and transportation are making it more difficult for many people in our community to escape poverty.

The Opportunities strategy focuses on opportunities for financial security, so that people of all ages can thrive in our community. One of the major issues the strategy aims to improve is housing and homelessness. The strategy calls for a cross-sector housing and homelessness strategy – United Way convened stakeholders across the public, private and non-profit sectors, which later became the Housing and Homelessness Partnership. United Way is the secretariat of the partnership.

Other issues the strategy focuses on are:

- Income inequality – one approach we’re exploring is a living wage for Halifax. United Way is interested in the gap between the hourly Living Wage of $20.10 and the day to day realities that many families face in our city.
- Supporting training to increase life skills and improving employment opportunities.
- Financial empowerment and helping people manage their money to improve their financial literacy.

Funding to community organizations is aligned with these priorities. Some examples include:

• Alice Housing provides housing and counselling support to women and their children escaping domestic abuse. Three stages of safe and secure housing give families the opportunity to put their lives together and begin to look toward a new more positive future.

• Metro Non-Profit Housing and their Housing Support Centre provides adults at risk of homelessness with the opportunity to be in a supportive community that creates stability and helps maintain healthy lives.