Downtown community group decimated by cuts

The Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative (DWCC) is in the process of figuring out how it will continue to provide services after losing almost half its funding. In April, approximately $275,000 of annual funding from the United Way and the Ontario Trillium Foundation dries up for good. As a result of the funding cuts, the DWCC will shrink its current 11-person staff to "four or five people," as well as shutter its physical location on Wyandotte Street, according to executive director Bob Cameron. Cameron explained the United Way is pulling all of its funding — roughly $75,000 —  for the DWCC."United Way … is moving with a new strategy which doesn't necessarily involve funding neighbourhood engagements," Cameron said.Cameron pointed to the Little Things Matter program — an incremental development microgrant provided through the DWCC that helps residents volunteer to repair and replace the front and facade of downtown homes — as one of the initiatives that have already been cut. > The capacity to just drop-in and talk ideas over with staff, that won't happen. \- SourceAdditionally, a number of the sports programs offered through the DWCC will no longer be available as of April 1. "We will continue some sports programming in the downtown area," he said.Despite the cuts, Cameron said that the DWCC's "neighbourhood presence" will carry on. Some services — like the DWCC's summer programming — are also set to continue. 'I'm going to run it out of my apartment'Windsor resident Shannon Thompson runs an arts outreach program that provides assistance to women living with addiction. Thompson's program relies on DWCC funding which is scheduled to end in May. "We have to have funding for art supplies and we have to have funding for food and a place to do it," she said. "We'll have to fundraise and I'm not sure how we're going to do that."Thompson previously had to shut down the program during the summer of 2019, adding that she ran it out of the art studio at her home. She said she plans on once again running the program out of her apartment after May. "But I can only run it for so long, because I have to pay for art supplies and food and myself," she said. "It's going to come out of my pocket."

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