About Us

Nothing about us, without us, is for us

Launched in 2012, Peel Poverty Action Group is a social justice organization composed of lived experts of poverty, housing precarity, homelessness,
insecurity and many organizations, service providers and allies.

Edna Toth, Founder of Tough Times (left) and Annie Bynoe, Executive Director of Knight's Table (right)
(Taken October 12, 2022)
Edna Toth, Founder of Tough Times (left) and Annie Bynoe, Executive Director of Knight’s Table (right) (Taken October 12, 2022)

We are striving to bring lived voices to the forefront of our work, whether that be advocacy, education, mobilizing and government relations. We are working to call in those who wish to listen, engage and include people with lived expertise and people from diverse backgrounds and communities, including refugees and newcomers.

The foundation of PPAG and Tough Times, also started in 2012, is to provide resources, advocacy opportunities and amplify the voices of those unable to
speak for themselves. We work collaboratively and progressively with all who are committed to ending poverty, housing insecurity and homelessness. We hope to learn and listen, champion learnings, and provide safe spaces. If you want to get involved with PPAG, or contribute to a future edition of Tough Times, please contact Daphna@paeh.ca. People with lived experience of homelessness will receive an honorarium for their contribution to Tough Times.

Poverty and homelessness will be eliminated in the Region of Peel

To work collaboratively and collectively, informed by diverse voices of experience and all sectors, to take local action and advocate for system and policy change to address the root causes of poverty and the elimination of homelessness, as a priority.

Pathways describe the mechanisms that are used to affect change. The following describes how we deliver on each of our pathways.

• Champion and give voice to the need for system, legislative and policy change that address the root causes of poverty, with priority given to homelessness
• Inform stakeholders and decision-makers about local needs and priorities to influence transparent policy and service design, delivery, evaluation and accountability

• Convene people with diverse skill sets, to address priority issues through collective effort and contribution of expertise
• Identify meaningful opportunities for stakeholders and community members to engage in poverty elimination efforts in our community
● Invite underrepresented communities listed by the Peel Equity Advisory Committee to join PPAG

• Communicate and educate to increase awareness, address systemic and structural stigmatization and criminalization and further priority issues, big ideas, specific policies, community needs, and aspirations

• Conduct community-based research to enhance shared understandings of complex issues and to inform action and advocacy efforts of the PTF
• Share knowledge to build capacity, inform decisions, policies and system change

● We value lived experience. We believe that peers are experts in their own experience and provide important perspectives. We are committed to meaningfully involving peers in the planning, delivery and evaluation of our work.
● We recognize the intersectionality and interlocking of oppressions and seek to address these realities in our work. We are committed to the principles of equity, inclusion, Anti-Racism and social justice.
● We believe in an evidence-informed approach. This includes learning from the lessons found in traditional academic literature, less formal ‘grey literature’ like organizational or government reports, and the lived experience of professionals, service users, community members, and everyone in between.
● We understand that being adaptable and responsive is our advantage. We work with people, communities, and partnerships, and on priority issues, that are complex and always changing. Our impact depends on our ability to anticipate change and adapt and respond in a way that furthers our mission


Supporting the Living Wage movement – https://www.ontariolivingwage.ca/
and Increasing social assistance rates, including Ontario Disability assistance, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan

Whereas the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities to work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all

In Canada, HOUSING is considered affordable if shelter costs account for less than 30 per cent of before ax income. A household is in Core Housing Need if its housing does not meet one or more of the adequacy, suitability or affordability standards.
● Acceptable housing is adequate in condition, suitable in size, and affordable
● Adequate housing does not require any major repairs, according to residents
● Suitable housing has enough bedrooms for the size and makeup of resident households
The term “affordable housing” can refer to any part of the housing continuum. The Poverty Task Force focuses primarily on the portion of the continuum from emergency shelters to subsidized housing. The PTF also advocates for affordable market rent for low income community members.

HOMELESSNESS encompasses a range of physical living situations, including:

  1. Unsheltered, or absolutely homeless and living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation
  2. Emergency sheltered – including those staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence
  3. Provisionally accommodated, referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure
  4. At risk of homelessness, referring to those who are not homeless, but whose economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards.

FOOD SECURITY: Household FOOD INSECURITY is commonly defined as inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. Experiences of household food insecurity can range from concerns about running out of food before there is enough money to buy more, to the inability to afford a balanced diet, to going hungry, missing meals, and in extreme cases, not eating for a whole day because of lack of food and money for food.

HEALTH INEQUITIES are health differences that are:
● Systemic, meaning that health differences are patterned, where health generally improves as socioeconomic status improves
● Socially produced, and therefore could be avoided by ensuring that all people have the social and economic conditions that are needed for good health and well-being; and
● Unfair and/or unjust because opportunities for health and well-being are limited

Peel Poverty Action Group
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