Our Model

This is how we transform lives.

Child Poverty

In Canada, 1 in 5 children is growing up in a household below the poverty line.

Poverty can affect anyone at any time. At the heart of enduring poverty are unjust social structures that create inequalities in access to resources and opportunities.

These social and economic factors are beyond the control of any child.

Kids on a school bus
Our model child

In Hamilton, 1 in 5 children live in conditions of poverty. In some neighbourhoods, this number jumps to 3 in 4

Our model 1 in 7

1 in 7 people using shelters in Canada is a child.

Our model child

Over 1200 kids in Hamilton go hungry every weekend.

Children make up nearly 40% of food banks in Hamilton

Our model drawing

Canadian children living in a lone-parent family are three times more likely to live in poverty than children in two parent families.

Cupcake

Hamilton children growing up in poverty have a life expectancy 20 years shorter than their wealthiest peers.

Young child

Stolen Futures

When it comes to living with the strains of poverty, it’s children who suffer the most. When families are stressed, it’s children who pay the greatest price – their future.

Children who grow up in poverty do not have access to the same material, institutional and social supports as many of their middle-class peers. Living in poverty affects children in their homes, schools, and communities. It can put children in a state of chronic stress and deprivation that interferes with their mental, physical, and emotional health.

Poverty denies opportunities and undermines childhood development in ways that put children at a disadvantage in so many critical aspects of their lives. It makes it difficult for them to achieve their full potential and break the cycle of poverty for future generations.

How We Confront Child Poverty

Child poverty is a complex problem that demands equally comprehensive solutions.

There are many fantastic organizations in Hamilton and beyond that are working hard to alleviate the impacts of poverty. Many of these wonderful organizations are focused on providing for the material needs of children living in poverty such as school lunches, new clothes, books, and toys. But few are focused on supporting children’s intangible – but absolutely essential – emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs.

Too often, poverty robs children of their self-confidence, hope and, ultimately, resilience. They feel helpless, their situation seems hopeless, and they start to give up.

That’s why CityKidz is dedicated to bringing hope and inspiring big dreams for children growing up in low-income neighbourhoods.

Resilience, Relationships, and Positive Experiences

Determination. Tenacity. Perseverance. Grit. This common denominator of success goes by many names, but at CityKidz we call it resilience.
Resilience is what enables a child to come out of difficult circumstances unbroken and with a positive sense of self and a hopeful outlook for the future.
By cultivating insight and initiative, resilience empowers a child to grow from adversity, cope with change, and adapt to future challenges.

Resilience is something that can be cultivated and nurtured. Research has shown that resilience can grow and strengthen through:

  1. Stable and supportive relationships with adult caregivers (eg. parent, teacher, mentor).
  2. Positive experiences that facilitate personal development.

Nurturing relationships and positive experiences are at the core of our mission and model. They are foundational to everything we do to serve the children who attend our programs.

  • Youth to enact the plan for their dreams
  • Youth maintain healthy positive relationships
  • Youth provide for themselves and their families
  • Youth contribute to the world around them
  • Youth articulate their dreams for the future
  • Youth develop a plan and begin to pursue their dreams
  • Youth access mentors to support their pursuits
  • Children and youth articulate their dreams for the future
  • Children develop life skills to thrive in their environment
  • Children practice good character and skills to achieve their dreams
  • Families access the basic staples of food and clothing
  • Families live within safe homes and communities
  • Families are supported through community partners
  • Children and youth articulate they experience love and acceptance
1
  • Youth to enact the plan for their dreams
  • Youth maintain healthy positive relationships
  • Youth provide for themselves and their families
  • Youth contribute to the world around them
2
  • Youth articulate their dreams for the future
  • Youth develop a plan and begin to pursue their dreams
  • Youth provide for themselves and their families
  • Youth access mentors to support their pursuits
3
  • Children and youth articulate their dreams for the future
  • Children develop life skills to thrive in their environment
  • Children practice good character and skills to achieve their dreams
4
  • Families access the basic staples of food and clothing
  • Families live within safe homes and communities
  • Families are supported through community partners
  • Children and youth articulate they experience love and acceptance.

Volunteers Transform Lives

Whatever your time, whatever your talents, you can make a transformative difference in a child’s life.

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