With a veritable ‘who’s who’ of community leaders present, ProsperUs, a collective of local non-profit, government, health care, education, labour, business, and inspired residents, announced a new shared vision for a more prosperous Windsor-Essex County at Mackenzie Hall in Windsor on Friday morning.

The collaborative partnership, co-chaired by Janice Kaffer from Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Noah Tepperman from Tepperman’s Furniture and Appliance, set out a ‘Cradle to Career’ vision to give children in Windsor-Essex the opportunities they need to succeed and unlock their potential.  ‘Cradle to Career’ encompasses supporting children from before they are born through pre-natal health for moms all the way through to landing their first job as a young adult.

“Community-level change is so big, so complex, that no one person or organization or level of government can be responsible for it all on their own,” says ProsperUs Co-Chair Noah Tepperman. “This vision of a future of a prosperous and resilient Windsor-Essex County, in which every young person has the opportunity and support to succeed from Cradle to Career… creating that specific future will take each of us saying, ‘This vision is ours and its mine, and I’m going to participate because it can’t happen without me.’”

The work of ProsperUs will be backboned by United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, which will provide the organizational support to drive the ProsperUs vision forward.

“With the wholehearted support of our Board and our donors, United Way is making a long-term commitment to the Cradle to Career vision and will be shifting our entire organization to drive toward innovative solutions that will help kids achieve their dreams and reach their potential,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way. “It’s important for us to level the playing field for children across neighbourhoods in our community.  The reality is that some kids need a head start to reach the finish line. United Way is grateful to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many amazing community partners.”

The 30+ organizations that are part of the ProsperUs collaborative to date are all pooling new money, time and talent, demonstrating that this is more than a traditional collaboration. Many of them expressed their ‘all in’ support at the media event, including the city’s mayor, the county’s warden, leaders from local school boards, hospitals, business, labour, and the social services sector. The collaborative will collect and share data and measure shared targets that will drive at improving outcomes for vulnerable children and youth.

“With a vision to transform healthcare and cultivate a healthier community, we at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare believe this begins with investing in the future of our children,” says ProsperUs Co-Chair and hospital CEO Janice Kaffer. “A powerful strategy to improve educational outcomes results in healthy individuals, families and ultimately Windsor-Essex. We are excited to be part of ProsperUs and the future of our community’s young people.”

Goddard explained that the media launch is just the beginning of a conversation that will continue to bring partners, investors, industry experts, students, residents and families to the table.

“A lot of great work has happened in the community but we need to do better to move the needle on important community issues like the mental health, well-being and education of our children, because that’s what is going to make us a thriving community a generation from now,” says Goddard.

Over the next few months United Way will lead the community consultations, including 1-to-1 and group consultations.

“We want to hear directly from the community on how we can improve outcomes for children and families,” says Kaffer. “We invite the WHOLE community but particularly young people and resident families, to step forward and get involved because only by working together and streamlining services can we make our community stronger.”

ProsperUs will also begin to narrow in on the key milestones it will focus on and measure over time, and undertake an extensive community and expert consultation in co-designing the interventions that will help improve results in these milestone areas. It will also identify target neighbourhoods where the interventions will be launch.

ProsperUs plans to report back to the community next spring on the specific, multi-year goals that will turn its vision for a prosperous, healthy community into a reality.

To stay up to date on future announcements and community consultation dates, visit www.weunlockpotential.com or follow ProsperUs on Twitter and Facebook (WEProsperUs). General inquiries can be directed to info@weunlockpotential.com or c/o United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, 300 Giles Blvd. E., Unit A1, Windsor, ON N9A 4C4.


Media Contact:

Karen Brady, Marketing & Communications Manager

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County

Work: 519-258-0000 x 1213 | Mobile: 519-564-8554