Community thinks Windsor-Essex is doing ‘just fine’, Vital Signs report finds TT News

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The Windsor-Essex Vital Signs 2022 report is out and it reveals that residents feel we are doing “okay” when it comes to quality of life in Windsor-Essex. But the rating also means we can do better, said the head of the body that prepared the report.

“This is the 10th Vital Signs Report that the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation (WECF) has released to the community, enabling us to track trends overtime,” said Executive Director Lisa Collodi.

The Vital Signs Report surveyed 1,000 respondents online on 11 issues, including employment, health, safety and housing.

Respondents gave most categories a C grade, with an F going to housing.

“Mental health has really become a top priority. We’ve seen that evolve over time and post-Covid it’s not really surprising, but the community is reflecting on that,” Collodi said. Creating a living wage is a priority that has arisen, Collodi said. Over time as well.

The report identified key priorities such as improving access to mental health programs and services, increasing opportunities for people to engage and feel connected, and increasing professional opportunities for those seeking employment in the arts and cultural sector.

“This survey and report was created several years ago in Toronto and is now carried out across Canada, the United States as well as globally,” said Collodi.

According to a WECF release, the survey showed overwhelmingly positive feedback from youth ages 24 and under who said the region is doing well or on the right track in most issue areas.

  • Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said we are on the right track or doing well when it comes to people actively volunteering and/or donating to charity in Windsor-Essex.
  • Seventy percent of survey respondents said we are on the right track or doing well when asked if arts and cultural programs in Windsor-Essex are accessible to youth.
  • Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents believe that we are on the right track or doing well when asked if educational opportunities are readily available in Windsor-Essex, including access to libraries, tutoring, literacy programs, and workforce development programs.
  • Ninety-six percent of respondents said the health of Lake Erie is very important or moderately important.
  • 83 percent of respondents said that in general, they are happy all or most of the time in life.

“Traditionally our youth have been more positive than others. But this year there was a really positive response,” Collodi said.

But most respondents said that reform is needed or we should look at housing issues such as affordability, availability of homeless shelters, and available housing with varying levels of supportive care.

“The experience of being homeless in this city is over the top for me and my family,” Stephanie McGuire told CBC News. “The downtown area has been top of mind for us, feeling safe when we go there.”

Soukhpal Banga said in a CBC interview, “I’m in favor of affordable housing. Right now, the kids won’t give up the house. The price has tripled in the last few years.”

Jennifer Mototek, executive director of Art Windsor-Essex, said in a release that the data in the report “helps shape our programs so we can offer what is needed and desired.”

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