Message from the President & Executive Director
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
Happy 40th Anniversary greetings, Delta family members and friends,
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to Delta Family’s 40th anniversary celebration and our second virtual Annual General Meeting. We can truly say that the period being reviewed has been one like no other!
March 2020 was the dawn of COVID 19 closures, and Delta Family, like most other organizations, businesses, public spaces and even spiritual institutions was forced to suddenly halt in-person operations. For us, this meant no more gatherings, no more one-on-one counselling at the office, no more drop in visits by our valued residents, no more groups, computer classes, sewing hub – no more soupy Tuesdays or coffee and biscuit visits in the morning – all the things which made Delta Family feel like a family! As a result, the rest of 2020 and indeed, even 2021, has been a period of adjustment, or trying new ways of reaching community and residents, and more strategic ways to support our communities which were badly impacted by COVID 19.
During this period, 2020 and much of 2021, we’re pleased to say that we have been able to continue to support communities in North West Toronto and Black communities across the GTA. With support from funding partners such as the City of Toronto, United Way, and community partners such as the Hub agencies, partners in Black Creek Humber Summit and many grassroots organizations, we were able to pivot to provide the supports which were needed. In January 2020, with our partners, we were part of a massive food access drive. We launched COVID Wrap around services, and learned very quickly how to provide digital programs.
Major achievements of this period include the food access program, technology supports which we were able to provide to community residents to allow them to connect digitally during the isolation of the pandemic, and emotional supports provided by our counsellors, through our peer seniors support network and through the ongoing wellness programs which are an integral part of our operations. During this period, programs focusing on Black communities grew, and in 2020/21 the agency intentionally expanded its focus to support Black communities, in addition to continuing to serve the communities in northwest Toronto which have traditionally been served. New programs which began or blossomed in 2020 and indeed, in 2021 are the new Youth Justice programs, Ounce of Prevention and Mmere Dane, the Sewing Hub and capacity building with grassroots organizations. Just recently, the Student and Family Advocate program and the Black Youth Student Success initiatives were added to Delta Family’s portfolio, and capacity-building services have expanded.
Despite the challenges of the past year, Delta Family closes 2021 and moves into 2022 in a strong position. A new strategic planning process began in 2020 and was completed in 2021. The mission was changed to reflect society’s new awareness of the impact of inequities. Strategic priorities continued to embrace our historic commitment to families and seniors, but we included our prioritization of programs for Black communities and on strengthening our infrastructure to better support our growing organization.
Programs have expanded to meet the evolving needs of residents, and as a result, our staff size has grown from just over 40 in 2020 to 54 in 2021. We have five new strategic priorities (see or website) which build on the foundation of the past while creating pathways for strong, intentional development; we continue to be guided by feedback from you, our participants, friends and members which is gathered in our annual focus groups and surveys. Do visit our website at www.dfrc.ca and follow us on social media – we always have interesting new information to share. Finally, we encourage you to walk with us as we continually seek ways to be relevant to your realities, your dreams, your needs and those of our beloved Northwest Toronto communities.
President and Executive Director