Social connectedness and a strong community build an important foundation for which individuals can experience equity and feel included. Without a sense of belonging and connection to your surroundings, social isolation can begin to take hold, affecting your health and your wealth. People who are socially isolated are at a higher risk of developing health problems, slipping into poverty and experience a higher rate of mental health challenges and mortality. For Niagara to continue to grow and succeed as community, it’s going to take all of us. That’s why United Way strives to leave no individual feeling isolated or excluded.
Seniors, individuals in poor health, and people in the shelter system are disproportionately affected, and social isolation has hit them hardest. When someone loses their connection to the neighbourhood they call home, it can change how they perceive others and the community they live in. No one should feel alone or have to experience emotional and physical challenges on their own. We must increase connectedness for the most vulnerable in our circles and ensure they can access the support and programs they need to enjoy life.