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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Take Action Against Cuts to Those On Ontario Works/Ontario Disability Support Program

 On Behalf of Aboriginal Legal Aid Services:

The provincial government announced in its 2012 budget that the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) and the Home Repairs Benefit for people on Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) are being cut.

What is the CSUMB?

The CSUMB is a mandatory benefit that people on either OW or ODSP can
receive. It is intended to pay for expenses that will help people on OW
or ODSP:

*        Establish a new place to live;
*        Prevent their eviction;
*        Prevent them from having their heat, electricity or other
utilities shut off;
*        Maintain their existing residence.

  CSUMB can be used to pay for large lump-sum expenses like:

*        First and last month's rent deposits;
*        Buying or replacing furniture;
*        Deposits on utilities;
*        Paying overdue rent or utility bills.

Single people on OW or ODSP have been able to receive up to $799 and
families up to $1500, once every two years.

How does this cut affect our community?
Many clients of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto have accessed this
funding to avoid becoming homeless. We know that if it is not saved,
many families that we serve will be affected. About 16,000 Ontarians
rely on this benefit every month and it is available to people on
assistance who are among the most vulnerable and excluded in our

What can you do?
Please help us by sending a letter to your MPP and encouraging and
assisting your clients to do the same. We have attached two letters to
this email. One is for people who have received the CSUMB in the past
and one if for people who have not received it but who are against the

If you don't know who your MPP is, you can enter your postal code here
and then see which MPP represents your riding at this website

You can also send an email at

Please share this with as many people in the Aboriginal community as you
can so that we can send as many letters as possible before December 21.

If you work or volunteer with a community agency, please forward
this email to your Board so that they can also send a letter on behalf
of their organization.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact Charlene
Tehkummah at 416-408-4041 x. 223

Thank you for your help on this important issue.

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