County of Lambton

This project demonstrates a contribution to the advancement of human services integration through the partnership of three departments within the Social Services Division of the County of Lambton. Social Planning and Children's Services and Ontario Works partnered with Habitat for Humanity Sarnia-Lambton to initiate two separate pilot projects using CHPI funding. The first project, called Lambton Builds, involved the construction of a local home with a volunteer crew consisting entirely of individuals in receipt of Ontario Works. Volunteers worked alongside Habitat staff between April and October 2016 to build the home. The second project, called Habitat Handyman, provided affordable home improvement services for low-income homeowners in the community.

The objectives of both pilot projects were:

  • To increase quality, affordable housing stock in Lambton County
  • To provide opportunities for individuals in receipt of social assistance to gain on-the-job training and/or work experience, and/or a general introduction in the field of trades, construction, renovation and home improvement.
  • To enhance partnerships with community agencies with unique knowledge and expertise

These objectives support the County of Lambton's 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan (2014-2023) which was developed in 2013 to guide the work of the municipality in achieving its vision of safe and suitable housing for all residents of Lambton County.

The collaboration between OW, Social Planning and the Non - profit sector is an excellent example of local service system management. The project leveraged Habitat for Humanity's expertise in construction and their extensive network of community partnerships to provide a supportive learning environment for Ontario Works volunteers to build a Habitat house and complete renovations for low income homeowners. Social Planning worked with Habitat staff on program concept and design and was responsible for measuring program impact. Ontario Works staff provided referrals project supervision and on-site support.