Putting Words Into Action!!

We extend our thanks to Ms. Torto and the students from her Social Justice and Specialist High Skills Major classes for helping us help our neighbours in need!

On the afternoon of Monday, November 27, Ms. Torto, Ms. Sheldrake and 25 Assumption College students visited our store and offered up their help with various tasks as a show of support!

The event was also an opportunity for them to learn more about our organization, and how we help those in need. They got first-hand exposure to the store and its operations as Rob Campbell took groups of them on a tour of the store and engaged them in post-tour discussions.
Pat Lenz gave some of the students first hand experience in sorting, organizing and preparing clothing for sale in the store.
Peter Giordano put their young eyes to work finding the best before dates on the last of the donated Halloween for Hunger food donations and organizing the items accordingly.
Jeanette Lee had her group of students preparing binders, paper, pens, markers, and notebooks for shipping to developing countries through the Pencil Case Project, which is finally set to resume after a 4 year pandemic-induced pause.

Some students also helped organize all the totes and yet others helped maintain the retail area by dusting all of the window ledges and assembling Christmas trees.

All in all, it was a very productive day, and what we hope was a win-win-win situation!

The students got to see what we do, and were able to contribute to our cause.

We at the store had someone share our workload … many hands make light work!

Finally, our neighbours in need will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the students efforts!!

We thank the students, Ms. Torto, Ms. Sheldrake, and our store volunteers for helping us help our neighbours in need!

Forging Housing Champions in SSVP Brant

Like many communities across Canada, Brantford is experiencing a housing crisis. Called to serve in “all possible ways”, local Vincentians have launched an initiative to create Housing Champions in accordance with the SSVP National Housing Plan.

Last spring SSVP Brant Particular Council created a Housing Champions Advisory Committee. For its first major event, the committee organized a Formation Day on November 4 for all SSVP Brant volunteers with the purpose of increasing the organization’s capacity to respond to housing related issues. The day was a rousing success and was attended by about 60 conference and store Vincentians.

With opening remarks, members of the Committee informed their fellow Vincentians of groundwork they have undertaken, including development of a belief statement to guide their work and key actions to continue that work with the wider Vincentian group.

Belief statement:
We, of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Particular Council of Brant (SSVP Brant), believe safe, secure, and affordable housing for all is a human right leading to a dignified life and sustainable communities. Further, we believe we can become agents of positive change with regard to our own work, so that we are an effective part of the housing solution. (Consistent with The National Housing Strategy Act, 2019 and SSVP Canada National Action Plan, 2021).

Key actions to support those experiencing housing insecurity include:
 LISTEN to those we serve who are struggling with this issue.
 EDUCATE ourselves, each other and those in our community about local realities and challenges.
 ADVOCATE with those in positions of responsibility to make a positive difference.
 CREATE solutions including strategies for assisting those we serve and partnerships with other local groups striving to address this issue.

A key component of the day was focussed on increasing awareness among the attendees. Based on their research into the local realities and challenges related to housing stability, the committee tapped representatives of local organizations who serve this need to broaden the knowledge of this issue and to explain their roles and initiatives.

The City of Brantford was well represented by Ward 5 Councillor Mandy Samwell, CAO Brian Hutchings, Manager of Housing Programs Katie Maas and Jamie Bagni, Administrative Coordinator of Housing Programs.

Acknowledging the unique needs of specialized communities within Brantford & Brant County, the presenters included Tye Anthony, Public Educator for Brantford Native Housing, and Shatha Qaisi, settlement worker for YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services.

After hearing from these presenters and posing thoughtful and incisive questions to them, the volunteers set to work. In groups (each of the five local conferences (branches) and various Store departments), they planned actions to enhance SSVP Brant’s service to those struggling with housing instability – including potential eviction, search for affordable housing, transition from homelessness to supportive housing.

As a result of Formation Day 2023, the way forward for SSVP Brant is somewhat clearer but there is much work to be done.

SSVP Brant Particular Council President Rob Campbell observed “thanks to our guest speakers and dedicated volunteers, we have improved our ability to assist our neighbours who are experiencing housing insecurity. We look forward to our Housing Champions Committee to continue leading us as we strive to serve – with love, respect, justice and joy.



The following benefits are variable amounts based on family circumstances

Income tax must be filed to obtain them.


Individual must be at least 19 years old.  If younger than 19, they must have (or previously had) a spouse or common-law partner or are (or previously were) a parent and live (or previously lived) with your child.

Benefit is received as quarterly payments


To qualify, the individual must be a resident of Ontario and at least 18 years of age or currently or previously married or in a common-law relationship

The annual OTB entitlement is usually divided by 12 and the payments are issued on the 10th of each month.


The individual must be a Canadian resident for income tax purposes in the month prior and at the start of the month in which the CRA makes a payment, must be 19 years of age or older or have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner.

Payments are sent on the fifth day of July, October, January, and April.

In 2023, the government introduced a one-time Grocery Rebate to provide financial support to eligible individuals and families. The rebate was issued in July alongside the regular quarterly GST/HST credit payment.


The CCB is based on family net income.

It is not taxable.

To receive the Canada Child Benefit, the parent must live with a child under the age of 18 and be primarily responsible for their day-to-day care and upbringing. If the parent shares custody with an ex-partner, each parent receives 50% of the amount allocated if the child lives about equally with both parents.

Parents apply through the Canada Revenue Agency and will automatically be assessed for additional benefits from Ontario based on family income.


To top-up the incomes of the lowest-paid workers, the Canada Workers Benefit provides up to $2,616 total for an eligible family, and $1,518 total for eligible single workers, split between three advance payments this fiscal year (in July 2023, October 2023, and January 2024), and a final payment after the 2023 tax return is filed.

To qualify for CWB, an individual must be: a Canadian resident, 19 years of age or older on December 31 or if under the age of 19, have a spouse or common-law partner, or an eligible dependent.

Those who received the Canada Workers Benefit in 2022 will automatically receive their advance payments from the Canada Revenue Agency, with no need to apply.


The Supplement is based on income and is available to low-income Old Age Security pensioners. It is not taxable.

In many cases, individuals are notified by letter when they could start receiving their first payment. This letter will be sent the month after they turn 64. In other cases, they may have to apply.


The GAINS program pays out a benefit to low-income seniors in Ontario on a monthly basis. The purpose of the program is to ensure that the elderly in Ontario receive a guaranteed minimum income.

If an individual currently receives the OAS pension and GIS, they do not have to apply. Their GAINS benefits will be determined based on their filed income tax return.


If an individual is eligible to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, their spouse or common-law partner may be able to receive the Allowance benefit if the spouse or common-law partner is 60 to 64 years of age, a Canadian citizen or a legal resident, residing in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18 and if the couple’s combined annual income is less than the maximum annual income threshold for the Allowance.


An individual could receive the Allowance for the Survivor if they are 60 to 64 years of age, their spouse or common-law partner has died and they have not remarried or entered into a common-law relationship. Their annual income must be less than the maximum annual income threshold for the Allowance for the Survivor.

MEDIA RELEASE – SSVP Thrift Store Receives OTF Accessibility Grant

June 17, 2023

Brantford, ON – On Saturday June 17th, local MPP Will Bouma met with the team at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) Thrift Store to hear more about the $10,400 Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that was used to install an automatic door. The new door increases accessibility to the store for shoppers with mobility challenges and fosters a climate of inclusivity.

“I am pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation is supporting the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in their efforts to becoming more accessible for people of all abilities,” said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “It is said that history will judge our community by how the most vulnerable are treated, and with this grant by the OTF, we are another step closer to helping all people that we serve.”

The SSVP Thrift store is open to all shoppers regardless of financial need. It also serves as the central hub for those that the Society serves through various forms of assistance. The neighbours that are served by SSVP Brant redeem vouchers at the store for non-perishable food, clothing, household items and furniture. In 2022, 2,774 neighbours received assistance from the Society. Many have some limitations with mobility, and it is important to ensure their ease of access.

In addition to the OTF grant, the SSVP Thrift Store was also celebrating its re-opening for shopping on Saturdays. During COVID, the store, which is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers, was forced to decrease the hours that the store was open. The number of volunteers only recently allowed for a Saturday opening.

“We are greatly indebted to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support,” said Rob Campbell, President of the SSVP Particular Council of Brant. “This grant allows us to better live up to our mission of serving our neighbours with love, justice, joy and respect by increasing accessibility for all who visit our store. We are also delighted to once again be open on Saturdays, allowing more flexibility for shoppers and those we serve.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit to learn more.

Organization Contact for Media inquiries:
Rob Campbell, President
SSVP Particular Council of Brant