Too often the greatest problems in our community are the ones we sometimes don’t see.

The senior trapped in their home due to mobility and access issues. The young child who sits too quietly at the edge of the playground instead of playing. The kids who don’t know where to go when the school bell rings at the end of the day. The young people who are working two jobs, but can’t get out of the cycle that landed them there.

Ultimately, we know we can help solve them by engaging people in every community to show their local love. But first, we need to get their attention.

To do this, United Way has partnered with the Pantone® Color Institute to create Unignorable — a colour developed specifically to highlight local issues and bring attention to the millions of Canadians impacted by them.

This colour cuts through the clutter of our busy lives, draws our attention and compels us to act. It’s an invitation to be part of the change by showing love for the places we call home and the people who live here.


Currently, 1 in 10 people who live in Halton and Hamilton live below the poverty line. This intergenerational barrier is the choice between putting food on the table and paying rent, and can be detrimental to a child’s upbringing. Poverty affects every aspect of someone’s life, making it difficult to break the cycle.

Poverty can bleed into multiple generations, sinking a family deeper and deeper into insecurity. Without the proper resources and programming, chances of a family recovering from the firm grasp of poverty becomes slimmer and slimmer as time goes on.

United Way Halton & Hamilton is working on multiple fronts to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Our investments help individuals and families in crisis access basic needs like food and shelter, while also helping them develop knowledge and opportunities to increase their long-term stability.

Mental Health

1 in 4 children will experience a mental health issue by the time they are 18, and 1 in 5 will not receive the help they need to tackle the illness.

70 per cent of mental health problems have stemmed from an experience during childhood or adolescence, and people in the early and prime working years are among the hardest hit by mental health problems. Without proper healthcare coverage, these people are not effectively treated for their mental illness, greatly reducing the chance of improving their mental health.

Positive mental wellbeing is the capacity of people to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance the ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges of day-to-day life. United Way Halton & Hamilton strives to reduce barriers and promote wellness by investing in programs that build skills for independent living, provide counselling for mental health issues, and help individuals become confident and empowered to deal with life’s challenges.

Education Inequality

If a child cannot read at their grade level by the time they reach Grade 3, there is a greater chance they will not graduate high school. More than three quarters of children who come from low-income backgrounds do not meet this crucial milestone.

Studies show that without access to summer learning activities such as camp, travel, and visits to libraries and museums, children from low-income environments can experience more significant learning loss than their more economically-stable peers. In the summer, in the absence of community breakfast programs, a child’s weight gain can accumulate twice as quickly as during school months.

United Way Halton & Hamilton invests in multiple programs that allow children to access programming crucial to their curriculars and their health. Studies show by giving children in low-income households support to these programs they show improvement in their self-perception, school social groups and positive social behaviours. They also increase their academic performance through grade scores and attendance.

Scott GallagherUnignorable