Mission and Action

Our mission statement

To promote community economic development by supporting inner-city initiatives in Winnipeg that build capacity and provide jobs.

Our work in Winnipeg’s inner-city

Since 1994, LITE has supported jobs in Winnipeg’s inner city. As a Public Foundation, we raise money from generous Winnipeggers and spend it in ways that promote jobs and long-term development in the community.

Why?  Take a walk through many of our inner city neighbourhoods and you’ll see a mix of situations. Bright and tidy efforts at community renewal and sturdy, long-time businesses exist side by side with some pretty big problems. You’ll see empty buildings, vandalism, homelessness and racism to name a few. Tragically, there is a legacy of social decline in the inner city. It’s evident to the casual observer as well as in income and employment statistics, which show growing numbers of people living in poverty and depending on social assistance.

Countless charities in Winnipeg assist people with immediate needs like food, temporary shelter and the like, but the best way to break the cycle of poverty is long term employment at a wage you can live on. People who can provide for themselves and their families feel better about their lives. They also contribute to improving their communities, because they know what their neighbourhoods need.

We can prove that people want to work, but it’s not as simple as it sounds to get a job. Many residents experience huge challenges when it comes to employment – they may lack a formal education or basic English, have previous involvement in the justice system, or be single parents without child care, for example. All these barriers make it hard to get – and keep – a job, even when employment is available, which it often is not.

This is why LITE directs donations to support jobs, and more importantly, to help people who want to overcome the challenges they face. Our name says it all: We invest locally toward employment.

We are more than a charity.

Our Small Grants provide partner agencies in the community (like Resource Assistance for Youth, or the West Central Women’s Resource Centre) with some of the funds they need for training and employment programs.

Our Purchases for Christmas Hampers are made at inner city businesses that employ local people and invest their earnings in the community.

Our Social Purchasing Portal helps grow the inner city economy by linking community-minded purchasers (both corporate and individual) with ethical and community focused businesses that also hire locally.

Our fundraising work

We raise funds to support our partners in several ways. Our staff and volunteers make presentations to Winnipeg businesses, workplaces, churches, schools, clubs, and other interested groups. We annually send a solicitation letter and newsletter to current LITE supporters. We also host a number of annual fundraising events: the Wild Blueberry Pancake Breakfast  – a major celebration of Community Economic Development in November, an Annual Gala in the spring, and a curling ‘funspiel’ in the Winter!

If you would like more information about a LITE presentation or our other fundraising activities, please contact us.