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Family Services

What We Know


~19% of children in Hamilton live in poverty. (Stats Can, 2016)


~7% of seniors in Hamilton live in poverty. (Stats Can, 2016)


Total rate of poverty in Hamilton is 15% of households (Stats Can, 2016)

The majority of persons served by N2N reside on the central mountain within 43 neighbourhoods bounded by the escarpment to the north, Twenty Road to the south, Scenic Drive to the west, and to Hwy. 20 to the east.

  • Child poverty rates exceed the city average in 24 of these neighbourhoods (SPRC Report based on Stas Can 2016)
  • Senior poverty rates exceed the City average in 21 of these neighbourhoods (SPRC Report based on Stas Can 2016)
  • Newcomer households exceed the city average in 31 of these neighbourhoods. (SPRC Report based on Stas Can 2016)



What We Do

The Family Services Department seeks to address poverty directly with education and advocacy to navigate complicated systems as well as to find and put money back into the hands of the most financially vulnerable persons in our community.

Money Matters

Workers meet directly with participants to help them apply for pension programs such as ODSP and CPP, they call creditors and billing agencies to negotiate debt repayment, debt forgiveness, interest rates, as well as internet and phone providers to reduce ongoing cost of services.

New in 2019 Grocery Price Matching Workshop: Participants are coached in ways to find the lowest price for much-needed groceries and how to apply those prices at one store, rather than chasing bargains at many different retailers.

Community Counselling

Every participant coming to the food bank has barriers to the income required to support the basic needs of their household, so anyone wanting help is able to meet with one of our many highly skilled volunteer counsellors while they wait to shop.

Counsellors have extraordinary community knowledge and offer crisis support to help participants who need immediate emotional intervention.

Clients also benefit from drop-in access to a free dentist, employment counselling, and legal assistance from the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.

Middle East Outreach

We provide translation, interpretation, enhanced counselling and systems navigation support to participants who are newcomers from Arabic and adjacent regions, in English, Arabic and Kurdish.

The Outreach Worker assists participants to navigate the N2N services, to seek and secure social networks and to navigate those many external services and supports that our counsellors are steering other participants towards.

Utilities Supports

We help all those who qualify apply for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP.) Saving a total of $600 to $2712 per eligible household.

What We see

8 Price matching workshops for 47 individuals.


Middle East Outreach face to face: 131 new participants + 1129 face to face appointments with existing participants.


Community Counsellors had more than 3000 face to face interactions.

Estimated $57,600 in future savings secured by households applying to OESP

($1400 per family over 24 months)

$47,511.60 LEAP funds were distributed, which in-turn saved 103 households from having their electricity disconnected.

What We Hear

“I owed months of payments to cable, phone and internet and didn’t know how to get out from under my debt. Your counsellor reviewed my bills, my income, and helped me figure out what I really needed. We called the cable TV provider together and negotiated paying what was owed, a more affordable service contract even had all extra fees waived! After doing this with your counsellor, I contacted the other 2 service providers on my own and negotiated similar service changes! I wouldn’t have known what to say had your counsellor not walked me through it the first time. Thank you!”

Special Thanks to Our Media Partners


28 Athens Street
Hamilton, ON L9C 3K9


Phone: 905 574 1334
Fax: 905 574 1688

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©2020 Neighbour 2 Neighbour | 2019-2020 Interactive Annual Report Report by floating-point.