In January 2021, Sudbury District Restorative Justice conducted a gap analysis study examining the social services network in the Sudbury & Manitoulin Districts. This covered the City of Greater Sudbury, Chapleau, Espanola, and the communities of Manitoulin Island.
The purpose of the gap analysis study was to determine if the needs of residents and community members were being met, and where — if anywhere — there were people falling through the services cracks. What our research showed us is that…
- We have a wide variety and large number of services available for free or at reduced cost
- Many agencies are well known
- Many agencies are overburdened with clients and have long wait lists
- Other agencies are lesser known and have available space for new clients
- Many agencies are unaware of other agencies and the services offered by other agencies
- In some cases, people are falling through “cracks” that aren’t service gaps, but rather gaps caused by lack of understanding where clients could be referred or where agencies may have shorter wait lists
As part of our research, our team spent three months scouring communities for social service agencies and programs that are offered for free or at low cost. We searched phone books, online phone books, social service websites such as 211.ca and Northeast Help Line, and agency websites themselves.
We took the information from our research and placed it in a database, breaking down agencies/programs into different categories that would assist in quickly locating the type of services required. For example, some categories are Abuse, Newcomer Services, Francophone, Indigenous, Elderly, Youth, Parenting, et cetera.
Now, we make that database available to everyone, free of charge. On the first tab there is a link that will allow you to request addition to the database and/or request a correction. We are currently working toward raising money to pay to have this excel spreadsheet move into an easier to use system.