Based on the success of the City’s “ActiveAssist” Fee Assistance Program, Mississauga City Council approved expanding access to allow 2,500 more low-income households to register and participate.
“ActiveAssist” provides eligible low-income households a fee credit of $275 per person per year. The credit can be applied to activities such as swimming, skating, fitness and summer camps.
“The City’s goal is to provide equal access to our recreation programs to those in financial need regardless of age,” said Acting Director of Recreation Laura Piette. “The program ensures more children, youth, families, adults and older adults have the benefit of recreation and the opportunity to experience a better quality of life.”
Piette explained eligibility for the ‘ActiveAssist’ program is based on economic need. “According to Low-Income Cut Offs (LICO) established by Statistics Canada, individuals and families whose financial circumstances make them unable to pay for recreation programs and services offered by the City are eligible,” said Piette. “At this time, more than 42,000 residents have been approved to access the program with 80 per cent benefitting children and youth in our community.”
Since the program was launched in May 2009 capacity has increased from 2,500 to 12,500 spaces to accommodate the number of qualified applicants in the next year.
Piette added that facilities are successfully absorbing “ActiveAssist” participants into existing programs without requiring additional resources or incurring costs and the ongoing program is expected to have no impact on the City’s budget. “’ActiveAssist” has proven to be a cost-effective and innovative approach to engaging residents of all ages in positive, high quality leisure activities.”
Highlights of the “Active Assist” program:
- More than 42,000 residents have been approved to access the program
- 80 per cent of participants are children and youth, three per cent are older adults
- During five years of the program, 63 per cent of all subsidies are used for registered programs and 37 per cent are used to purchase memberships and visits
- Malton Community Centre has the highest Active Assist program participation
- In fall 2014, the program was expended to provide access for Children in Care (Peel Children’s Aid Society)
Participants have one year from the date of activation to use their fee credit. Applications for “ActiveAssist” may be made in person at any City of Mississauga Community Centre or the Customer Service Centre located at Mississauga Central Library, Ground Floor. A specific appointment time is not necessary however, may be arranged in advance by phoning the applicable location. For more information and a complete listing of all recreation programs, visit mississauga.ca/activeassist. For more information about “ActiveAssist,” call 905-615-4100.