Posts Tagged "poverty"

20May

Poverty reduction grants addressing local needs in Kamloops

by admin

Vulnerable and low-income people in Kamloops will be better supported thanks to $25,000 in government funding for local poverty reduction strategies.

“Local governments are crucial in our efforts to reduce poverty in B.C. because the impacts of poverty are felt most keenly at the local level,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By supporting local governments in the development of their own poverty reduction plans and projects, we’re ensuring they have the tools and resources to make a difference. As B.C. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people still need extra support, and these grants do just that.”

These projects are from the second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). UBCM supports local government plans and projects designed to reduce poverty at a local level, as well as the Province’s poverty reduction strategy, TogetherBC.

Kamloops will develop a post-emergency support services plan with the funding. Emergencies and disasters, such as floods or wildfires, can cause and exacerbate financial hardships, especially for people already experiencing poverty. This project will create a local action plan on how to best support people in the community in the aftermath of an emergency.

All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have called for a deeper provincial commitment to poverty reduction for many years now,” said Brian Frenkel, president, UBCM. “Our members also recognize that poverty is contextual and that our collective response needs to reflect the unique conditions and challenges in B.C.’s communities. We appreciate the support this program is providing for the development of local strategies and approaches.”

Throughout B.C., 10 projects spanning 12 local governments will receive a total of almost $350,000 from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority-action areas, which include families, children and youth, education and training, housing, employment income and social supports.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
  • In 2020, 63 local governments received a total of $1.6 million for 34 poverty reduction plans and projects.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and
    • up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plansstrategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants: https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/poverty-reduction.html

20May

Poverty reduction grants addressing local needs in the Lower Mainland

by admin

Vulnerable and low-income people in Delta, Langley and Vancouver will be better supported thanks to $150,000 in government funding for local poverty reduction strategies.

“Local governments are crucial in our efforts to reduce poverty in B.C., because the impacts of poverty are felt most keenly at the local level,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By supporting local governments in the development of their own poverty reduction plans and projects, we’re ensuring they have the tools and resources to make a difference. As B.C. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people still need extra support, and these grants do just that.”

These projects are from the second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). UBCM supports local government plans and projects designed to reduce poverty at a local level, as well as the Province’s poverty reduction strategy, TogetherBC.

The City of Langley and the Township of Langley will each receive $25,000 to create poverty reduction plans. These plans will be used to inform regional transportation planning and parks and recreation plans. The City of Delta will also receive $25,000 to create a poverty reduction plan that will focus on service needs in the community.

A collaborative project between The District of West Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver will receive $75,000. This project will develop a poverty reduction plan that will be created with public input.

“Everyone’s experience of poverty is unique, just as every community’s needs are unique,” said Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver. “This funding ensures that local governments can create plans specific to their communities, so we can recover and rebuild in a way that will ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Here in North Vancouver, we’ll be teaming up with our neighbours and taking the time to listen to people with lived experience and others to really understand what’s needed.”

All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have called for a deeper provincial commitment to poverty reduction for many years now,” said Brian Frenkel, president, UBCM. “Our members also recognize that poverty is contextual and that our collective response needs to reflect the unique conditions and challenges in B.C.’s communities. We appreciate the support this program is providing for the development of local strategies and approaches.”

Throughout B.C., 10 projects spanning 12 local governments will receive a total of almost $350,000 from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority-action areas, which include families, children and youth, education and training, housing, employment income and social supports.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
  • In 2020, 63 local governments received a total of $1.6 million for 34 poverty reduction plans and projects.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and
    • up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plansstrategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants: https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/poverty-reduction.html

20May

Poverty reduction grants addressing local needs in northern communities

by admin

Vulnerable and low-income people in Houston, Kitimat and Smithers will be better supported thanks to almost $75,000 in government funding for local poverty reduction strategies.

“Local governments are crucial in our efforts to reduce poverty in B.C. because the impacts of poverty are felt most keenly at the local level,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By supporting local governments in the development of their own poverty reduction plans and projects, we’re ensuring they have the tools and resources to make a difference. As B.C. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people still need extra support, and these grants do just that.”

These projects are from the second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). UBCM supports local government plans and projects designed to reduce poverty at a local level, as well as the Province’s poverty reduction strategy, TogetherBC.

Houston, Kitimat and Smithers will each receive approximately $25,000 to create poverty reduction plans for their communities. As part of the project, the municipalities will aim to understand how their specific industries, resources and rural location impacts people’s experience of poverty in their communities.

“The needs of people in northern communities are unique,” said Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine. “We don’t always have the same services as other communities, which can impact how people experience poverty. That’s why these grants, which allow communities to make poverty reduction plans at the local level, are so important. Everyone in our region deserves the opportunity to succeed, and this funding will help them do that.”

All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have called for a deeper provincial commitment to poverty reduction for many years now,” said Brian Frenkel, president, UBCM. “Our members also recognize that poverty is contextual and that our collective response needs to reflect the unique conditions and challenges in B.C.’s communities. We appreciate the support this program is providing for the development of local strategies and approaches.”

Throughout B.C., 10 projects spanning 12 local governments will receive a total of almost $350,000 from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority-action areas, which include families, children and youth, education and training, housing, employment income and social supports.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
  • In 2020, 63 local governments received a total of $1.6 million for 34 poverty reduction plans and projects.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and
    • up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plansstrategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants:
https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/poverty-reduction.html

20May

Poverty reduction grants addressing local needs in the Cariboo |BC Gov News

by admin

Vulnerable and low-income people in Quesnel and Williams Lake will be better supported thanks to $100,000 in government funding for local poverty reduction strategies.

“Local governments are crucial in our efforts to reduce poverty in B.C., because the impacts of poverty are felt most keenly at the local level,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By supporting local governments in the development of their own poverty reduction plans and projects, we’re ensuring they have the tools and resources to make a difference. As B.C. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people still need extra support, and these grants do just that.”

These projects are from the second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). UBCM supports local government plans and projects designed to reduce poverty at a local level, as well as the Province’s poverty reduction strategy, TogetherBC.

Quesnel will receive $50,000 for a food redistribution pilot project that will create community connections with food providers and organizations that can accept and distribute food to those in need. The project will also evaluate whether a sustainable food redistribution model can be developed long term.

Williams Lake will also receive $50,000 for its Every Door the Right Door project. This community social service project will be comprised of many initiatives, including a digital literacy program and the development of a social enterprise program to provide opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment.

“The City of Quesnel was happy to partner with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to bring the Food Redistribution Network to the implementation stage,” said Bob Simpson, mayor, City of Quesnel. “This Food Redistribution Network will increase local food security and will help shift the community away from an emergency-based charity model to one that is empowering, community driven and sustainable; all while reducing food waste. It was apparent after the CMHA conducted the Quesnel Community Food System Assessment that the community is in need of this project.”

All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have called for a deeper provincial commitment to poverty reduction for many years now,” said Brian Frenkel, president, UBCM. “Our members also recognize that poverty is contextual and that our collective response needs to reflect the unique conditions and challenges in B.C.’s communities. We appreciate the support this program is providing for the development of local strategies and approaches.”

Throughout B.C., 10 projects spanning 12 local governments will receive a total of almost $350,000 from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority-action areas, which include families, children and youth, education and training, housing, employment income and social supports.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
  • In 2020, 63 local governments received a total of $1.6 million for 34 poverty reduction plans and projects.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and
    • up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plansstrategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants:
https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/poverty-reduction.html

2Jun

Local governments to develop poverty reduction action plans

by admin

Community-based supports for vulnerable and low-income people throughout B.C. are being boosted through a series of local government poverty reduction initiatives.

With grants from the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, 54 local governments throughout the province, through 29 projects, will develop poverty reduction plans and projects that directly support people in their communities.

“Poverty is a complex issue without a singular solution. It requires the co-ordination and partnership of all levels of government, organizations, businesses, communities and individuals,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These projects will empower local governments to create on-the-ground solutions for poverty that are tailored to the needs of their communities.”

The 29 projects are receiving $1.4 million, which is from a $5-million provincial grant to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM). The grant is part of the Province’s commitment to partner with local governments and communities in poverty reduction initiatives, as part of TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy.

“The dynamics of poverty change from community to community. This provincial funding program supports local governments as they work with partners to develop strategies that address the unique dynamics of poverty in local communities,” said Maja Tait, president of UBCM. “The strong response to this program from all corners of the province demonstrates the need for community-based strategies that address the needs of low-income residents.” 

The funded projects include plans to develop local poverty reduction strategies, resources and related initiatives, including projects to improve food security, develop affordable housing and increase access to public transportation. The successful proposals involve key sectors of the community, including people with lived experience, poverty reduction organizations, businesses and local First Nations and Indigenous organizations. The initiatives in the first round of applications are anticipated to be completed within one year and a second intake is expected to be announced later in 2020.

“Receiving this grant will provide several vital benefits to the community of Stewart. As we partner with UBCM and various community stakeholders, this unified approach will improve the social, nutritional and academic well-being of vulnerable families,” said Gina McKay, mayor, District of Stewart. “The funding received will assist to provide essential resources to people presently in need and will also enable training, education and support to empower sustainable healthy lifestyles in the future.”

Delivering on the Poverty Reduction Strategy is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

A backgrounder follows.

15Jan

Adrienne Montani: Minimum-wage work shouldn’t be a ticket to poverty for B.C. families

by admin

Holly is a single mother of two, Ezra, 13, and Emily, 17. Emily is a complex kid with multiple health and developmental challenges, including Down Syndrome. Emily is reliant on a feeding tube and since she was born Holly has been her round-the-clock caregiver. Unable to return to work, Holly relies on social assistance.

Emily needs special medical equipment, a variety of therapies and must travel monthly to B.C. Children’s Hospital from the family’s home in Nanaimo. While they have been fortunate to receive support from charities to cover some costs, living on social assistance means this family lives in deep poverty.

Holly’s situation is not unique. First Call has been tracking child and family poverty rates in B.C. for over two decades and our 23rd annual Child Poverty Report Card, released this week, still shows one in five B.C. children lived in poverty in 2017. That means 163,730 children and youth were living in poor households, including 51,760 children under the age of six.

Overall, B.C. had the eighth highest child poverty rate of all the provinces and territories. At just over 19 per cent, B.C.’s child poverty rate was slightly higher than the national child poverty rate of 18.5 per cent.

For the first time since 2009, the number of poor children in lone-parent families increased, from 81,960 in 2016 to 86,690 in 2017. This is the first time we have seen children in lone-parent families make up more than half of B.C.’s poor children.

The gender inequality gap persisted with the median income for female lone-parent households at $44,960 and the median income for male lone-parent households at $62,550.

Many of the regional districts with the highest child poverty rates were located in coastal areas, particularly along the north and central coastal areas. Indigenous children, new immigrant children, children in visible or racialized minority groups and those with disabilities all have much higher poverty rates than the B.C. average.


Adrienne Montani, provincial co-ordinator at First Call: B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

In 2017, a single parent with one child living on social assistance survived on only $19,795 per year, 40 per cent below the poverty line. Unfortunately, the average number of children living in households on social assistance rose by 1,900 between 2016 and 2017. And, like Holly, for most of these families (66 per cent), working is not an option.

However, the story of most family poverty in B.C. is one where one or more parents are working. Many families raising children on minimum-wage jobs, often without benefits, are still far below the poverty line.

Overall, the median after-tax income for a poor lone parent with one child in 2017 was $17,920, more than $12,000 below the poverty line. The median income for poor couple family with two children was $30,540, almost $14,000 below the poverty line.

Over the past few years both federal and provincial governments have taken steps in the right direction, including a more generous Canada Child Benefit and B.C.’s new Child Opportunity Benefit, set to kick in this fall.

Related

Government has an opportunity here to raise all families (those with working parents and those on social assistance) over the poverty line through the combined income transfer programs currently in place. Better universal public services like affordable housing and child care, along with free or low-cost public transportation access, would also reduce a family’s expenses and improve their quality of life.

In fact, there is recent evidence showing the nominal increase in the CCB resulted in decreased food insecurity for families while making a substantial contribution to Canada’s economy.

So while we’re cautiously optimistic about governments’ plans, the 2017 Child Poverty Report Card shows us there is so much more to be done to ensure all children have what they need to thrive. Having a child with complex needs or working full time at minimum wage or living with a disability should not be a ticket to poverty for B.C.’s families.

Adrienne Montani is provincial co-ordinator at First Call: B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com.

14Jan

Another generation of B.C. children has grown up in poverty: new report

by admin

B.C.’s child-poverty rates have steadily declined over the last two decades, but at such a slow pace that it has mired an entire generation of children in hardship, says a new report to be released today.

“We can pat ourselves on the back and say we’ve been gradually lowering the child poverty rate, but that’s a generation of time where we continue to have one in five children poor,” says Adrienne Montani, the provincial coordinator of First Call: B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

“It’s moving very slowly. … And children only have one childhood.”

First Call releases its annual child poverty report today, which states that one out of every five children in this province lives in poverty, down from a quarter of all children in 2000.

The “2019 B.C. Poverty Report Card” shows that in 2017 (the most recent statistics available), 163,730 B.C. children lived in households with incomes below the poverty line, down slightly from 172,550 poor children in 2016.

The provincial NDP deserves credit for pledging to cut child poverty in half by 2024, Montani said, but it will have to act with far more urgency in order to meet that target.

“They need to move a little faster, in our opinion,” she said. “There’s still a lot of kids in poverty.”

Social Development and Poverty Reduction Ministry Shane Simpson said Monday that child poverty numbers have come down in recent years, largely due to a benefit plan introduced by the federal Liberals in 2016, and he thinks his plan will continue that downward trend in the coming years.

“I’m pretty confident still that we are going to head to that 50-per-cent reduction,” he said.  “I think we are making the progress that we need to make. It is still early days.”


Shane Simpson is B.C.’s minister of social development and poverty reduction.

Impoverished families have been a long-standing concern across Canada. Three decades ago, an all-party House of Commons resolution vowed to end child poverty by the year 2000. Instead, the First Call report says, 19 per cent of Canadian children still don’t have enough money for proper shelter, nutritious food, or other basic necessities.

In B.C., where housing and other costs of living are so steep, child-poverty rates have always been higher than the national average. However, there are more poor children per-capita in other provinces, such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

A year ago, B.C.’s NDP government released a poverty-reduction blueprint that makes Montani hopeful for future change.

“There are two things on the horizon that we haven’t seen play out yet that make us cautiously optimistic.”

The first is B.C.’s pledge to fund the child opportunity benefit, which will provide tax-free monthly payment to families with children, pegged to a parent’s income, starting Oct. 1. The second is how quickly the NDP will continue its investment in affordable child care.

In response, Simpson said he is confident the benefit will bring a major drop in poverty rates. And he said his government continues to expand affordable child care in the province, but growth is hampered by needing to train more early childhood education teachers and getting enough physical spaces open.

The NDP’s reduction plan has also committed to incrementally boosting the minimum wage over the next two years, and increasing welfare and disability rates. But Montani argued the government needs to be less cautious and speed up these changes, calling the current rates “unconscionable.”

Today, a parent working full-time for minimum wage would still be below the poverty line, as is a single parent on welfare, the report says. In addition, B.C. had “the lowest annual 2017 welfare income for couples with two children” among all the provinces.

“We are not in a position to be able to do that, to increase the (minimum wage and welfare) rates at the kind of speed that the advocates would ask for,” Simpson said.

Rather than relying on wages alone to reduce the poverty gap, he said his government is working on other measures to make life more affordable, such as how to increase supplies of lower-cost rental housing.

For the first time, the report said, children in single-parent families made up more than half of the poor children in the province. Fuelling that inequity was the fact single mothers in B.C. made, on average, 72 per cent of the salaries of single fathers in 2017, the report says.

There was disparity in child-poverty rates across the province: They were above 30 per cent in rural areas such as the Central Coast, Skeena, Kitimat and Powell River; Greater Vancouver, Squamish and the Fraser Valley had rates closer to the provincial one-in-five average; and rates were lowest in Victoria, the Okanagan and East Koonenay, where around 15 per cent of children are poor.


Adrienne Montani is provincial coordinator of First Call: B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

Poverty rates, the report says, are significantly higher for some groups of children, including immigrants, aboriginals, and those with disabilities.

Children living in poverty have higher risks of homelessness, separation from their families, life-long persistent health issues, and limited economic opportunities in adulthood, the report says.

But, Montani argued, society can change those outcomes by investing in children.

lculbert@postmedia.com

Twitter: @loriculbert

9Jan

Better supports for people facing poverty

by admin

Updating the definition of a dependent child:

This will better support families on assistance by addressing current gaps in shared parenting situations. The new definition allows a child to access the full range of benefits and supports available to them, even if only one of their separated parents is on income or disability assistance.

Updating the definition of a spouse:

This will modernize the ministry’s definition of a spouse to better support people entering and leaving relationships by:

  • increasing the amount of time two people can live together before reducing their assistance to the lower couples’ rate; and
  • providing the singles’ assistance rate to two married people who have separated but not yet divorced, and are living in the same residence independently.

Streamlining the assistance reapplication process:

The streamlined reapplication period will increase from three to six months for people who need to return to assistance. The updated timeframe will support people with more timely access to the income and disability supports that they need.

Removing the two-year financial independence rule:

Removing the two-year waiting period will better support vulnerable young adults in need of immediate access to income supports and benefits.

Removing the early Canada Pension Plan requirement:

This will improve the financial security of low-income people by ending the need for recipients of income and disability assistance to pursue early Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits if they are younger than 65.

Information and verification requirements (Section 10):

This will ensure document requirements do not create homelessness by ending the practice of automatically removing people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness from assistance if they are unable to provide documentation, and replacing the practice with a sanction of $25 per month.

Income and disability monthly report:

This will create more responsive, people-centred services by avoiding the need for regulation amendments whenever the monthly report form is updated, which slows down the process.

Supplements for rent and pet deposits:

This will prevent homelessness by removing the limit on the number of rental security deposits and creating a new pet security deposit so that people can find and maintain housing.

Crisis supplements for shelter:

Crisis shelter supplements will be increased, which will help with unexpected shelter costs by providing the full monthly amount of support and shelter for a family.

Creating a maximum repayment of debt:

This will ensure any repayment of debt people on assistance make is not more than the minimum repayment amount, unless they request to pay more, and ensuring that only one ministry debt is recovered at a time.

Support for hardship assistance:

This will provide people on hardship assistance with more supports while they work to establish their eligibility for income and disability assistance. People receiving hardship assistance now have access to supplements that are available to people on income and disability assistance. The expanded supports will help people address their health needs and, to help keep people safe, they will not be required to repay supports in situations of domestic violence and treatment in special care facilities.

17Oct

Statement on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

by admin

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction, have issued the following statement in recognition of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Oct. 17, 2019:

“Today is the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since 1993, the day has recognized the need to eradicate poverty worldwide. This year, its focus is ‘Acting together to empower children, families and communities to end poverty.’

“No one should grow up in poverty. Every child has the right to access opportunities to live, learn and grow into adulthood without facing additional challenges of poverty. By better supporting families, we can break the cycle of poverty in B.C.

“Addressing poverty is a challenging and complex issue. We know that approximately 40% of the people living in poverty in British Columbia are working poor. They are people who have a paycheque coming into the house, but they cannot make ends meet.

“In addition to challenges around affordability, people living in poverty struggle with feeling isolated from their communities and not being able to fully participate in our society. They should not have to face the alienation that comes with the stigma of poverty.

“We must do better, which is why earlier this year the Province released TogetherBC: British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy, first of its kind in the province, is our path to reducing child poverty by at least 50% and overall poverty by 25% by 2024. When we create better opportunities in key areas, such as affordable housing and child care, these changes will help the people and families who need it the most.

“TogetherBC also recognizes that we must act together. Poverty reduction requires the strength of partnerships between governments, organizations, businesses, communities and individuals. It must be a collective effort informed by the voices of those who have experienced poverty – and supported by those who can help create change.”

Addressing poverty is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Learn More:

United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: https://www.un.org/development/desa/socialperspectiveondevelopment/international-day-for-the-eradication-of-poverty-homepage/2019-2.html

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www.gov.bc.ca/togetherbc

23Sep

Province funds local government poverty reduction strategies

by admin

Local governments are being supported in developing local poverty reduction strategies to lift people up, break the cycle of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.

As part of TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Province is providing $5 million to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for the Poverty Reduction Planning & Action program. Interested communities can apply for funding to support local initiatives and plans that will help B.C. reduce the overall poverty rate by 25% and the child poverty rate by 50% by 2024.

“Local governments see the impacts of poverty in their communities from the front lines,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These grants are an opportunity for our government to work with municipalities and community organizations in identifying their most pressing local issues and developing local solutions in the fight against poverty.”

New projects will be funded that focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority actions areas, including:

  • housing;
  • families;
  • children and youth;
  • education and training;
  • employment;
  • income; and
  • social supports.

Projects must involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have long advocated for a comprehensive approach to address the reality of poverty in B.C. communities,” said Coun. Murry Krause, UBCM past president. “This new funding program helps to advance TogetherBC’s priorities and will strengthen local co-ordination and implementation of poverty reduction plans.”

In June 2019, the Province announced $6 million for the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. to fund Homelessness Community Action Grants for local projects aimed at reducing and preventing homelessness provincewide. These two granting streams are part of the Province’s proactive approach to making homelessness brief and rare, and helping people break the cycle of poverty.

Delivering on the Poverty Reduction Strategy is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • Applications for the Poverty Reduction & Action program will be open until Feb. 28, 2020.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and
    • up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.
  • British Columbia has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country and has for decades. B.C. also has the second-highest overall poverty rate in Canada.

Learn More:

To apply for Poverty Reduction Planning & Action Program grants:
https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps.html

To apply for a Homelessness Community Action Grant, visit:
https://www.sparc.bc.ca/resources/homelessness-community-action-grants/

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.