People who are vulnerable and have low incomes will be supported with $200,000 in government funding for local poverty-reduction projects in southern Interior communities.
Projects proposed by Kamloops, Penticton, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm received grants:
- Kamloops will review and update residents’ well-being priorities and goals to include perspectives of people with lived experience of poverty. Kamloops’ Social Plan Review and Update project ($25,000) will hold discussions on poverty reduction, affordable housing, homelessness, child care, food security, substance use and mental health, gender and identity, and truth and reconciliation.
- Penticton’s Social Development Framework project ($25,000) will hold workshops with community partners and individuals with lived experience of poverty. Feedback will help shape the city’s official community plan, and other plans, practices and policies through a social development lens.
- Revelstoke will use its $100,000 grant to improve local food security at the municipal and regional level. In partnership with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Revelstoke’s food resiliency project will educate local residents and food bank clients about gardening, food production and sales, and cooking, which all contribute to enhancing household food security.
- A poverty awareness and destigmatization campaign in Salmon Arm will help highlight services available to people experiencing poverty, as well shine a light on the human face of poverty and promote social inclusion within the community ($50,000).
These projects are from the third intake of the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ (UBCM) Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, which supports local government projects or plans to reduce poverty at the local level. The intent of the funding is for local governments to develop initiatives that are aligned with TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty-reduction strategy.
“Local governments are best suited to identify chronic and emerging issues in their own communities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These grants will support action at the local level. Municipalities will work with community partners to develop strategies that can break the cycle of poverty, strengthening communities and improving the lives of all British Columbians.”
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.
“These projects build upon local government relationships and will aid participants in identifying the unique needs of vulnerable and low-income people in each community,” said Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, UBCM president. “This collaborative approach will assist in building ownership locally along with strategies that address the grassroots challenges in each place.”
Around the province, 18 projects spanning 24 local governments will receive a total of more than $1 million 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, housing, employment, income supports and social supports.
- In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
- In 2020 and 2021, 75 local governments received more than $1.9 million for 44 poverty-reduction plans and projects.
- The program includes two streams of funding:
- as much as $25,000 to develop or update poverty-reduction assessments or plans; and
- as much as $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.
TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plans-strategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf
Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants: