As much as it is needed, we know there is no easy or quick way to end poverty in our city, but each day we are working to address its root causes.
This important work is grounded in our first Poverty Reduction Strategy (2021 – 2031). Passed by Council last year, it’s a comprehensive plan that includes a practical approach to reducing poverty, increasing equity, and incorporating a “culture of caring” in all our endeavours over the next decade.
“The strategy is focused on long-term, sustainable, and practical solutions with eight overarching goals, and two Life Poles or focus areas that include: Indigenous Children Youth and Families, and housing,” said Cindy Fernandes, Director of Community Services.
“The wisdom and knowledge from community stakeholders serves as the foundation for the strategy and the driving force behind the actions we take to reduce poverty and make lasting positive change in Winnipeg.”
To honour and recognize the significance of this strategy and mark the important milestone of its creation, we held a community gathering and feast at Circle of Life Thunderbird House on June 9, 2022.
Bringing the community together has been at the heart of the strategy as it was co-created with Make Poverty History Manitoba, the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (United Way Winnipeg), and Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. It was also informed by engagement with community stakeholders, including people with lived experience of poverty.
“We want this strategy to serve as a catalyst for additional and increasing action and partnerships going forward to address underlying root causes and localized impacts of poverty in our city, which requires collaboration by all levels of governments, the community, and people with lived experience of poverty,” said Fernandes.
To ensure the strategy has an immediate impact, it was accompanied by an implementation plan, which includes 80 specific actions across all our departments which are able to be done within existing resources by spring 2023.
Some of the initiatives from this that have already occurred include the opening and staffing of permanent public washrooms at 715 Main St; support and funding for the continued operations of 24/7 mobile outreach services; hosting a summer recruitment fair for low-income, Indigenous, and Newcomer youth, and opening Community Connections at Millennium Library, among others.
We are also committed to providing status updates on the implementation plan regularly to Council.
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