District of Kitimat, along with two other northern communities will be receiving funding through the province to develop poverty reduction plans.
District of Kitimat, Smithers and Houston each will be getting approximately $25,000 to understand how their specific industries, resources and rural location impacts people’s experience of poverty in their communities.
The grant money will be used to hire a person who will work with existing service groups or individuals to address key items such as vulnerable populations, poverty rates, homelessness, and other barriers and challenges like – access to services, education and training, leisure access, health and medical services, settlement and integration, transportation, service delivery coordination, employment, food security, income and support, the stigma of social exclusion, and existing poverty.
Throughout the province, 10 projects across 12 local governments will receive a total of almost $350,000 from this intake. 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.
“The needs of people in northern communities are unique,” Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine said. “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.”
These projects are from the second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
“Local governments have called for a deeper provincial commitment to poverty reduction for many years now,” Brian Frenkel, president of UBCM said. “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.”
– With files from Priyanka Ketkar