Crafting Poverty Reduction Strategy in Calgary

Submitted by Calgary on March 12, 2012 - 10:09am
Vibrant Communities Calgary

VCC is putting together a Wish List for the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative; this blog is our framing for a specific Wish List to come. Our approach for a poverty reduction plan going forward is structured around: underlying principles; desired outcomes; and strategic directions, which are outlined below.

In the weeks to come, we will share specific actions in each of the 6 strategic directions with: existing infrastructure and resources, additional supports needed, and measures of success for each action. Our goal is to work towards one final document that will serve as our version of a poverty reduction plan for Calgary.

Underlying Principles
1. Work with existing infrastructure and initiatives where possible, identify clear roles and responsibilities, and advise where additional funding and supports are needed. Examples of existing infrastructure include: imagineCalgary, Family and Community Support Services, numerous non-profits that do poverty reduction work, corporate community investment strategies, and public sector expertise.

2. Identify solutions to poverty that focus on a preventive model targeted to systems (health, education, etc.).

3. Encourage shared responsibility and ownership of a Poverty Reduction Plan by creating a multi-sectoral working group responsible for oversight and innovation.

Desired Outcomes
1. Achieve imagineCalgary Economic Targets (with accompanying measures).

2. Reduced need for emergency services that address basic needs.

3. All Calgarians have equitable access to social, cultural, and economic opportunities.

Strategic Directions
1. Joint action with other municipalities to encourage the province to adopt an Alberta Poverty Reduction Strategy.

2. Support and reward poverty prevention activities across sectors.

3. Review services and subsidies, across city units and corporations, for equitable access and affordability. Identify valuable services as well as gaps.

4. Create opportunities for positive interactions with regulated financial institutions.

5. Explore innovative models for creating affordable housing and infrastructure.

6. Identify unintended consequences of bylaws for people living in poverty.