Meet the Members: Cities Reducing Poverty national directory now online

Submitted by Kirsti Battista on September 14, 2017 - 7:12am

Since 2002, Vibrant Communities Canada has convened a learning community and network of local cities, towns, and regions known as Cities Reducing Poverty, who are devoted to reducing or ending poverty in their local communities.  Fifteen years ago, we started our collaborative work with thirteen trail builder communities who were eager to experiment with a multi-sector, comprehensive approach to poverty reduction and share what they learned through the process. Today, 57 local Cities Reducing Poverty members make up our national network and are committed to the same principles around tracking outcomes, learning from each other, and sharing their lessons learned and wise practices.

Together, we envision a future of a poverty-free Canada where citizens have incomes that not only address basic needs but are sufficient to foster health and well-being, support ongoing learning, allow for participation in community life, and contribute to future financial security and prosperity.

Who Belongs to the Cities Reducing Poverty Network?

Each local poverty reduction initiative in our national network brings together citizens from diverse backgrounds, including government representatives, business leaders, non-profit professionals, and persons with lived experience of poverty, to develop local strategies, policies and programs that address poverty.  

Province/Territory/State

Number of Cities Reducing Poverty Members

Alberta

10

British Columbia

11

Manitoba

1

New Brunswick

5

Newfoundland and Labrador

1

Northwest Territories

1

Nova Scotia

2

Nunavut

0

Ontario

21

Prince Edward Island

0

Quebec

2

Saskatchewan

1

Yukon Territory

1

Iowa - United States

1

Our members are spread across Canada with 21 members in Ontario, followed by British Columbia with 11 members, and Alberta with 10. 

Vibrant Communities Canada’s aim is continue to grow our reach and impact, to one day convene over 100 cities in our Pan-Canadian effort to reduce poverty. See our interactive google map to view who our active Cities Reducing Poverty members are here.

The Cities Reducing Poverty membership is diverse not only in geography, but also in the make up of their local poverty reduction initiatives, priorities, and where they are in their journey to reduce poverty:

The majority of members work at a regional level (39%), municipal level (36%), county level (16%) and some work at a provincial (7%) or town or village level (2%). Most serve populations between 25,001 and 500,000, while the smallest population served by a local poverty reduction initiative is around 500 (District of Stewart) and the largest is about 2.7 million (City of Toronto).

Priority word cloud

The top five priority areas reported by members
include housing and homelessness, income and employment, food security, health, transportation, and Living Wage.  These priority areas, in addition to others (see image to the right), are the basis for many members' local policy, program and/or advocacy interventions, and have informed the development of Vibrant Communities’ Poverty Reduction Game Changer Strategy and Evaluation, which you can read more about here.

In July 2017, 2% of Cities Reducing Poverty members reported they had been doing poverty reduction work for more than ten years; 34% for six to ten years; 34% for three to five years; 16% for one to two years; and 14% for less than one year. 

Every year we undertake an annual evaluation process with Cities Reducing Poverty members to capture their individual and collective progress toward outcomes.  One aspect of this evaluation includes writing profiles that tell a brief story about each local collaborative, which are presented in a national membership directory each fall. Our most recent directory was updated and published in August 2017.

Download the 2017 Cities Reducing Poverty national directory by clicking here.

CRP Directory

Included in each profile are links to our member’s website(s) and social media pages, details about their governance models, funding sources, priority action areas, and links to resources such as their poverty reduction strategies, progress reports and more. In addition, members have identified their areas of local expertise, their challenges, and coaching and learning needs in the directory.  It is in this space that Vibrant Communities excels at connecting ideas and information, for and across our membership, to make the work of our members easier and more effective. Through our annual learning plan we deliver newsletters, blogs, webinars, online community of practice meetings, research and policy resources, a shared evaluation, staff support, in person workshops and an annual gathering; all of which are designed to meet the needs of our diverse and growing membership. 

Some of the potential uses of the membership directory include:

  • Accessing local city convenor contact information by individual by organization – we’re a learning community and encourage individuals to initiate connections across the peer network.
  • Connecting with groups working on similar priority areas in neighboring regions, the same province, or elsewhere, to learn how they’re working differently to address poverty;
  • Reviewing plans, reports, infographics and more to inform strategy development and/or reporting; and,
  • Accessing social media and website information and subscribing to various newsletters to stay up to date on progress happening across the country.

Vibrant Communities Canada staff would like to acknowledge and thank all of the city convenors who helped to develop and revise individual city profiles for inclusion in the directory.  Any future updates to profiles can be directed at kirsti[at]tamarackcommunity.ca.

We also invite your feedback, questions and comments about the directory and/or questions about the benefits and criteria of Cities Reducing Poverty membership. Please contact me at Kirsti[at]tamarackcommunity.ca with your thoughts, or visit the Cities Reducing Poverty membership sign up page for more information https://www.tamarackcommunity.ca/cities-reducing-poverty-signup.