Cranbrook and Kimberley will be among 54 local governments in B.C. on the receiving end of funding from the provincial government to aid poverty reduction initiatives for vulnerable and low-income people.
The B.C. government said that grants from the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program will fund 29 projects across 54 municipalities and help create poverty reduction plans to directly support residents.
“Poverty is a complex issue without a singular solution. It requires the co-ordination and partnership of all levels of government, organizations, businesses, communities and individuals,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These projects will empower local governments to create on-the-ground solutions for poverty that are tailored to the needs of their communities.”
$1.4 million will be divided up across the 29 projects, as the province aims to reduce poverty within its borders as part of TogetherBC.
Funding for individual projects ranges from $16,000 to $150,000 through grants funded by the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).
“The dynamics of poverty change from community to community. This provincial funding program supports local governments as they work with partners to develop strategies that address the unique dynamics of poverty in local communities,” said Maja Tait, president of UBCM. “The strong response to this program from all corners of the province demonstrates the need for community-based strategies that address the needs of low-income residents.”
According to the B.C. government, both the City of Kimberley and the City of Cranbrook, partnered with the RDEK, will be among the communities that will receive funding for poverty reduction projects.
“The successful proposals involve key sectors of the community, including people with lived experience, poverty reduction organizations, businesses and local First Nations and Indigenous organizations. The initiatives in the first round of applications are anticipated to be completed within one year and a second intake is expected to be announced later in 2020,” said the provincial government.
Projects receiving funding include developing poverty reduction strategies, resources and related initiatives, including projects to improve food security, develop affordable housing and increase public transit access.