Poverty Reduction Strategy

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Introduction

Winnipeg is a city known for its strong community spirit and history of people coming together for a common purpose. It is also a city where 1 in 8 people are living in poverty, and struggle on a daily basis to put food on the table or a roof over their heads. The Poverty Reduction Strategy will become the foundation for the City of Winnipeg’s work in poverty reduction going forward, by clarifying the City’s role, identifying priority short and long-term actions, and setting out an implementation plan that includes review and renewal.


Background

Poverty is visible in Winnipeg. It is found in all areas of the city, and affects 1 in 8 people (13 percent of the population, or 92,000 people). Certain population groups have higher rates of poverty than their share of the population, including children, Indigenous People, and recent immigrants. We also know that people of colour, people with a disability, 2SLGBTQQIA people, and lone parents, especially female lone parents, are also more likely to experience poverty.

Poverty is a very complex issue, with multiple causes and no single solution. There are many different types of poverty, it can be short-term and associated with job-loss or significant life changes, or it can be long-term and related to substance use disorder, mental health issues, individual or inter-generational trauma, and historic and systemic discrimination. While senior levels of government have jurisdiction over key areas of social well-being, including housing, health, education, and income supports, municipalities have a role to play in reducing poverty. Municipal governments across Canada are taking steps to reduce poverty as the level of government closest to residents.

In spring 2020, the City began working with members of the community to develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Poverty Reduction Strategy is expected to be complete in winter 2021.

Introduction

Winnipeg is a city known for its strong community spirit and history of people coming together for a common purpose. It is also a city where 1 in 8 people are living in poverty, and struggle on a daily basis to put food on the table or a roof over their heads. The Poverty Reduction Strategy will become the foundation for the City of Winnipeg’s work in poverty reduction going forward, by clarifying the City’s role, identifying priority short and long-term actions, and setting out an implementation plan that includes review and renewal.


Background

Poverty is visible in Winnipeg. It is found in all areas of the city, and affects 1 in 8 people (13 percent of the population, or 92,000 people). Certain population groups have higher rates of poverty than their share of the population, including children, Indigenous People, and recent immigrants. We also know that people of colour, people with a disability, 2SLGBTQQIA people, and lone parents, especially female lone parents, are also more likely to experience poverty.

Poverty is a very complex issue, with multiple causes and no single solution. There are many different types of poverty, it can be short-term and associated with job-loss or significant life changes, or it can be long-term and related to substance use disorder, mental health issues, individual or inter-generational trauma, and historic and systemic discrimination. While senior levels of government have jurisdiction over key areas of social well-being, including housing, health, education, and income supports, municipalities have a role to play in reducing poverty. Municipal governments across Canada are taking steps to reduce poverty as the level of government closest to residents.

In spring 2020, the City began working with members of the community to develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Poverty Reduction Strategy is expected to be complete in winter 2021.

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    What is the Poverty Reduction Strategy?

    4 months ago

    The Poverty Reduction Strategy will become the foundation for the City of Winnipeg’s work in poverty reduction going forward, by clarifying the City’s role, identifying priority short and long term actions, and setting out an implementation plan that includes review and renewal.

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    Why is the City developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy?

    4 months ago

    The challenges faced by Winnipeggers living in poverty are significant. While the City cannot alone lift people out of poverty, it can collaborate with other levels of government and organizations through deliberate and collective actions that will help break cycles of poverty for future generations. The Poverty Reduction Strategy will help the purposeful alignment of programs and services for greater collective impact in reducing poverty.

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    How much will this project cost?

    4 months ago

    Costs associated with strategy development and stakeholder engagement for this project are minimal, as the City is using internal resources as much as possible. We are working with community members and organizations to harness community knowledge and ideas as much as possible.

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    How can I get involved?

    4 months ago

    We are working with community members and organizations to harness community knowledge and ideas as much as possible to develop a strategy that reflects community priorities. If you have ideas or questions, please contact Noelle DePape at ndepape@winnipeg.ca or 204-226-3482.

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    Where can people experiencing poverty find information about programs and services that are available?

    4 months ago
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    Does the City have a role to play in poverty reduction?

    about 1 month ago

    While the City of Winnipeg alone cannot end poverty, it has an important role to play in reducing poverty.  By developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy, the City will be better positioned to work with the Provincial and Federal governments, and community partners, on initiatives to reduce poverty in our city.  The City of Winnipeg Charter Act, our governing legislation, states that one of the City’s purposes is to ‘promote and maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the inhabitants’ which sets the stage for the City’s role in poverty reduction.

    Section 5(1) of the City of Winnipeg Charter Act:

    1. To provide good government for the city;
    2. To provide services, facilities or other things that council considers to be necessary or desirable for all or part of the city;
    3. To develop and maintain safe, orderly, viable and sustainable communities; and
    4. To promote and maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the inhabitants
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    What is the City doing to reduce poverty?

    about 1 month ago

    In addition to the Poverty Reduction Strategy that is being developed, many of the City's programs and services currently offered are of benefit to people experiencing poverty.  In spring 2019, the City documented current measures being taken that related to poverty reduction. A total of 146 current measures were documented and organized into three categories:

    • Meeting Basic Needs (Transportation; Life-safety; Income/Training/Education; Housing/Shelter; Food)
    • Accessing Services & Supports (Education/Literacy; Early Learning and Care; Connections; Accessibility; Health/Mental Health)
    • Strengthening Community Connections (Social Inclusion; Recreation/Culture; Healthy Environments; Community Safety; Engagement)