What would success look like in a national poverty reduction strategy? People would have hope. Several participants in a conversation about the federal poverty reduction strategy shared personal stories about how hard it is to struggle month after month to make ends meet. Each story was unique in the challenges that were faced and how they navigated around each obstacle. What was common in each story was the unfathomable stress that was experienced every day and the toll it brought on their physical and mental health.
These stories set the stage for the conversation on what is needed in a federal poverty reduction strategy. Twenty individuals with diverse backgrounds and involvement in the community participated in the discussion. This is just some of what was identified:
“If I had a magic wand I would give myself free education and free daycare” to be able to get ahead and not have the daily stress and the stress worrying how to pay back the student loans which was extremely difficult when only earning minimum wage. Kimberly
Access to mentoring is important for people of all ages.
Targeted strategies that focus on children and families to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty is most important. However, universal supports are still needed.
Governments at all levels need to work more effectively together so that poverty reduction initiatives are in sync.
A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope of the world. Marcia Lee from Service Canada
If you were not able to come to this event, you can give feedback to the federal plan online here
Watch for “What We Heard” report coming this spring.