The city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada has launched the ambitious and far-reaching Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative to develop a strategy for drastically reducing poverty. This project has been built upon the previous success of the city’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness.
The Initiative has taken a novel approach to developing anti-poverty strategies by asking for the active participation of the entire community. Rather than city officials defining the needs of the city unilaterally the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative asks citizens to define poverty and thus articulate important welfare issues.
The goals of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative are to provide each citizen with a support system, provide jobs, relieve financial concerns, eradicate poverty, and provide effective citywide services. After 9 months of meeting and discussing what constituted poverty and the most immediate concerns of the community a final report has been issued.
In the report poverty is defined as, “The condition of a human being who is deprived of the resources, means, choices and power to acquire and maintain self sufficiency while being able to be an active participant in society.” The report outlines different sub-categories of concern to the poverty initiative and plans for effectively implementing anti-poverty initiatives.
The Initiative will be overseen by a Stewardship Board of community leaders, Implementation teams that focus on different subcategories of the plan, and the Secretariat, which acts as a support staff. The Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative is an inclusive plan that recognizes the need for all individuals in the community to have a voice and feel a sense of ownership in the city. It recognizes that poverty is a multi-faceted issue that can affect each person on a different level. The Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative seeks to eradicate all manifestations of poverty in the city.
– Zoë Meroney
Source: Enough for All: Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative