Free Rein Associates about to embark on poverty reduction plan for Hope

Funding will come from new provincial initiative to reduce poverty across B.C.

A poverty reduction plan is in the works for Hope.

Free Rein Associates got the green light from council on Dec. 9 to move ahead with research into strategies to target poverty and improve the situation for Hope’s impoverished.

Free Rein attended a provincial announcement of a new initiative, called the TogetherBC: British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Within that plan, Free Rein noted there were several actions they could take to impact poverty in Hope.

The Provincial Reduction Strategy Act has set targets to reduce the overall poverty rate in B.C. by at least 25 per cent, and the child poverty rate by 50 per cent, by 2024. A lot of that work will likely rest with organizations similar to Free Rein.

The plan comes with provincial funding, noted Peter Bailey, as he presented the plan to council. And it’s divided into two streams.

The first stream will provide up to $25,000 to develop a local plan. Those will target one or more of six “priority action areas.” Those are housing, families, children and youth, education and training, employment, income supports and social supports.

READ MORE: Half of Indigenous children live in poverty, Canadian study says

Key priorities within those area could include mental health and addictions, food security, transportation and access to health care.

The second stream is where the action actually happens. Once the research is collected by Free Rein, including collecting results of previous studies taken recently by others, they will be able to create a Hope-centric action plan.

The funding for that portion of the initiative is up to $50,000 per community, and what that action will look like will depend on the data gathered and needs identified.

Bailey said the plan is based on action, not just gathering more data.

It could include pilot projects to reduce transit fares, recreation fees and other services for low-income residents. It could also include awareness campaigns to reduce stigma around poverty and promoting social inclusion. One of the possibilities is also a food security plan that could involve food-waste diversion projects.

Funding for a poverty reduction plan and strategies is something that many in the community have attempted to secure, noted Councillor Heather Stewin. She noted that there are even more people who struggle financially that the province doesn’t classify as impoverished, even though they only miss the mark by small margins. She said she hopes the strategies will make life easier for those people as well.

Free Rein will be doing all the leg work for the applications necessary, due to the Province by February 2020, while the District of Hope will manage the overall grant.

Council approved the project unanimously.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Parents not giving up, after official search for Manning Park hiker suspended again

‘We are determined, but eventually the money is going to run out.’

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness watches the results on election night. The ex-Liberal’s tumultuous campaign and the narrow margin for victory ahead of the mail-in ballot count leaves the future of the riding’s seat in limbo for at least the next week. (Facebook/Laurie Throness)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Future for incumbent Throness uncertain as riding awaits results

Chilliwack-Kent candidate hopeful, resigned waiting on final count

File Photo
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Agassiz Seniors Community

First declared outbreak in Agassiz-Harrison since pandemic began

The family and friends of Abbotsford resident Kaitlyn Cassels have launched a GoFundMe for her after she suffered serious injuries following a bad fall on Thursday night. (Submitted)
GoFundMe created for Abbotsford woman after horrible fall

19-year-old Kaitlyn Cassels suffers many injuries after falling 27 feet off Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Most Read