Claire Sauvage Mar is a former Grants & Engagement Coordinator with BC Healthy Communities.
Local governments are at the front-line of seeing the impacts of poverty in their communities, and play a central role in developing local solutions with community partners and other levels of government.
As part of TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Province is providing $5 million for the Poverty Reduction Planning & Action program, an initiative to support local government assessments, plans and projects that will help B.C. reduce the overall poverty rate by 25% and the child poverty rate by 50% by 2024. Administrated by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), the program is open for applications until March 5.
Poverty is a core issue in building healthy communities—poverty and poor health outcomes are linked; poverty can cause poor health, and poor health can cause poverty.1 From a planning and public health perspective, this funding represents a promising opportunity to take action upstream2 in order to create healthier communities for all.
Here are five things you might want to know about the funding available:
- It’s due soon! Applications are being accepted until March 5 via UBCM. Have questions about the links between planning and public health? Looking for ideas of effective projects to target poverty? Feel free to get in touch with us at BC Healthy Communities to discuss your potential project.
- Your local government can build a powerful coalition by finding partners with common priorities. This funding is an opening to work collectively across sectors and issue areas to address poverty in your community. If your work takes aim at discrimination and stigma as well as access to justice (two priority areas of TogetherBC), who would be good to have at the table?
- It’s a chance to bring that equity work you’ve been talking about to the top of your agenda. Poverty does not affect all people in the same way. People of colour, Indigenous people, LGBTQ2S and people with disabilities are examples of equity-seeking groups who unfairly face more barriers and higher rates of poverty. Keeping these people in mind and working with community champions with lived experience will greatly enrich any TogetherBC project. Looking for more information about how to ensure that more diverse voices are included as you plan your initiatives? Check out our 2019 webinar, How can local governments build equity into community engagement processes?
- Funding to reduce poverty may compliment work you’re already doing at the local level. If your past affordable housing or social inclusion initiative has prepared you to move to the next level, TogetherBC funding is a chance to plan and implement a new project that builds on that momentum already exists in your community.
- We know that poverty is a social determinant that has a fundamental impact to our health. Poverty impacts and is impacted by housing and homelessness, child and family welfare, food security, mental health and several other priority areas. This grant opportunity is grounded in local context while tackling a national—and global—priority.
For more information on the TogetherBC funding, visit UBCM’s website.