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Poverty-reduction grants address local needs in Prince George, Williams Lake

CANADA, May 10 - People who are vulnerable and have low incomes will be supported with $100,000 in provincial government funding for local poverty-reduction projects in Prince George and Williams Lake.

  • Prince George is working to reduce barriers to transit and recreation opportunities for individuals and families with low incomes and increase social inclusion for people living in poverty, thanks to a $50,000 grant that will expand the city’s leisure access-pass program, with a focus on high-risk schools.
  • Vulnerable seniors in the Williams Lake area will receive financial and digital literacy support to help them, among other things, transition from provincial to federal income assistance programs online, thanks to $50,000 in funding for the Seniors’ Independence Support project.

These projects are from the third intake of the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ (UBCM) Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, which supports local government projects or plans to reduce poverty at the local level. The intent of the funding is for local governments to develop initiatives that are aligned with TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty-reduction strategy.

“Local governments are best suited to identify chronic and emerging issues in their own communities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These grants will support action at the local level. Municipalities will work with community partners to develop strategies that can break the cycle of poverty, strengthening communities and improving the lives of all British Columbians.”

All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty-reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“These projects build upon local government relationships and will aid participants in identifying the unique needs of vulnerable and low-income people in each community,” said Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, UBCM president. “This collaborative approach will assist in building ownership locally along with strategies that address the grassroots challenges in each place.”

Around the province, 18 projects spanning 24 local governments will receive a total of more than $1 million from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority action areas, which include families, children and youth, education, housing, employment, income supports and social supports.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
  • In 2020 and 2021, 75 local governments received more than $1.9 million for 44 poverty-reduction plans and projects.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • as much as $25,000 to develop or update poverty-reduction assessments or plans; and
    • as much as $50,000 to undertake local poverty-reduction projects.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plansstrategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants: https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/poverty-reduction.html