The Latest

Contribute. We love to hear your thoughts, your musings and your latest work. Please share with us!
Write a post

Elle Richards

Elle Richards
Elle has recently joined the Vibrant Communities team as Manager of Cities, Cities Reducing Poverty. Her experience spans corporate, academic, health and community environments, and working on national, regional and local programs of work, both strategically and operationally. In recent years, Elle has focused her work around issues of food security, poverty and inequalities in health.

Recent Posts

Resilient Cities

Posted by Elle Richards on July 16, 2019

In June 2019, Toronto and Calgary both unveiled their first ever Resilience Strategies. Montreal’s was released last year, with other cities, such as Hamilton following suit. Vancouver is another Cities Reducing Poverty member, part of a global network of resilient cities. Resilience strategies are becoming ever-more necessary in modern day as a result of urbanization, globalization and climate change.

Read More

Yes We Can! Reduce Poverty

Posted by Elle Richards on June 27, 2019

Our May Webinar welcomed speakers from the United Way of Central Iowa: OpportUNITY Director Seth Johnson and Dr. Helene Fein, Director of Community Impact Services, along with Stephen Lynn, Coordinator of Social Planning from City of Windsor’s Pathway to Potential. Weaving a story on how they got here and what it means, the speakers shared their data on achievements and discussed how small actions lead collectively to big impacts.

Read More

Food Security – Reacting to Symptoms or Addressing the Underlying Causes?

Posted by Elle Richards on June 5, 2019

On the heels of British Columbia’s newly released Poverty Reduction Strategy, Together BC, that sets ambitious goals and prioritizes action on key game changers, comes an announcement of new funding to support food security programs throughout the province.

Read More

Shifting the System for Collective Impact

Posted by Elle Richards on May 22, 2019

In April, we hosted a webinar with Erika Wiebe and Pam Sveinson of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (WPRC) to share their experience of applying a systems-change model to collective impact work; specifically, in embedding it within their Indigenous Youth Employment (TRC92) action plan and engaging in employer consortiums.

Community consultations in Winnipeg revealed not a lack of desire or will to be part of the solution in increasing Indigenous youth employment opportunities, but a lack of ‘know how’ to effectively do so, particularly within the private sector.

Read More

Launching Modest Canadians’ Savings to the Next Level

Posted by Elle Richards on March 14, 2019

Saving for a rainy day let alone saving for future retirement are luxuries few can afford on low and modest incomes. The current system is set up to benefit higher income earners who are greatly rewarded for their contributions in the short and long term to TFSAs (Tax-Free Savings Accounts), RRPs (Registered Pension Plans) or RRSPs (Registered Retirement Savings Plans), of which only 65% of Canadians contribute to.

Read More

The Cascading Effects of Childcare

Posted by Elle Richards on March 5, 2019

The cost of childcare accounts for a significant expense in families. It is a barrier to employment and a barrier to prosperity for many households. Families are faced with the decision of whether it is truly worth it to work. Some opt to not work at all due to the cost cancelling out or even making them worse off financially. This takes them out of the workforce for longer which can make it more challenging in getting back into it. It can take them out of higher education opportunities because of the sheer double cost associated with fees on top of fees. And some are faced with less than ideal childcare arrangements. It trickles out to whether they can pay the rent, it affects the quality of food they eat, whether they go deeper in debt or can save for the future, to having negative consequences on the country’s economic growth.

Read More