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Elle Richards

Elle Richards
Elle has 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

A Dignified Disability Supplement as a Pathway to Ending Poverty

Posted by Elle Richards on May 18, 2021

According to Statistics Canada, 6.2 million Canadians are estimated to be living with a disability. People with disabilities are likely to be living in poverty – this figure is as high as 30% - due to societal barriers including discrimination, access to education and employment, and protective social programs. Stats Canada reports a mere 40-59% in employment, depending on the severity of the disability, as compared with 80% of the rest of the population.

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London Becomes First City to End Functional Homelessness for Veterans

Posted by Elle Richards on May 11, 2021

London has made Canadian history in achieving functional zero veteran homelessness in 2021. This milestone means the city is well on its way to address the homelessness crisis as reported by the Canadian Alliance To End Homelessness (CAEH).

The secret to success? Relationship building, timely data, coordinating access, prioritizing a population group, and a shared goal. Crucial have been partnerships between the city, local agencies, and veterans’ organizations, and working through the city’s By-Name List so that no one is left behind. A targeted systems-focused strategy has enabled specific and appropriate housing and supports for veterans.

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Improving self-sufficiency for families in Worcester County, Massachusetts

Posted by Elle Richards on April 6, 2021

How can people experiencing homelessness be supported to get back on their feet? One example from a Cities Reducing Poverty member, in the county of Massachusetts, USA, demonstrates the value of believing in and investing in people. Many of the core members of OpT (Opportunity Tri-Communities) have shifted their efforts in the pandemic, while continuing to work on building resilience in the community. One husband and wife team, who took on an old Victorian building (initially to use the main floor for his medical practice) with rooms have shown a shelter is not merely bricks and mortar or a place to sleep. A shelter can be a safe space, enable healing and a champion for human potential.

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NWT Releases its first-ever Poverty Report Card

Posted by Elle Richards on March 17, 2021

In December, Alternatives North, a social justice coalition in the Northwest Territories (NWT) released its first-ever Poverty Report Card, as a partner in Campaign 2000. Alternatives North works with No Place for Poverty Coalition to advocate for ending poverty in the territory.

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The Forgotten Poor

Posted by Elle Richards on December 18, 2020

If there is one group that tends to go unnoticed in poverty and policy, it is the single working-age person. How can it be acceptable for an individual to want to work, be part of the working population, actively contributing to society, the economy, and still not be able to meet basic needs? Working age singles are more likely to be living in deep poverty, so why are they so overlooked in poverty reduction plans?

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Canadian Communities Leading the Way in Sustainable Innovation

Posted by Elle Richards on November 26, 2020

According to the Institute for Sustainable Communities there are four elements of a sustainable community:

  1. Leadership, civic engagement and responsibility

  2. Ecological integrity

  3. Economic security

  4. Social well-being

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