BC Government Funding Available for Local Poverty Reduction Efforts

Posted on January 16, 2020
By Alison Homer

The Government of BC’s Poverty Reduction Planning & Action Program is providing $5M over three years to support local governments to reduce poverty at the local level. The program was developed based on a recognition that local governments are crucial partners in poverty reduction. They see the impact of poverty first-hand and play a central role in developing collaborative local solutions.

Applications for the program must focus on one or more of the six priority action areas identified in TogetherBC: BC’s first poverty reduction strategy. They must be completed within one-year, and must directly involve community-based organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, and local First Nations or Indigenous organizations. Applications should specify which measures will be used to track progress toward the project’s intended outcomes, and must be submitted by February 28, 2020.

Stream 1 of the Poverty Reduction Planning & Action Program provides up to $25,000 to municipalities to develop or update poverty reduction plans. Stream 2 provides up to $50,000 for local projects that reduce poverty, such as affordable transportation and/or recreation pilot projects, tax-filing programs, awareness campaigns, social enterprise initiatives, and local food security initiatives. Regional districts are eligible to apply for up to $150,000 under either Stream.

Vibrant Communities – Cities Reducing Poverty (VC-CRP)’s goal is to support as many municipalities as possible to access this incredibly important and timely opportunity. Recognizing the range of levels of readiness and capacities of municipalities and community-based groups across BC, our team is offering a range of resources, tools, connections and supports to make it as easy as possible for communities to apply.

Learning topics include:

VC-CRP is providing this support by way of a range of learning opportunities, including:

  • Expert Coaching: Customized and ongoing support from Tamarack’s Expert Coaching Centre for Cities and communities to develop local poverty reduction plans
  • Publications
    • Developing a Common Agenda for a Poverty Reduction Plan: Written to support Stream 1 funding applications. This guide describes a proven method for developing a community-wide poverty reduction plan that builds on existing assets and creates collaborative partnerships across key sectors: government, business, non-profits and people with lived/living experience. It includes a sample timeline, milestones, activities, and budget
    • Impact Reporting: From Activities to Outcome: Supports poverty reduction groups to move from reporting on activities and outputs to developing an evaluation that supports them to determine whether an initiative is achieving intended results and is moving the needle on poverty
  • Peer Learning: Bi-monthly BC Communities Reducing Poverty Community of Practice (BC CoP) calls that connect changemakers from across the province to share information, experiences, promising practices, and lessons learned, and to build the capacity of their local poverty reduction initiatives. 

VC-CRP is encouraging all BC municipalities to apply for this incredibly important and timely funding opportunity. For more information on supports available, or to access coaching, resources, and tools from the Cities Reducing Poverty network, contact Alison Homer.

Poverty Reduction, Alison Homer, Cities Reducing Poverty, British Columbia

Alison Homer

By Alison Homer

Advancing a vision of ending poverty in Canada, Alison provides leadership and drives excellence within Communities Ending Poverty (CEP). Her team actions an initial focus on ending working poverty, partnering with thought leaders and members from multiple sectors to identify levers and opportunities, influence policies, and shift systems.

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