Winnipeg’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy Will Be Voted By City Council – Winnipeg | The Canadian News

Winnipeg’s first strategy to reduce poverty will be presented at City Hall on Wednesday.

The 60-page document outlines details of how the city can reduce poverty over the next decade and has been in the works for a year.

Mayor Brian Bowman has already told Global News that he plans to support the strategy.

The report shows that one in eight people in Winnipeg lives below the poverty line. That number is higher when looking at different demographic groups. One in four indigenous people and one in four new immigrant residents are more likely to experience poverty.

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The plan was developed in collaboration with the Make Poverty History Manitoba Coalition, the United Way Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council, and the indigenous community-based Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.

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Homeless advocate Al Wiebe was also involved in drawing up the plan. Sharing her lived experiences of homelessness, she talks about how she spent 28 months on the streets of Winnipeg.

“I am a good example of why you should be concerned. I made a lot of money and ended up on the streets at the extreme end of poverty. This can happen to anyone, ”he says.

“I feel like it’s my responsibility to try to educate people on why people live this way.”

A 2016 census shows that more than 84,000 people self-identified as indigenous in Winnipeg. Of these, 28% live in poverty and 18% of children experience it, twice the national average.

A 2017 Canadian Medical Association study shows that the average annual cost to help a homeless person in Winnipeg is $ 49,000. Winnipeg’s poverty rate is the fourth highest in Canada and four percent higher than the national average.

The plan aims to serve as a city guide for priority actions in eight key areas, including:

  • systems implementation and change
  • affordable housing
  • employment and income
  • community welfare
  • Fairness of transportation
  • equity in city services
  • food safety
  • community safety

The plan also identifies two priority focus areas when making those changes:

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  • Indigenous children, youth and families
  • affordable housing

“Let’s not make this a strategy that is here for a day or a week or a month and everyone is excited about it and says, ‘Didn’t we do a good thing by passing this motion?’ Well, not really if you’re serious about it, ”says Wiebe.

A key goal is to bridge the gaps for youth aging outside of the Children and Family Services program. The report writes that the child welfare system plays a major role in poverty in Winnipeg.

“We have the highest rate of child poverty in the country. Child poverty: if people want to think about something, think about it. That’s generational. “

A 2018 Winnipeg street census shows that 51 percent of homeless people had been to Children and Family Services at least once in their life. About 62 percent experienced homelessness one year after leaving the system.

If approved, the report recommends that a status update be made in 2023.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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