June Meeting Summary
In 2018, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act was passed in legislature requiring an official provincial poverty reduction plan to be set into action. This month we decided to take a further look at the provincial strategy to learn what has happened since 2018 and how this work relates to our community. The CFP has been working with a TRU student Georgia Aldus, who developed a knowledge brief on Together BC: British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. We encouraged meeting attendees to get comfortable and settle in to watch Georgia’s pre-recorded presentation. The power point portion of the presentation can be viewed here.
We then went into breakout rooms and had a conversation guided by the below questions:
- Have you seen any of this progress translate into the work you do?
- How do these policies translate into community?
- Are service providers aware of these policies?
Meeting attendees discussed work happening in community and work they would like to see. It was shared that there is an ongoing disconnect between policies that are put forth and how they are being implemented on the ground. Local issues were discussed such as the continued challenges with accessible childcare, affordable housing, student housing and knowing what resources exist in community and how to access these services. The Community Child Care Planning Program was shared as an example of work happening on a municipal level to address gaps in community. We then came back to the main session and split into breakout rooms for a second time. We discussed the following questions:
- What priority do you see as having the most leverage/potential for systems change in our community?
- What poverty reduction priorities outlined in the strategy are most urgently/immediately needed right now?
New hires at the City’s social department were discussed, the group was pleased to hear that the City is hiring some new staff that will be working on different community concerns. One being to strengthen the City’s relationship with federal and provincial governments to increase our access and understanding of work being done at this level of government. The upcoming re-envisioning of the Kamloops Social Plan was also discussed and how there will be opportunities to influence change within that process.
It was shared that there is an ongoing need for different sectors to come together to address complex needs that are increased with housing insecurity and poverty. A change in mindset was also discussed and the importance of thinking differently about the system we are a part of and how it can be reformed into something that meets the needs of all community members.
As a final activity we got meeting attendees to take part in a “Soap Box”, all meeting attendees got to share one issue or idea as a way to educate the group about it. Many different issues and ideas emerged including housing concerns, poverty stigma, engaging community members with lived experience in decision making, student housing, living wage, transportation, programs for low-income children and ideas on changing what we do by re-imagining new ways of living including housing cooperatives and “Our Heart Gardens”.
Service Provider Updates
No service provider updates were shared at this month’s meeting. We will be continuing CFP meetings throughout the summer, please join us at our next meeting Wednesday July 28th, 2021.