Regional Poverty Assessment & Reduction Strategy

Regional Poverty Assessment and Reduction Strategy project is a partnership between the City of Courtenay, Comox Valley Regional District, K’ómoks First Nation, Town of Comox and the Village of Cumberland, as well as community partners including the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, Comox Valley Community Health Network, and the Comox Valley Social Planning Society.

This project builds upon insights gathered through the Comox Valley Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Comox Valley Child Care Action Plan, as well as efforts of local service providers and organizations.

Your voice matters and will help develop an action plan to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25% over the next four years.


Why Reduce Poverty?

Poverty is a major contributor to many other community challenges. By supporting and enabling more affordable housing options, better access to transportation, healthy and affordable foods, employment opportunities, and supports to transition out of poverty into the workforce, local governments and community organizations can start to not only alleviate the impacts of poverty, but begin to reduce overall poverty locally.


The Importance of Community Voices - Whether You Experience Poverty or Not


We're looking for stories and experiences from all people within the Comox Valley - whether you feel as though you experience poverty or not. This broad collection of voices will help us to understand the types of community supports needed within our region. When we plan to enhance social programs and services, everyone can lead more healthy and vibrant lives.


Priority Areas for the Comox Valley

Our community engagement and research will focus on these seven priority areas (more details on our engagement program can be found below):

  • Housing
  • Families, children and youth
  • Liveable Income
  • Social supports
  • Food security
  • Safe, affordable transportation
  • Social inclusion (e.g. access for all ages and abilities)


Our Framework

The Regional Poverty Assessment & Reduction Strategy will be be developed with the following four guiding principles in mind, which have been adapted from the Together, BC, British Columbia's Poverty Reduction Strategy:


Affordability

Poverty and a lack of affordability go hand in hand. When bills go up, people are forced to make difficult decisions. When family budgets are squeezed, people can’t afford to save money for emergencies. Financial security starts with addressing affordability.

This means, for example, increasing access to income through better paying jobs, higher social assistance rates, and reducing the cost of the goods and services we rely on.



Social Inclusion

Poverty isn’t just about money. It's also about belonging. At times, discrimination and stigma make it harder for those who live in poverty to access services, get jobs and find homes. Discriminatory attitudes about people experiencing poverty are commonly expressed in B.C., marginalizing people with low incomes, and leaving them feeling unwelcome.

Addressing attitudes and barriers are first steps to embracing diversity to ensure that all feel welcome.



Reconciliation

Government policies that worked to suppress Indigenous culture, language, economies, and systems of governance have had lasting effects on the health, well-being, and wealth of Indigenous peoples in B.C. Despite these inequities, Indigenous communities remain strong and resilient.

Addressing the ongoing symptoms of colonialism is fundamental to this poverty reduction strategy.



Opportunity

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia had the lowest unemployment rate in the country, yet the province still has a high rate of poverty. This disconnect reflects a deficit in regional economic development, unfair wages and a backlog of unmet need for access to basic education and skills training.

Breaking the cycle of poverty means ensuring that people living in poverty — and their children and grandchildren — have access to opportunity. That means giving people access to education and skills training so they can reach their potential. And it means making sure that workers of all kinds in B.C.have fair wages and fair working conditions, so they can get ahead, not just get by.


Project Timeline

This project builds upon insights gathered through the Comox Valley Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Child Care Assessment, as well as efforts of local service providers and organizations.

Engagement will occur between January and March of 2021 with the final action plan complete by June.


The survey is now closed. Thank you for sharing your ideas.


Get Involved


Poverty is a complex issue that requires everyone's attention.

There are several ways for you to get involved to help shape this plan. We’d love for you to provide your feedback. As we progress through our engagement program, we will update this webpage with our progress. Stay tuned and watch this space!


1. Engagement Opportunity #1: Community Survey - The survey period has now CLOSED. Thank you for offering your ideas through the survey.

Your participation in the survey will help to provide an understanding of the challenges and opportunities you may experience in accessing housing, childcare, social supports, securing healthy food, transportation and more.

This engagement opportunity is for: Any community member within the CVRD



2. Engagement Opportunity #2: Small Group Sharing Circles (virtual) - CLOSED

The project team will organize several focus group-like sessions in February and March 2021 where participants, identified through various service providers in the region, will be asked to share their experiences with poverty. An honoraria will be provided for those who honour us with their stories. The project team will be reaching out to regional service providers to set up the Sharing Circles. Questions? Contact Alana Mullaly: amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca

This engagement opportunity is for: Diverse community members such as youth, families, seniors, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities


3. Engagement Opportunity #3: Self-guided Conversation Toolkit - CLOSED

Food vouchers will be provide for up to 10 community groups to gather virtually in February or March 2021 (or in-person if it’s safe to do so) to discuss poverty experiences, issues and opportunities, and share ideas and solutions to addressing key community issues. The project team will be reaching out to community associations or coalitions who might be interested in participating. Questions? Contact Alana Mullaly: amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca

This engagement opportunity is for: Community associations, coalitions, diverse community groups


Regional Poverty Assessment and Reduction Strategy project is a partnership between the City of Courtenay, Comox Valley Regional District, K’ómoks First Nation, Town of Comox and the Village of Cumberland, as well as community partners including the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, Comox Valley Community Health Network, and the Comox Valley Social Planning Society.

This project builds upon insights gathered through the Comox Valley Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Comox Valley Child Care Action Plan, as well as efforts of local service providers and organizations.

Your voice matters and will help develop an action plan to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25% over the next four years.


Why Reduce Poverty?

Poverty is a major contributor to many other community challenges. By supporting and enabling more affordable housing options, better access to transportation, healthy and affordable foods, employment opportunities, and supports to transition out of poverty into the workforce, local governments and community organizations can start to not only alleviate the impacts of poverty, but begin to reduce overall poverty locally.


The Importance of Community Voices - Whether You Experience Poverty or Not


We're looking for stories and experiences from all people within the Comox Valley - whether you feel as though you experience poverty or not. This broad collection of voices will help us to understand the types of community supports needed within our region. When we plan to enhance social programs and services, everyone can lead more healthy and vibrant lives.


Priority Areas for the Comox Valley

Our community engagement and research will focus on these seven priority areas (more details on our engagement program can be found below):

  • Housing
  • Families, children and youth
  • Liveable Income
  • Social supports
  • Food security
  • Safe, affordable transportation
  • Social inclusion (e.g. access for all ages and abilities)


Our Framework

The Regional Poverty Assessment & Reduction Strategy will be be developed with the following four guiding principles in mind, which have been adapted from the Together, BC, British Columbia's Poverty Reduction Strategy:


Affordability

Poverty and a lack of affordability go hand in hand. When bills go up, people are forced to make difficult decisions. When family budgets are squeezed, people can’t afford to save money for emergencies. Financial security starts with addressing affordability.

This means, for example, increasing access to income through better paying jobs, higher social assistance rates, and reducing the cost of the goods and services we rely on.



Social Inclusion

Poverty isn’t just about money. It's also about belonging. At times, discrimination and stigma make it harder for those who live in poverty to access services, get jobs and find homes. Discriminatory attitudes about people experiencing poverty are commonly expressed in B.C., marginalizing people with low incomes, and leaving them feeling unwelcome.

Addressing attitudes and barriers are first steps to embracing diversity to ensure that all feel welcome.



Reconciliation

Government policies that worked to suppress Indigenous culture, language, economies, and systems of governance have had lasting effects on the health, well-being, and wealth of Indigenous peoples in B.C. Despite these inequities, Indigenous communities remain strong and resilient.

Addressing the ongoing symptoms of colonialism is fundamental to this poverty reduction strategy.



Opportunity

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia had the lowest unemployment rate in the country, yet the province still has a high rate of poverty. This disconnect reflects a deficit in regional economic development, unfair wages and a backlog of unmet need for access to basic education and skills training.

Breaking the cycle of poverty means ensuring that people living in poverty — and their children and grandchildren — have access to opportunity. That means giving people access to education and skills training so they can reach their potential. And it means making sure that workers of all kinds in B.C.have fair wages and fair working conditions, so they can get ahead, not just get by.


Project Timeline

This project builds upon insights gathered through the Comox Valley Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Child Care Assessment, as well as efforts of local service providers and organizations.

Engagement will occur between January and March of 2021 with the final action plan complete by June.


The survey is now closed. Thank you for sharing your ideas.


Get Involved


Poverty is a complex issue that requires everyone's attention.

There are several ways for you to get involved to help shape this plan. We’d love for you to provide your feedback. As we progress through our engagement program, we will update this webpage with our progress. Stay tuned and watch this space!


1. Engagement Opportunity #1: Community Survey - The survey period has now CLOSED. Thank you for offering your ideas through the survey.

Your participation in the survey will help to provide an understanding of the challenges and opportunities you may experience in accessing housing, childcare, social supports, securing healthy food, transportation and more.

This engagement opportunity is for: Any community member within the CVRD



2. Engagement Opportunity #2: Small Group Sharing Circles (virtual) - CLOSED

The project team will organize several focus group-like sessions in February and March 2021 where participants, identified through various service providers in the region, will be asked to share their experiences with poverty. An honoraria will be provided for those who honour us with their stories. The project team will be reaching out to regional service providers to set up the Sharing Circles. Questions? Contact Alana Mullaly: amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca

This engagement opportunity is for: Diverse community members such as youth, families, seniors, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities


3. Engagement Opportunity #3: Self-guided Conversation Toolkit - CLOSED

Food vouchers will be provide for up to 10 community groups to gather virtually in February or March 2021 (or in-person if it’s safe to do so) to discuss poverty experiences, issues and opportunities, and share ideas and solutions to addressing key community issues. The project team will be reaching out to community associations or coalitions who might be interested in participating. Questions? Contact Alana Mullaly: amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca

This engagement opportunity is for: Community associations, coalitions, diverse community groups


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    This survey is part of the Comox Valley Regional Poverty Reduction Assessment and Strategy which will help inform local governments and community organizations to better understand current and future community needs across the Comox Valley.  


    Poverty is a complex social issue that requires everyone's attention and the consequences of poverty affect us all. It is important that all members of our community work together to address issues of poverty. We encourage you to complete the survey regardless of whether you consider yourself to be living in poverty or not. 

    All the information gathered is anonymous. If you do not wish to answer a question, you can skip it, and you may stop at any time. We deeply appreciate you sharing your experience. 
     
    If you have any questions or concerns about this survey or the study, please contact: Alana Mullaly, Senior Manager of Regional Growth Strategy and Sustainability; amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca or 250-334-6000. 


    The information collected in this survey is done so under the authority of Section 26 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and will be used solely for the purpose of informing the Regional Poverty Reduction Action Plan. Personal identifying information such as name, phone, address or ip address will not be attached to the Survey submission so that personal information collected cannot be traced to an individual. Survey results will provide insight into the local context/experience of poverty and will be made available in hardcopy and on the Connect CVRD webpage.  Should you have any questions about the collection, use and protection of your information, please contact Alana Mullaly, Senior Manager of Sustainability and Regional Growth Strategy by emailing amullaly@comoxvalleyrd.ca or by calling 250-334-6000.

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