The Union of BC Municipalities Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program has announced it is donating $149,000 to help end poverty and increase regional wellness in the Central Okanagan.
The grant awarded to the Regional District of Central Okanagan will be used to further the work that has been completed by regional community partners over the last several years and build on resources such as the Central Okanagan Community Wellness Analysis which provides baseline data and insights into poverty and wellness in the region and within each community.
“The Regional Board unanimously supported applying for the grant to develop a local strategy,” said Gail Given, RDCO chair.
“The regional focus and participation of all local governments, First Nations and key not-for-profit partners will provide considerable benefits to Central Okanagan communities. Working together as a region will also see efficiencies in resources, public engagement and involvement and advocacy. Building and supporting Sustainable Communities is one of the key focuses identified in the Regional Board Strategic Priorities. This strategy will go a long way in helping to achieve that goal.”
A Central Okanagan Community Wellness and Poverty Strategy will provide a coordinated, shared community framework around poverty reduction in the Central Okanagan while building capacity within and across the region for collaborative action. The strategy will identify actions and priorities to address poverty and wellness for the region, while also continuing to reflect the unique needs of each community.
RDCO will also be partnering with the United Way Southern Interior BC (SIBC) on the strategic development process. The strategy will be developed in consultation with the communities of the Central Okanagan and engagement opportunities will be forthcoming in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021.
“Over the last 70 years, United Way SIBC has been committed to working together with community partners to address unignorable and complex social issues that impact the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Kahir Lalji, executive director of United Way SIBC.
“We are excited and honoured to be working with the RDCO and other key partners on the Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee to tackle this important work in our region.”