Project targets families living in poverty; New West one of seven communities taking part in new provincial project

Theresa McManus, The Record (New Westminster)

New Westminster is one of the communities selected to try out some poverty reduction strategies in British Columbia.

The Province of B.C. and the Union of B.C. Municipalities have identified seven communities to participate in a pilot project where poverty reduction strategies will target the unique needs of families struggling to get out of poverty in those communities. Surrey, Prince George, Cranbrook, Port Hardy, Stewart and Kamloops will also take part in the pilot project.

According to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, these communities were recommended by the Union of B.C. Municipalities to reflect a mix of metro, urban, rural and remote communities across B.C.

…. “The goal is to provide low-income families with tailor-made springboards out of poverty by focusing on their strengths – not just their needs.”..

John Stark, the city’s senior social planner, said New Westminster was likely selected given its work in dealing with social issues related to families, such as the affordable housing strategy, child-care needs assessment and strategy, homelessness action strategy and living wage policy.

“Consultation will occur with low-income families, and a strategy will be developed,” Stark said. “This strategy will document needs and gaps, develop actions to connect low-income families to supports, and make recommendations to better serve low-income families in the future.”…