People living in poverty are being encouraged to share their experiences with a new project launched in Williams Lake, said the project’s facilitator Anne Burrill.
Burrill, who has been working with the Housing First program in Williams Lake, said Thrive is a poverty-reduction initiative being hosted by the Social Planning Council and the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy.
“We have had the generous contribution of a three-year grant from the Vancouver Foundation to do the project,” she told the Tribune. “The focus of the project is the galvanize the community around long-term solutions to poverty that really lift people out of poverty and go beyond the kinds of programs that we already have in the community that help people cope with poverty but don’t really help them to take the step to living their live out of poverty.”
One of the first initiatives is to invite people who are willing to share their experiences of living on low incomes, struggling to make ends meet and living in poverty for a variety of reasons to participate in an online survey or to participate in a one-on-one interview to share their story with Burrill.
“It would be confidential, but it is an opportunity for us hear about the reality of those experiences in our community and it is really important that the project is informed by the real experiences of people who are living on low incomes and know what the reality is like.”
Aside from the surveys and interviews, Burrill said the project will also identify the key challenges related to poverty through a poverty profile of the community and an exploration of what is working in other communities.
“We will also be designing innovative, actionable strategies that will make the most impact in our community and initiate and implement strategic actions to make change,” she noted.
Burrill can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.