What's the background on this project?

    In March 2019, the Province released their poverty reduction strategy called TogetherBC which set targets to reduce the overall poverty rate in British Columbia. Provincial funding was made available through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to support local governments in reducing poverty at the local level.

    The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) and member municipalities supported applying for a grant with the RDCO as the regional applicant, and in May 2020 the UBCM awarded $149,000 for the development of a regional strategy to improve the wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

    The purpose of this project is to provide a coordinated, shared community framework for poverty reduction in the Central Okanagan, while building relationships and capacity within and across the region for collaborative action and strengthening coordination between regional systems through improved polices, practices and resources.

    The previous work of the Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee (COPRC), the Regional District, and many communities in the region have set the stage for a community driven, regional approach to addressing poverty through an upstream focus. Initial baseline data has already been collected through the Central Okanagan Poverty and Wellness Analysis, and collaborative relationships are established.

    The project processes and resulting Strategy are to be guided by principles of reconciliation, inclusion of residents experiencing poverty and barriers to participation, and reducing poverty to create an equitable and just society. Honouring these guiding principles, we understand that it is paramount that the project process includes direct engagement with Indigenous communities, incorporating indigenous perspectives, honouring Ownership, Control, Access, Possession (OCAP) principles, response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and ensuring a welcoming, safe, and non-discriminatory environment.

    Who are the partners in this project?

    The member municipalities and contributing partners include:

    • Regional District of Central Okanagan
    • District of Lake Country
    • City of Kelowna
    • City of West Kelowna
    • District of Peachland
    • Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee
    • Central Okanagan Journey Home Society
    • Central Okanagan Foundation
    • BC Housing
    • Childhood Connections
    • Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna Branch
    • Central Okanagan Food Bank
    • United Way of British Columbia
    • School District 23
    • Interior Health
    • Lake Country Health Planning Society