The region’s first Poverty Reduction Plan was funded by Columbia Basin Trust, Kootenay Savings, Teck, Vibrant Communities Canada, and CDS. Guiding the planning process from start to finish have been the members of the Design Team who brought to our varied perspectives on people and poverty: Jan Morton Greater Trail Community Skills Centre; Carol Vanelli Worosz Teck Metals Ltd; Ann Godderis, Janet MacNeil and Geri-Lynn Rempel Trail FAIR Society; Louise McEwan LeRoi Community Foundation; Kathryn Foley Trail Library; Ken Potter Sanctuary; Barbara Gibson and Brenda Hooper Sanctuary and Trail Hospice; Lila Cresswell Skills Centre Board/Village of Fruitvale;Karen Miller Trail Mental Health; Sheila Adcock and Gail Pighin Career Development Services.

Awareness is key to less poverty in Lower Columbia

Committee releases “Thriving for All: Lower Columbia Poverty Reduction Plan”

Before any change can happen there has to be awareness.

After serving on the panel for the region’s first Poverty Reduction Plan, and working at Trail Sanctuary Pre-Teen Centre for 20 years, that’s how Ken Potter summed up his experiences so far.

“It’s always good to meet other people concerned with helping people locally,” Potter said. “I learned more about several organizations, and more about the situation on the ground,” he added.

“I’m just happy to see more awareness since change can’t even begin until you know you need to.”

“Thriving For All: Lower Columbia Poverty Reduction Plan,” was developed by a “Design Team” who brought insight and varied perspectives on people and poverty. Those members represented all walks of life, including Teck Metals, Trail FAIR Society, Greater Trail Skills Centre, Sanctuary, CDS (Career Development Services), hospice and the public library, Trail Mental Health and the LeRoi Community Foundation.

One of those members was Sheila Adcock, a longtime program coordinator at CDS, which is a Trail area organization that assists those living with barriers to employment and housing.

(CDS operates under the umbrella of Trail Association for Community Living, referred to as TACL)

“I was happy to participate in the process of building a Poverty Reduction Plan for Greater Trail,” said Adcock. “I think there was a lot of very useful information shared throughout the process by many organizations, individuals with lived experience and local government officials.”

A number of individuals that are supported by CDS actively participated in the process sharing their lived experience insights and ideas in the development of the plan.

“At the end of the initial summit there were breakout groups that were working on specific identified goals and I have been sitting on a couple of those groups,” Adcock explained.

“One of the ideas I am particularly excited about is the recognition of the importance of having a ‘Navigator’ person that will assist others to navigate systems and get their needs met.”

She says there was much talk about how confusing it can be to identify what resources exist within the Greater Trail community and how individuals can access those resources.

“The outreach workers at CDS/TACL are natural navigators with the individuals we support,” she said. “They assist with identifying the resources in the community and in breaking down the steps to be able to access these resources for the individuals we support,” she added.

“I am excited to be on a team of other community agencies that are working towards developing the Navigator training that can be offered to others in the community.”

The ultimate strategies to reduce poverty and increase the opportunity to thrive fell into five themes: housing, food security, social, health and community services as well as vibrant and inclusive economy.

While it’s too early to project the plan’s outcomes, current initiatives are already underway that include free Adult Basic Education courses, and the Leisure Access Program, which provides residents who face economic challenges the opportunity to participate in Trail Parks and Recreation services at reduced rates. There’s also “NCare” for seniors, Youth Action Networks in Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley funded by Columbia Basin Trust and “Fetch Kootenay Boundary,” an on-line directory maintained by the Trail Family and Resource Society.

The plan recommends priorities and actions that include promoting increased access to affordable transportation for low income households, increased access to social and health services, extending the Leisure Recreation Program to all local regional governments, and developing a Community Access Card for barrier free access to recreation, arts and culture for lower income households throughout the region.

Potter says he is waiting on which ideas gain traction but pointed to one aspect of the plan.

“I think the one-stop shop for health care is the most important baby step,” Potter said. “My main concern is with ‘unothering,’ getting people together enough to see each other as neighbours instead of things (such as) statistics, poor, rich,” he shared.

“A fairly large shift in attention and attitude needs to take place to really include everyone.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New leader at Habitat Southeast B.C.

Elaine Pura is taking over the role of executive director, effective Oct. 1

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

Selkirk College international students get helping hands from Korean moms

We Care K-Moms have been shopping and delivering food to new arrivals

Trail native, Jake Lucchini, signs with Canadiens

Former Smoke Eater captain, Jake Lucchini, signs one-year, two-way deal with Montreal Canadiens

Traffic change in Trail on Wednesday

Workers are performing a required inspection of the Victoria Street Bridge lighting

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read