Thrive has been in the making for four years
A drive to end poverty in Medicine Hat by co-ordinating actions of an array of community, business, government and social service groups is result of 500 local interviews and builds off work began four years ago.
“Thrive” was unveiled to Hatters on Wednesday, with a new report showing a wide array of targets to create greater well being throughout the community.
“It’s very comprehensive and builds off what we do well already,” said Jaime Rogers, a manager with the city’s Community Housing Society.
The report actually draws roots back to a local “community roundtable” on ending poverty. That 2013 report was titled “Reducing the cost of Poverty in Medicine Hat: Moving from Charity to Investment,” and helped spur the local initiative to end homelessness.
The update gathered input from 500 individuals, including donors, local intake workers, social service agency heads and other individuals, half of whom had experienced poverty.
“People who had lived the experience were crucial voices in this report,” said the study’s author, Alina Turner.
The report was paid for with a grant through the city’s Family and Community Support Services program. Medicine Hat Community Development, the Community Housing Society and food bank were early advocates, along with numerous other agencies and local groups.
Wednesday’s lunch-hour discussion was attended by representatives of local school boards, Alberta Health, the Miywasin Centre, Medicine Hat public library, food bank, police, and women’s shelter.
Local branches of the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Kinsmen Club, McMan Community Services, Canadian Mental Health Association were also represented.
An evening gathering was also scheduled to involve philantropists, senior officials with agencies and business groups throughout the city.