Poverty re­duc­tion sub­ject of li­brary talk

The Niagara Falls Review - - Arts & Life - LAURA TRABUCCO Laura Trabucco is the com­mu­nity en­gage­ment li­brar­ian at Fort Erie Pub­lic Li­brary.

it comes to poverty, we don’t al­ways have the facts straight. But here are some you might not know:

One in seven chil­dren lives in poverty in On­tario.

In Ni­a­gara, more than 5,400 chil­dren are liv­ing in poverty.

Peo­ple liv­ing in poverty are more likely to get sick and their ill­nesses are likely to be more se­ri­ous.

Poverty costs the res­i­dents of On­tario $32 bil­lion to $38 bil­lion a year.

Peo­ple find them­selves liv­ing in poverty for many rea­sons — due to life sit­u­a­tions or of­ten due to some per­sonal or eco­nomic cri­sis be­yond their con­trol. The cause of poverty is not al­ways sim­ple and straight­for­ward. Ex­am­ples in­clude the af­ford­abil­ity of hous­ing, the ad­e­quacy of em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance, ac­cess to health, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, and the lack of liv­ing wages from em­ploy­ment.

Peo­ple who are liv­ing in poverty are made up of older peo­ple as well as younger peo­ple; they are the dis­abled as well as the able­bod­ied; the well-ed­u­cated as well as the poorly ed­u­cated. Los­ing a job, los­ing a spouse, and/or los­ing good health are some of the rea­sons that peo­ple fall into poverty.

The num­ber of peo­ple in Ni­a­gara ex­pe­ri­enc­ing poverty is grow­ing, and tra­di­tional, one-di­men­sional so­lu­tions are no longer ef­fec­tive. A net­work, rep­re­sent­ing all as­pects of the com­mu­nity, was formed to be­gin the work on th­ese so­lu­tions. The net­work evolved in 2011 out of a com­mu­nity-based com­mit­tee that had an in­ter­est in guid­ing a pool of poverty-re­duc­tion grants pro­vided by Ni­a­gara Re­gion.

Com­mit­tee mem­bers then iden­ti­fied a need to tackle poverty re­duc­tion be­yond grant-mak­ing, be­cause grants are fi­nite but the depth and breadth of the is­sue of poverty is in­fi­nite. Ni­a­gara Poverty Re­duc­tion Net­work was formed.

Ni­a­gara Poverty Re­duc­tion Net­work (NPRN) is a group of res­i­dents, busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions with a vi­sion. Busi­nesses in the net­work in­clude Brock Uni­ver­sity, YMCA of Ni­a­gara, Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Ni­a­gara and Ni­a­gara Catholic District School Board, among oth­ers.

NPRN’s vi­sion is “All Ni­a­gara res­i­dents live above the poverty line.”

NPRN es­tab­lished three goals to di­rect its work. They are: dis­pel myths about liv­ing in poverty; im­prove col­lab­o­ra­tion and ac­tions in poverty re­duc­tion ef­forts by all stake­hold­ers; and en­gage and in­clude all in­di­viduWhen als in the com­mu­nity.

A speaker from Ni­a­gara Poverty Re­duc­tion Net­work will join us at the Crys­tal Ridge li­brary on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. Get to know the real facts, the work be­ing done by the net­work, and how you can con­trib­ute to wip­ing out poverty in Ni­a­gara. For more in­for­ma­tion about Ni­a­gara Poverty Re­duc­tion Net­work, you can also visit its web­site at www.wipe­out­poverty.ca.

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