Collaboration with partners creates 12 desired results for community 

EDMONTON, AB – Today, among a crowd of supporters representing non-profit, government, labour and corporate sectors in the community, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region launched a new results-based approach focused on Creating Pathways Out of Poverty.  

Through consultation with more than 60 partners in the not-for profit sector and government – as well as the community at-large – United Way has developed 12 desired results toward addressing poverty.  These results will guide the development of strategies, targets and an annual scorecard measuring the progress we make together as a community. 

“We live in one of the fastest growing communities and most prosperous regions in North America; and still there are 120,000 people living in poverty in the Alberta Capital Region – 37,000 of them are children,” explains Lynne Duncan, Chair of United Way’s Board of Directors.  “It’s time for a bolder approach.” 

“United Way has always been known for our annual fall fundraising campaign,” says Anne Smith, President and CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “This is critical in generating resources and will continue.  However, if we are to realize the vision of a poverty-free community, we must have specific and measurable targets over the short and long term.”

Focus & Results

United Way’s approach is focused on three areas that provide opportunities to significantly change lives and social conditions – education, income and wellness.  Each of these areas is tied to specific programs, services and initiatives that United Way supports. 

In terms of the specific desired results for the community, there are four within each of the three focus areas.  These concentrate on key challenges, such as: early childhood development; success in the middle years and high school completion; housing security; food security; employability; community safety; and mental health.  A complete list of the results is available at myunitedway.ca

Over the next year, United Way and partners will develop specific strategies and measurable targets within each of the 12 desired results; but today also provided a look at the first three of these strategies, focused on: assisting vulnerable children to get the social supports they need to succeed in school, helping women living in poverty to boost financial literacy skills and helping youth in socially-vulnerable neighbourhoods to overcome challenges and avoid choices that could lead to crime and gang involvement.

It Takes a Community

Throughout the consultation process, it was emphasized that no one organization, or even government, can manage poverty alone – it takes an entire community.  United Way has concentrated efforts on a true collaborative approach, providing input toward the province’s Social Policy Framework, supporting the City’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and, most recently, co-chairing the Edmonton Poverty Elimination Steering Committee.

United Way’s new approach will contribute toward the bold visions we are seeing through the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton, and that community members are supporting. 

Sharing the Experience & Showing Support

In addition to the public launch held today, United Way also hosted a poverty simulation, attended by business leaders, community members and representatives of the media – providing them with a simulated experience in the lives of families dealing with poverty.

“United Way has always been viewed as a leader in mobilization efforts,” states Duncan. “We’re pleased that so many of our partners and supporters were here as we launch this new approach in a collective effort to move from managing poverty to creating pathways out of it.”

All community members are encouraged to visit myunitedway.ca to learn more about the efforts that are now underway, and to sign the statement of support to Create Pathways Out of Poverty.