Poverty takes a heart-breaking toll on the lives of the thousands who are struggling in it, and a monetary toll on our economy that’s almost impossible to comprehend… $7 - $9.5 billion per year in Alberta.
What does poverty look like?
Poverty can take many forms:
It looks like the single parent who’s working two jobs and still can’t make ends meet, having to make tough choices between paying the rent and putting food on the table. When they look at their kids, maybe they opt for the food because the eviction notice isn’t on the door yet.
It looks like the 10-year-old child who’s struggling in school because she almost never has a lunch packed. She’s so hungry she can’t concentrate. Her marks are low and she’s feeling down because all her friends get to attend after school activities, but her family can’t afford it.
It looks like the middle-aged man pushing his cart on the street, battling mental health issues and trying to deal with memories of the life he once had. The pain is so much to bear that he blocks it through addiction.
Or maybe it looks like something unexpected. A family that seemed to have it all together, but one parent gets really sick and the other loses their job. The bills quickly pile up and they aren’t able to turn things around. They lose their home and hope for their future.
Poverty always means a loss of stability and independence; and more deeply,
a loss of self-worth and security.
To mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region would like to salute all those individuals, agencies and institutions who are working to meet this bold goal in our community.
EndPoverty Edmonton (EPE) is one such organization that is working to advance a vision of shared prosperity for all. It serves as a hub of coordination, communication, evaluation, and advocacy for our community's plan to end poverty. Its vision is to eliminate poverty in Edmonton in a generation.
EPE recently released its Year One: Progress Report, 2017-18. The report outlines impressive progress towards eliminating racism, providing access to mental health services and addictions supports, and assuring livable incomes, affordable housing, accessible and affordable transit and quality child care.
Last year, United Way welcomed the EndPoverty Edmonton Secretariat staff to our offices to share work space and resources. We are proud to provide foundational support to this valuable partner along with the City of Edmonton and Edmonton Community Foundation. United Way is currently playing a key role on several of EPE’s Road Map of 35 strategic actions, including: All In For Youth, Community Mental Health Action Plan, and Communities United.
Together we can create pathways out of poverty for individuals and families and work towards our shared vision of a poverty-free community.