Creating Pathways Out of Poverty

The Alberta Capital Region is one of the most prosperous regions in North America and still, thousands of families are living in poverty. In fact, 135,000 people live in poverty – more than 42,000 are children.

Poverty takes many forms. It looks like a single parent deciding to pay the rent or put food on the table. A 10-year old child who’s struggling in school because they almost never have a lunch and are so hungry, they can’t concentrate. A middle-aged man pushing his cart down the street, battling mental health issues.

For many of us, this is not part of our day-to-day lives. But as community members, neighbours, families and friends, poverty affects us all.

This is our community. A place we love. And together, we’ll make it a great place for EVERYONE.

Together, we can create pathways out of poverty.

Working with strategic partners, United Way focuses on three areas that provide the best opportunities to significantly change lives and create pathways out of poverty in our community.


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Break the Cycle for children who are going to school hungry, don’t have support to work through their problems and aren’t getting the opportunities other kids have to reach their potential.

Recent Stats:

  • 33% of Kindergarten children in Edmonton experience great difficulty in one or more areas of their development as compared to 29% of Kindergarten children in Alberta. The most significant gaps exist in communication skills and general knowledge

  • Currently, one in five youth are not completing high school in three years, yet people with high levels of education are more likely to have better jobs, live in safer homes and report better physical and mental health

Together, we will see …

Children and youth achieve their full potential, complete high school and set a course toward a bright future.


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Lift People Out of some of life’s most stressful situations, whether they are living on the streets or working in a full-time, low-paying job that doesn’t provide enough for their family to live on.

Recent Stats:

  • More than four in five employed persons (81%) in metro Edmonton earning less than the living wage are 20 years and older

  • Nearly one in six Canadian families have no savings or are in debt, putting them in danger of living or falling into poverty

Together, we will see…

All individuals and families attain greater independence and financial stability, contributing to their personal success and the success of our economy.


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Provide a Safety Net for families when the unexpected in life happens – a family crisis, job loss, mental illness, domestic abuse – the list is endless. Without supports and resources, families can fall into poverty and lose hope.

Recent Stats:

  • More than 60% of people with addiction or mental health issues will not seek the help they need. Stigma is one of the main reasons for this, but the complexity of navigating the health system and lack of supports are also factor

Together, we will see…

Everyone feels a meaningful connection to the community, enjoying a strong sense of well-being and safety for themselves and their families.


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With your support, focusing on these areas is how we will work together to create pathways out of poverty. Find out how you can help at myunitedway.ca.