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The grant, which is divided into $75,000 a year over the next three years, was presented to the HPRT by Burlington MPP Jane McKenna at the Appleby Ice Centre in Burlington on Monday morning.
“Even a prosperous community is touched by poverty. The ongoing work of the Halton Poverty Roundtable is essential to co-ordinating partner agencies, raising awareness and stimulating philanthropy that can change lives,” McKenna said.
A crowd of about 60 came to the presentation to hear guest speaker Liz Weaver of the Tamarack Institute of Community Engagement talk about the work of Vibrant Communities, a poverty reduction strategy begun 10 years ago in six communities across Canada.
It has had great success, Weaver pointed out, in bringing individuals out of poverty.
“When we started out, we wanted to raise 5,000 people out of poverty. At the 10-year mark, we’ve helped 200,000 people, but there are 3.2 million people in Canada living in poverty, so that’s just a drop in the bucket,” she said.
Weaver’s goal is to help expand Vibrant Communities to 100 cities and regions (including Halton) across the country and help lift a million Canadians out of poverty.
“We can change the face of Canada and show that it cares about its most vulnerable individuals,” she said.
Cockwell pointed out that poverty affects Halton in many different ways.
“We see poverty as a broader issue. If you don’t have the resources to live a life fully in your community, you are poor. A lot of people are excluded from our world because they can’t participate through reasons of poverty,” she said.
The HPRT, formed in 2010, brings together members of government, aid agencies and other resource sectors from across the region to address poverty in Halton. For more information about the Halton Poverty Roundtable, contact: www.bepartofthechange.ca.