Countywide group needed to help reduce poverty 0
Those creating a poverty reduction strategy for Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes want to see a community group established to implement it.
Lynda Rickard of the Technology Alliance Group in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Heather Reid of the U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research made a presentation to members of Haliburton County council on Sept. 26.
Their findings came from the Poverty to Possibilities forum conducted at the Haliburton Fleming campus earlier this year as well as a survey completed by nearly 400 people in the two municipalities.
The two main recommendations are that a community-driven group be established to implement poverty reduction strategies and that theme-based working groups looking at aspects such as employment, housing and food be established within the larger organization.
Employment, transportation and food along with childcare, housing, accessing services, attitudes and advocacy and standard of living were all identified as themes.
“I don’t think there are any surprises on this list,” Reid said.
Of the county respondents to the survey, 17 per cent said they worked in retail; 21 in construction; 10 in professional settings; 17 in self-employed settings and the remaining 35 per cent marked “other,” which Reid said “was a pretty wide range of things.”
“16 per cent wrote, ‘anything, I would just like to work,’” she said. “I think that’s a pretty telling result.”
People identified clothes for interviews, transportation and job and computer training as assets needed to attain employment.
As for food, 44 per cent of respondents said they can sometimes afford healthy food and 10 per cent said they seldom could.
61 per cent of respondents said they use food banks on a regular basis.
Rickard and Reid said they’d like council representation on the community group and County Warden Murray Fearrey said councillors would discuss who would represent them at their next meeting.