The Progress on Impact report was created to maintain the Poverty Round Table’s accountability to the community at large, and encourage broader engagement in reducing poverty. The report, available online, provides, per priority area, contextual information, strategic goals, a baseline measure of indicators associated with each goal, opportunities to strengthen members’ collective impact, and calls to action.
The indicators presented provide a baseline picture of measurement that can be used to track the progress and impact the initiatives are making on reducing poverty over the upcoming years. The information found in the report has been collected for work completed in 2018 by the Poverty Round Table.
While there is considerable collaboration amongst members in some priority areas leading to optimistic results, the report indicates overall issues associated with poverty are on the rise. There are, however, a number of opportunities to strengthen and broaden partnerships and coordinate actions to foster innovative local solutions in meeting its goals. Following are a few of the collaborative opportunities that would increase the collective impact of the Poverty Round Table, providing positive wellbeing for low-income community members:
Increasing access to health care, employment opportunities and the number of secondary school graduates;
Increasing subsidized housing stock; assisting with home energy costs; and defining measures for the Homelessness count;
Revisiting eligibility criteria and increasing limited program funding;
Tracking persistent unmet needs of community members and substandard housing complaints and compliance;
Advocating to hire based on the living wage;
Increasing access to and availability of nutritious food; and
Coordinating food literacy opportunities.
In sum, poverty is a complex issue which involves multi-level action to affect system and policy change that would support the development of specific initiatives and/or organizations to address unmet needs. Communicating the overall efforts to the community, and those most affected by it, will encourage further dialogue in understanding the impact of poverty on fellow citizens, and rally residents to engage in strategies to reduce it.
The Poverty Round Table is a group of organizations and community stakeholders who are committed to collectively reducing the impact of poverty in the lives of low income people in Sault Ste. Marie. Since its inception in 2015, the Poverty Round Table has been primarily concerned with increasing communication and partnerships to achieve its Poverty Reduction Strategy comprised of four priority areas: Food Security, Crisis Diversion & Resolution, Housing and Workforce Entry.