Communities across Nova Scotia are working with government to tackle complex poverty-related issues.
Through the Poverty Reduction Government Innovation program, government departments can partner with community organizations and others to develop programs and test innovative ideas that address poverty-related challenges.
“Poverty affects lives, hurts communities and prevents the growth of healthy economies,” said Minister of Community Services Kelly Regan. “With these projects, more Nova Scotians will be able to access the basic supports they need to help them improve their day-to-day lives.”
This year ten new projects will receive an investment of $485,000 through the program.
In addition to the ten new projects, there are five projects from 2017 that are continuing. This includes the expansion of the Mobile Food Market, a travelling food market program that brings healthy, high-quality and affordable food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to those who need it.
The Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage received $10,000 in 2017 and another $90,000 this year to operate the market in 12 sites across seven communities in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
To be eligible for funding, the projects must align with one of the following four themes:
- mental health and addictions
- economic inclusion
The projects will focus on:
- improving financial security for persons with disabilities
- working with communities and post-secondary institutions to help workers in early childhood development settings increase their credentials
- working toward longer-term secure housing for families in need
- developing emergency and transitional housing for youth
- helping Indigenous women achieve economic independence
- promoting the awareness of trades as a career option to youth
- exploring financial options for families with child support orders
- working with women to help them successfully transition into the community from correctional services.
With $72,000 in grant funding, Community Services will work with Independent Living Nova Scotia and the Society of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians to build awareness and support persons with disabilities in opening a Registered Disability Savings Plan.
“Only 21 per cent of Nova Scotians eligible for a Registered Disability Savings Plan have opened one,” said Anne MacRae, manager of Employment Supports for Persons with Disabilities. “Doing so will help families and adults save for their future, dramatically improving their financial security.”
“As a Registered Disability Savings Plan beneficiary, I am already seeing the benefit of contributing to this type of plan because of the added grant money I receive from the government,” says Michael Coady, co-chair of the Independent Living Nova Scotia board of directors. “I can see no downside to the savings plan and although I will not access my contributions for some time, they will definitely come in handy down the road with living expenses.”
The Poverty Reduction Government Innovation program is one aspect of the government’s $20 million investment in poverty reduction. The work will help develop a blueprint for future poverty reduction efforts and policies and actions from all levels of government to help reduce poverty.