The Town of Ladysmith will create a Poverty Reduction Plan with a $25,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities (Town of Ladysmith photo)

The Town of Ladysmith will create a Poverty Reduction Plan with a $25,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities (Town of Ladysmith photo)

Town of Ladysmith receives $25,000 to create poverty reduction plan

The plan will assess needs around emergency response, support services, housing and food security

The Town of Ladysmith has received a $25,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities to help fund the creation of a Poverty Reduction Plan.

The local investment is part of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program which will fund 54 local governments across the province, through 29 projects, to develop poverty reduction plans for their communities.

“The worry of being able to put a fulsome meal on the table, or pay rent on time is a reality for far too many in Ladysmith who are doing everything they can just to get by,” Mayor Aaron Stone said.

The Town will work with Social Planning Cowichan to create the Poverty Reduction Plan, with the goal of supporting residents’ specific needs around emergency response, support services, housing and food security. The study will take place in an economic landscape shaped by COVID-19, which will allow the Town to assess specific needs to reduce poverty in the context of the pandemic.

“A significant part of developing the made-in-Ladysmith strategy will be engaging with organizations and residents, including our Indigenous population, and providing opportunities for education and outreach initiatives that reduce stigma and discrimination around poverty,” The Town said in a press release.

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley said that the grant funding will go a long way to support low-income residents in Ladysmith.

“The most effective aspect of a poverty reduction plan really is the eficiencies of already existing programming and funding that doesn’t get leveraged as well as it should,” Routley said. “This will give a new lens to those programs, and make life more affordable.”

The 29 projects are receiving a total of $1.4 million, from a $5 million provincial grant to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), with individual project funding ranging from $16,000 to $150,000.