Poverty is a barrier to opportunity and negatively affects well-being, health, and overall quality of life. Each month, many Calgarians have to make tough choices like whether to pay the rent or buy groceries.
The Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative (CPRI) was created by The City of Calgary and United Way of Calgary and Area in 2011 to develop a community-driven poverty reduction strategy. The result was the Enough for All strategy that was unanimously approved by City Council and United Way’s Board of Directors in 2013. Enough for All is a collaborative community effort involving diverse stakeholders coming together to address the root causes of poverty in Calgary.
This strategy will help build a community where no one is deprived of the resources, means, choices, and ability to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, while being an active participant in society. Enough for All aims to reduce poverty in Calgary by 50% by 2023. Emerging from 15,000 hours of city-wide consultations with Calgarians, the business community, government, non-profits and academia, the four goals of the strategy are:
- All Calgary communities are strong, supportive and inclusive
- Everyone in Calgary has the income and assets needed to thrive
- Everyone in Calgary can easily access the right supports, services, and resources
- All Aboriginal people are equal participants in Calgary’s prosperous future
As of January 1, 2015, Vibrant Communities Calgary officially began guiding the implementation of Enough for All, acting as the backbone organization to guide the vision and strategy, build public awareness, support aligned activities, advance policy, mobilize funding, and develop and report on shared measures. United Way and The City of Calgary are each providing $500,000 annually for four years, ending in December 2018. Enough for All released their first Report to the Community in 2016 highlighting the achievements made to date.
United Way also plays an active role in a number of the initiatives contributing to the strategy, including Community Hubs, Financial Empowerment, and their public awareness campaign to increase Calgarians’ understanding of poverty and inspire action to reduce it.