By Melissa Smalley
If you suddenly found yourself without a source of steady income, how long would it be before you were homeless? It’s a question that will be asked at a community workshop in 100 Mile House next week that aims to create long- and short-term ways to reduce poverty in the South Cariboo.
The Nov. 14 event is sponsored by the local Poverty Reduction Coalition, and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Horton Ventures (808 Alpine Ave.)
Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre executive director Lisa De Paoli says putting the issue of poverty in terms that most community members can relate to will help foster a greater understanding of the impacts of poverty in the South Cariboo.
“If you lost your job and there was no source of income and you didn’t have family close, you would be at a place that you’d be close to homelessness.”
“We are trying to have people relate to how easily people can go from paying the bills to being in poverty.”
In the South Cariboo, De Paoli notes, one in four children are living in poverty – a statistic that more than doubles in First Nations communities.
Monday’s workshop – which has about 30 people registered to participate so far – will include interactive group work designed to create collaborative ways to address issues of poverty at the community level.
Participants will also help to identify long-term goals for reducing poverty and short-term ways of helping those in need.
De Paoli is urging anyone from the community – including residents, business owners and community leaders – to register if they haven’t already done so, by calling 250-395-5155 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. She notes that if someone hasn’t registered, they can still do so on-site on the morning of the event.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be another great event to both create awareness about people who are living in poverty in the South Cariboo, and also to make significant in-roads into the issue and how we can make a difference.”