Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction - Access to Recreation for Low-Income Families

Organization Sponsor: Hamilton, City


Program Description

Our aspiration is to “Make Hamilton the Best Place to Raise a Child” through focusing on five critical points of investment in the lives of children, youth and their families:
1) quality early learning and parenting;
2) skills through education, activity and recreation;
3) targeted skills development;
4) employment and asset building; and
5) wealth creation.

This collaborative community problem-solving roundtable with a focus on children and youth has stimulated new investments in the community, new partnerships and ways of working and policy changes, all of which are enhancing the quality of life for many children, youth and families living with low or limited incomes.

To achieve these goals requires changes at the individual, family, neighbourhood, community and policy levels. The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction (HRPR) strategy focuses on all levels and also places emphasis on changing the way the community works together. The HRPR is beginning to break down the silos that have stifled collaboration and innovation and is encouraging everyone to be part of the solution. The result has been major change, both in the way problems are solved and for people who live in the City of Hamilton.

Funding Sources: 

Administrative and Funding Support is provided through the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation, The. J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Vibrant Communities, Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Arcelor Mittal Dofasco, The Hamilton Spectator, Pic

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The HRPR plans to make Hamilton the best place to raise a child by creating a city where every child progresses through the five critical points of investment with all the support they need to do well regardless of income level, neighbourhood, or cultural difference; a place that helps families create wealth, seize opportunities, and are
encouraged to participate fully in society; and, a community that provides the necessities and works seamlessly to promote prosperity for all.

Impact Of Program: 

Since 2005, the HRPR has talked to more than 60,000 people in Hamilton about the HRPR’s approach to focusing on poverty reduction through investing in children and youth. More than 300 individuals have joined the leadership team, working groups and as partners. An additional 900 organizations and individuals are working together on community solutions and have linked up with the HRPR to focus on poverty reduction.

Evaluation Tools: 

According to Statistics Canada, the poverty rate in Hamilton declined in 2006 from 20% to 18.1% resulting in 6,000 fewer individuals living below the low-income cut off.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The project is decreasing the poverty by enhancing income support, engaging neighbourhoods, youth and citizens, increasing and aligning community investments, integrating programs and solving problems collaboratively and working on advocating an Ontario poverty reduction strategy.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Inspiring the whole community to participate and care about creating opportunities for everyone. To raise public awareness This program is promoted through: • a website – www.hamiltonpoverty.ca; • published reports about its progress; • community sessions to engage the broader community in the work; and • the Hamilton Spectator daily newspaper that, in 2005, identified poverty
as an editorial priority and has published over 400 articles, editorials and letters to the editor about poverty in Hamilton.

Length and Stage of Project: 

The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction began in May 2005 in order to: gain an understanding about Hamilton’s high poverty levels; focus the community’s attention on poverty; and begin to find solutions – and is still in operation today.

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