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Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative Report on Proposed New Initiatives to Reduce Poverty in Saint John Spring, 2000. BUSINESS COMMUNITY ANTI-POVERTY INITIATIVE. Background. WHO: 100 BUSINESS LEADERS, COMMUNITY LEADERS AND PROFESSIONALS WHERE: GREATER SAINT JOHN

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Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative


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    1. Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative Report on Proposed New Initiatives to Reduce Poverty in Saint John Spring, 2000

    2. BUSINESS COMMUNITY ANTI-POVERTY INITIATIVE Background • WHO: 100 BUSINESS LEADERS, COMMUNITY LEADERS AND PROFESSIONALS • WHERE: GREATER SAINT JOHN • WHEN: ESTABLISHED IN 1997 • WHY: BILL GALE • WHAT: CATALYST TO PROVE POVERTY SITUATION - BREAK THE CYCLE • HOW: 7 WORKING GROUPS + CABINET • OCTOBER 19, 1999 MEETING: WHAT COULD BCAPI DO THAT WOULD BEST EFFECT SIGNIFICANT AND ONGOING REDUCTIONS IN POVERTY?

    3. BUSINESS COMMUNITY ANTI-POVERTY INITIATIVE Poverty StudyTerms of Reference • STATUS, EXISTING SUPPORTS, GAPS, BEST PRACTICES • FOCUS? • RECOMMENDATIONS • ACTION PLAN

    4. BUSINESS COMMUNITY ANTI-POVERTY INITIATIVE STUDY FINDINGS • POVERTY IN SAINT JOHN • EXISTING SUPPORTS & GAPS • BEST PRACTICES

    5. INCIDENCE OF POVERTY 19,100 24,800 5.5M 137,300 6,000 The City of Saint John has a poverty rate 35% higher than the provincial and national averages and 145% higher than the remainder of Greater Saint John. 19,100 people in the city live in poverty. Source: Statistics Canada 1996, Canadian Council on Social Development

    6. FAMILY UNITS AND POVERTY 73% of people living in poverty (i.e. 13,900) in the City of Saint John are part of a family. Source: Statistics Canada 1996, Canadian Council on Social Development

    7. FAMILY UNITS AND POVERTY Couples with No Children Under 18 Couples with Children Under 18 Single Parent Families with Children Under 18 All Other Families Further, people living in poverty in the City of Saint John are over 8 times more likely to be part of a single parent family compared to people not living in poverty. Source: Statistics Canada 1996, Canadian Council on Social Development

    8. GENDER Of the poor single parents in the City of Saint John, approximately 88% of them are women. Source: Statistics Canada 1996

    9. AGE OF CHILDREN Of the poor single parents in the City of Saint John, 1125 (53%) of them have children aged 5 and under. Source: Statistics Canada 1996, Human Development Council

    10. EMPLOYMENT Of the poor single parents in the City of Saint John, 1,095 (53%) of them do not work at all. The majority receive Social Assistance. The longer they are on Social Assistance, the less employable they become due to attitude and learned helplessness. Source: Statistics Canada 1996, Human Development Council

    11. EDUCATION Of the poor single parents in the City of Saint John, 1130 (56%) of them have not attained a high school certificate. However, this is a lower percentage than that of the entire poor population in the City of Saint John (64%). Source: Statistics Canada 1996, Human Development Council

    12. PROVINCIAL DROPOUT RATE BY REASON, 1998 Personal Problems such as lack of interest, pregnancy, lack of child care and family problems account for 70% of grade school dropouts in New Brunswick. Source: NB Department of Education, Policy and Planning Branch

    13. INCIDENCE OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY AMONG NB YOUTH The Province of New Brunswick has a higher incidence of sexually active junior high and high school students when compared with the national average. Source: Canada Youth and Aids Study, 1989

    14. TEENAGE PREGNANCY The City of Saint John has an incidence of teenage pregnancy significantly higher than that of the province, having declined little in the nineties. 1997 saw 50.6 births per thousand females (5%) in Saint John compared with 31.1 (3%) in the province. In Saint John, 120 teens become pregnant each year. Source: Vital Statistics, DHC, New Brunswick Statistical Agency (Population Estimates - August 4, 1999) + Includes females aged 15 - 19

    15. CHALLENGES FACING SINGLE PARENTS • Lack family support • Estimated 20% incidence of alcohol and drug abuse • High probability of having been physically, sexually or mentally abused (by family or partner) • Suicidal tendencies • Very low self-esteem • Lack basic life skills (e.g. hygiene)

    16. THE CHALLENGE OF FINDING FOCUS A person living in poverty in the City of Saint John is most likely to: • Be a single parent (43% of families living in poverty are headed by a single parent compared to only 5% of families living above the poverty line) • Be female (88% of single parents are women) • Be between 21 and 39 years of age • Have two children under 5 years of age

    17. INVENTORY OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AND SERVICES Meeting Basic Needs Removing Barriers Building Skills Promoting Economic Development physical security child care * life skills job creation/retention • food • housing; utilities • clothing • clean water; sanitation • protection from violence; abuse health/mental health work-related costs* language training self-employment • Health care services • early childhood development • self-esteem; support • counselling; mental health services • substance abuse services health-related costs literacy/numeracy access to capital • Reviewed 47 programs • Focus of programs: • Basic needs • Self-esteem/support • Building skills • Job search • Job creation • Life skills • Academic upgrades • Most programs provide some support services • Capacity exists in many programs disability-related barriers job search technical assistance skills accreditation academic upgrading/ job training access to transportation* * Support services Source: Torjman, Sherri, Community Based Poverty Reduction

    18. INVENTORY OF SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICES Meeting Basic Needs Removing Barriers Building Skills Promoting Economic Development physical security child care Life skills job creation/retention • food • housing; utilities • clothing • clean water; sanitation • protection from violence; abuse health/mental health work-related costs language training self-employment • Health care services • early childhood development • self-esteem; support • counselling; mental health services • substance abuse services health-related costs literacy/numeracy access to capital • There are approximately 150 service organizations in Saint John; information has been gathered on 45 programs • Many programs targeted beyond PLPs • 25 programs account for $6M - includes approx. 175 staff • Over 750 volunteers involved in organizations Disability related barriers job search technical assistance skills accreditation academic upgrading/ job training access to transportation Source: Torjman, Sherri, Community Based Poverty Reduction

    19. BEST PRACTICES CONTACTED TO DATE • Langs Farm Village Association, Cambridge, On. - Community development organization targeting social assistance recipients. • West End Community Ventures, Ottawa, On. - Community economic development project designed to increase community wealth. • Yonge St. Mission, Toronto, On. - Community development project designed to assist youth and battered women break the poverty cycle. • Massey Centre, Toronto, On. - Centre established for high risk young mothers teaching job, life, day to day living skills. • OP2000, Waterloo, On. - Project designed to move 2000 people out of poverty. • Parry Sound Harvest Share Program, Parry Sound, On. - Food security program.

    20. BEST PRACTICES CONTACTED TO DATE (continued) • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, Sandy Hill, On. - Health centre providing services to non insured and addictions abuse clientele. • 761 Community Development Corp., Toronto, On. - Economic development project funding new businesses operated by PLPs. • Edmonton Kids in the Hall Bistro, Edmonton, Al. - Program for “at risk” youth providing training for life skills and job skills with job placement opportunities.

    21. BEST PRACTICES COMMON THEMES Philosophy • Concentrate on programs to break the cycle • Holistic approach • Develop strategies for target groups as needs vary widely • Avoid government-type supports which maintain systemic issues and are considered very restrictive • Non judgmental environment • Involve the people and community in decision making Approaches/Programs • Vital to provide life skills, self esteem programs • Vital to provide supports after social assistance • Concentrate on youth programs and supports • Programs should provide learnings, not just handouts • Computer training programs • Creation of long term jobs 3.8

    22. BEST PRACTICES COMMON THEMES Getting Help • Partnerships with business community • Partnerships with healthcare community • Seek expert advice from private sector Other • Ensure strategic plan in place for new projects including ways and means to meet objectives • Allocate adequate administration resources • Qualified trained staff best investment • Maintain focus

    23. BUSINESS COMMUNITY ANTI-POVERTY INITIATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS • TARGET - SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES • HOW • MAXIMIZE USE OF EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS / INITIATIVES • BCAPI ROLE - CATALYST • -SUPPORTER • - INITIATOR OF LAST RESORT • COORDINATOR • 9 SPECIFIC PROGRAMS

    24. TARGETING SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES CHILDREN OF SINGLE PARENTS TEENS SINGLE PARENTS PREGNANT TEENS Helping reduce poverty among single parents will require a focus on four related target groups. Successfully addressing the needs of these groups will help break the poverty cycle in Saint John.

    25. PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendations 1. Teens 1.1 “Teen Choice” Program 1.2 Information Dissemination 2. Pregnant Teens 2.1 Support First Steps Program 2.2 Support School Day Cares 3. Single Parents 3.1 Case Managers 3.2 Referral System 3.3 Retention of Health Benefits 4. Children of Single Parents 4.1 Childhood Development Prog. 4.2 Funding for School-age Kids

    26. BUSINESS COMMUNITY ANTI-POVERTY INITIATIVE NEXT STEPS FOR BCAPI • COMMUNICATIONS • COORDINATOR • COLLABORATION • DETAILED PLANNING • IMPLEMENTATION