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Brandon Poverty Committee Launches Strategic Plan & Online Community Resource


May 11, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brandon, MB – The City of Brandon’s Poverty Committee is pleased to update the community on its activities in the areas of social justice and community inclusion via the launch of its 2016-2017 Strategic Plan and a new online portal for community social resources.

The Poverty Committee’s Strategic Plan lays out four overarching priorities: to support housing matters in Brandon; to enhance food security in the community; to coordinate and build partnerships; and to advocate for citizens. To assist its work in these areas, the Brandon Poverty Committee has also developed an online Community Resources web page where citizens from all walks of life can find links to social resources in the community. The page can be found on the City of Brandon website at  http://www.brandon.ca/bcr. Community advocacy groups are encouraged to submit their website addresses for addition on the web page by emailing them to poverty@brandon.ca.

Committee Co-Chair and South Centre Ward City Councillor Lonnie Patterson says committee members have already started their work on the strategic plan’s housing supports piece, specifically how the City of Brandon can assist other community agencies.

“The Committee’s work on housing will focus on three areas,” Patterson explains. “We’ll be looking at our housing by-laws to see if there are any areas to be addressed or improved, we’ll be working to advance the sustainability of the community’s recently-established Safe and Warm Shelter, and we’ll also continue conversations with Brandon’s Housing First organization on the issue of rent supplements.”

Patterson adds that the Committee’s action plan on advocacy took a big step forward earlier this month with City Council’s endorsement of a resolution encouraging the Association of Manitoba Municipalities to lobby the Province of Manitoba to establish a program to by which recipients of provincial benefit cheques could more easily cash such cheques at financial institutions, while at the same time providing those institutions with protection against losses due to fraud or forgery.

Patterson further notes that the partnerships piece of the plan is always evolving, and they’ll continue to meet with community groups like the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, Prairie Mountain Health, and other Committees of Council such as the Age Friendly Committee and the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council.

The committee also plans to advance issues relating to food security via the Brandon Food Charter it worked to establish in 2014 and by initiating conversation on the potential of a Food Policy Council in Brandon.

The Brandon Poverty Committee is currently comprised of Brandon City Councillors Jan Chaboyer, Lonnie Patterson and Kris Desjarlais, and citizen members Susan Spring, Mark Kovatch and Cynamon Mychasiw.


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