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Apr 14 2014

Poverty Free Kitchener-WaterlooCentre for Community Knowledge has published a profile of the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo. It showcases its poverty elimination work through the Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo Action Group and its engagement on social policies. "When you see how it impacts the real world, it stops being boring," are the words of Charles Nichols, Homelessness Awareness Week coordinator, as he responds to those who say that analyzing budgets or policies can be scary or dry. See more what the group members had to say and let us know about the ways in which you can contribute.

Mobilizing Kitchener-Waterloo to Eliminate Poverty

Social policy does not need to be scary or dry and boring. We can tell stories in a different way and build a healthy society for the future together.

There are many reasons why people do not speak up about poverty reduction in our community. Government budgets are not easy to understand, public speaking can be scary, policies can seem boring, and there is so much we may need to learn and little time to do it during our busy days. We know that with a little guidance, with relationships we build, we can add figures in a budget, we can share what we know from our experience, and we can learn exactly how to influence planning that shapes our day to day lives.


Since April 2007, the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo has hosted discussions about poverty with more than 1,500 community members in over 30 forums and small groups across Kitchener-Waterloo. Through these much has been learned about issues that bring and keep people in poverty and about what is needed to finally break the cycle.

During those discussions, Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo has been created to be a local response to the Social Assistance Review and has been mobilizing voices in poverty related consultations since 2011. After each forum, people tell us we need to meet more often, that we need to engage media and make sure that important strategies are followed through.

"With Poverty Free KW, instead of having 12 people fighting different battles in different arenas, we have 12 people fighting as one, and that's a good thing." Len … Poverty Free KW group member.

Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo Action Group has participated in 8 consultations and organized 2 community forums in 2013 alone; thanks to a unique way we look at successful outcomes of poverty reduction in our daily lives. Here is what we do for our community:

We study and analyze a great deal of information, staying informed to keep you in the know
We keep the focus on important issues for your attention
We engage the wider community to make your voice stronger
We plan for action so you can make a difference
"It's a way to enable us all to work for a better and more equitable world." Barb, Canadian Federation of University Women

A groundswell of mobilized, informed, involved and dedicated people can end poverty. We reach out to individuals and organizations in our community, spreading the enthusiasm and knowledge of the Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo group.

"It takes a lot to help everyone be comfortable so they can contribute in what often are intimidating environments. The Social Planning Council of K-W works to ensure that diverse perspectives do influence the future of our community." Trudy Beaulne, Executive Director Social Planning Council Kitchener-Waterloo

As a community, we need to put a different face on the big issues such as those surrounding poverty and to always look ahead to be sure we build for future generations

1. Participate in the conversation by connecting with the Social Planning Council Kitchener-Waterloo to learn more about poverty elimination strategies: to get involved in community discussions and forums, sign up by contacting Aleksandra Petrovic at 519-570-1096 *3010 or

2. Donate to help us reach out to our community, to organize more forums and to empower more people to share what they know and why they care.