COMMUNITY HUBS BY DESIGN

IT TAKES A COMMUNITY TO FIGHT POVERTY

Giving people a place to get together, make friends and be part of their community goes a long way toward solving some of the issues that keep people in poverty. That's what a community hub can do. The Community Hubs by Design project, and guide, is for anyone who wants to start a community hub and make a difference.

HOW THE PROJECT STARTED

In 2011, the City of Calgary and United Way of Calgary and Area formed the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative (CPRI). A key output of that initiative was the Enough for All Strategy: a community-driven effort based on 15,000 hours of consultations with Calgarians, businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations and academic institutions that set the goal to cut poverty in Calgary by 50 percent by 2023. Vibrant Communities Calgary guides the community's implementation of the strategy. The Community Hubs by Design project, and the guide that was produced, is part of that work.

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Calgary Needs Community Hubs

Roughly one in 10 Calgarians live in poverty. That's 150,000 people who don't have enough money for food, shelter and other basic needs.

Poverty isn't just a lack of money. Often it also means a lack of personal connections -- friends or family to turn to for support. That can cause people to feel lonely and isolated, taking a toll on their mental and physical health and making it even harder to get out of poverty. It's not just those living below the poverty line who suffer, either. Many above it struggle to survive and support their families, which keeps them from contributing in other ways to society.

Poverty's yearly toll in Alberta is between $7.1 billion and $9.5 billion.

All of this makes it important for us to work together to build stronger communities that can help make a difference for Calgarians living in poverty. Developing community hubs is one way of doing that.