Enough for All’s Goal:
All Calgarians live in a strong, supportive and inclusive community.
Strong, supportive and inclusive communities are essential for ending poverty as they enable people to work together to address social and economic challenges and realize opportunities. What is so versatile in utilizing community-building for poverty reduction is the potential for a strength-based approach to build upon the local assets of a community. Every community’s assets and needs are slightly different; as will be their solutions for reducing poverty.
Strong relationships are built on trust. Increased social and geographic fragmentation in addition to growing economic inequality could be addressed by fostering greater trust between people, institutions, sectors and governments. Strengthening communities through several specific strategies could encourage this level of trust, cooperation and interdependence. A strong recommendation from Enough For All is the establishment of a network of ‘Community Hubs’; resident-led, place-based physical or virtual spaces where residents may gather around community-building events, community economic development, accessing services and recreation. Most importantly, in order to be effective, community hubs respond to the unique needs of a particular community, so no two may be identical. In addition to Community Hubs, other strategies to strengthen communities include identifying and encouraging strong peer support networks and supporting residents to focus on the assets of their community, rather than the deficits.
Poverty is often invisible to the untrained eye. To care about something, we have to know it when we see it! If Enough For All is tackling poverty reduction through a community-building approach, that all Calgarians – 1.2 million strong – have a role to play, because we are all a part of a community. Some of the brightest and most talented marketing and public relations specialists in Calgary are volunteering their time and talent to create a campaign meant to increase Calgary’s awareness and understanding of the face of poverty. If we can help Calgarians recognize poverty in the experiences of neighbours, colleagues or children’s school friends, then the likelihood of wanting to make a difference is greater.