Grant targets response to marginalized when natural disasters strike

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The City of Kamloops will be using a $25,000 provincial grant to plan how to respond when natural disasters impact people experiencing poverty.

The grant is one of many doled out across the province to support local governments in the development of their own poverty-reduction plans and projects.

The municipality will develop, with partner groups, a post-emergency support services plan with the funding as emergencies and disasters, such as floods or wildfires, can cause and exacerbate financial hardships, especially for people experiencing poverty.

The project will create a local action plan on how to best support people in the aftermath of an emergency.

Throughout B.C., 10 projects between 12 local governments are receiving a total of almost $350,000 from this second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities.

All projects in the province will involve community partners, people who have experienced poverty, businesses and local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

For example, Langley will use its $25,000 to create a plan focused on service needs while, in Northern B.C., Houston, Kitimat and Smithers will each use their funds to create plans aimed at understanding how their specific industries, resources and rural locations impact people’s experience of poverty.

“As B.C. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people still need extra support and these grants do just that,” Social Development Minister Nicholas Simons said.

To qualify, projects, had to focus on one or more of TogetherBC's priority-action areas, which include families, children and youth, education and training, housing, employment income and social supports.

Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week