Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Combating Poverty in Moncton

I was at last night’s Council meeting and was pleased to see the joint presentation by Real Voice of Poverty and Mobile One in an effort to get a living memorial established for the “Unknown Citizen”, honouring not only the unknown man found frozen to death in our city this past December, but all of the unknown and nameless homeless people who have passed away unnoticed by the public at large.

It’s a great way to raise awareness for a sadly growing problem in our community. More and more people are living at or below the poverty line and are a missed payment away from living on the street (indeed, some already are).

That’s why I’ve been calling for an Anti-Poverty and Housing Roundtable. There are a tremendous number of organisations in Moncton, like the two mentioned above, all doing phenomenal work in combating poverty and its effects, but it’s not always a co-ordinated effort. I feel we could accomplish so much more if we brought the stakeholders together and hammered out some directives that I could then take to council to achieve some concrete results, whether that be a standing committee on housing, desperately needed funding, or an action plan to give more people a chance to improve their situations.

Together we are stronger, and in turn can do better for our city and our fellow citizens.

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