Only by working together can we realize our goal
This past year, YSM’s Community Development team supported residents to speak into Toronto’s Development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. At one meeting, Jenny, a community member with Friends Against Poverty, bravely addressed John Tory and the executive committee. She was flanked by many other community members and supported by Joel Klassen, a YSM Community Capacity Builder, as she readied herself to address the mayor. She spoke little and relied on support because she was nervous, but what she did say was powerful. The room went quiet as she simply summed it up. “Please Mr. Mayor, please approve this strategy because it would really help us get by.” You could have heard a pin drop. After all the eloquent deputations of many educated and committed leaders, Jenny’s brief pearl of wisdom simplified a complicated conversation and weighed heavily in the minds of our city’s leadership. They voted in favour of the Interim Strategy.
Currently, communities and the people who live in them function within our municipal, provinicial and federal social policy framework. Even healthy people wo are committed to investing in their neighbourhoods can face challenges and barriers as a result of policies that affect their lives, sometimes trapping them in poverty. To fully realize our vision of ending chronic poverty, we must identify key systemic barriers and work with community, government and all other stakeholders to effect positive change that remove the barriers. By harnessing our experience and joining our voices, we can help inform positive and transformative change in Toronto.
For YSM, ending chronic poverty in Toronto can only be achieved by intentional and coordinated action at three levels. Learn more about the other levels: