On Wednesday morning representatives of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and our member organizations met with representatives of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to share a brief about changes in policy and service delivery that need to happen to meet the Ministry’s goal of providing accessible, effective and dignifying services.
Shifting the Culture at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, co-written by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, Raise the Rates, Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods, the Richmond Poverty Response Committee, Together Against Poverty Society, West Coast LEAF and UFCW 1518, shared our vision for the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction:
“A Ministry that is dedicated to poverty reduction should be designed to meet the needs of people currently living in poverty and help to lift them out of poverty. We envision a culture of care, instead of a culture of suspicion, with better training and supports for staff, and a serious commitment to accessibility for clients; an accessible system should not require the help of an advocate to apply, make a call, and/or address an issue.
Such a Ministry would be a respectful and supportive environment, where somebody needing support can walk into an office and meet face to face with a worker who treats them with dignity and respect. Work with us to come up with tangible, time-sensitive changes to the culture and accessibility of the Ministry. Commit to an ethical, dignified assistance system that works to actively lift people out of poverty and end poverty altogether.”