A Legacy of Poverty? Addressing Cycles of Poverty and the Impact on Child Health in Niagara Region

Young GirlA report titled "A Legacy of Poverty? Addressing Cycles of Poverty and the Impact on Child Health in Niagara Region" was prepared for Community Services and released in June 2007. The report included some startling information about poverty in Niagara as well as recommendations for action to address the issue.

What Does the Report Say?

In the report, poverty is defined by:

  • community impact
  • impact on the social determinants of health
  • experiences of powerlessness and social exclusion
  • measures of poverty

Among the findings:

  • 14% of Niagara residents, 12.7% of families, 15.6% of Niagara's children live below the low income cut offs
  • women and female-led single parent homes experience the greatest depth of poverty
  • among those living in poverty, two-parent families have the largest depth of poverty being $9,900 below the poverty line
  • an over-representation of children in Niagara's poverty statistics

The report made four recommendations to address poverty in Niagara:

  1. decrease poverty through advocacy
  2. ensure appropriate and flexible supports which address the broader determinants of health for adults living in poverty
  3. mitigate the negative effects of low income on children and youth through programs and services
  4. monitor progress

Why do we need to reduce poverty?

  • poverty decreases an individual's stability and safety and places him/her at increased risk of violence and abuse
  • poverty leads to constant moves which break down the social fabric of a community
  • Niagara's economic growth benefits from poverty reduction
  • poverty is highly associated with diminished access to determinants of health (housing, education, social supports)
  • bears a strong relationship to an individual's health and mental health
  • if we focus only on supports to individuals, we may slip into victim blaming and leave systemic issues unaddressed

Read the full report: A Legacy of Poverty? Addressing Cycles of Poverty and the Impact on Child Health in Niagara Region

What Are We Doing to Address Poverty in Niagara?

We have taken several important first steps toward reducing poverty and making Niagara stronger through prosperity initiatives.


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