Everyone should be able to live a full life in strong communities.
But poverty hurts communities, hurts the most vulnerable and makes solving other problems more difficult.
We know that poverty can feel complex and hard to talk about. But getting smart about solutions can make a real difference. That’s why Make Poverty History has worked in partnership with community-based organizations on the front-lines to develop real, tangible Demands for Action to eliminate poverty. And that’s why we’re reaching out to everyday Manitobans to help spread the word about how we can Make Poverty History in Manitoba.
We demand action from the Manitoba Government.
Demands for Action:
1. Act on the TRC and MMIWG Calls to Action and Justice
Manitoba must act on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and Murdered and Missing Women and Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited+ Calls to Justice.
2. Implement Provincial Poverty Reduction Legislation
Manitoba must establish a bold target and timeline within a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy to end poverty and social exclusion in Manitoba.
3. Transform EIA into a Basic Needs Benefit
Manitoba must transform Employment and Income Assistance into a basic needs benefit within 18 months, as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.
4. Advance inclusive, equitable, decent employment
Manitobans must receive a living wage and 10 paid sick days per year.
5. Implement a Comprehensive Housing Strategy
Manitoba must act to end homelessness and core housing need through a comprehensive housing strategy.
6. Support Education, Early Learning, and Childcare
Manitoba must invest in programs to support the educational pursuits of residents of all ages.
7. Increase Funding for Mental Health Care Services
Manitoba must increase funding for mental health and harm reduction programs to support low-income residents.
8. Increase Support for Restorative Justice Programs
Manitoba must double the funding available to community-based restorative justice programs.
9. Support Children in Care and Youth Aging Out of Care
Manitoba must increase the support available to children in care and youth aging out of care to break cycles of poverty.
10. Invest in Equitable Public Transportation
Manitoba must increase funding for subsidized WinnPass transit passes and invest in inter-community transportation.
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Listen to these stories about the reality of poverty in Manitoba. kNOw Poverty. Make it History.
This is Rina Hermkens.
“I think having a solid, safe home is important to sobriety, and being in poverty, I struggled to keep it. ... My home is where my sanctuary is. I build on myself. I feel safe. I help others, and it’s a big part of my sobriety.”
This is Erika Frey.
"If we really want people to be economically sufficient, we have to provide all the steps that are going to make it long term. Because it’s not enough for someone to just get a job. There’s a longer term to maintain the job that allows people to grow. I think that’s good for individuals, but it’s good for the economy as well. Everyone has goals of making life better than what it is and we should have a system in such a rich country like this one that supports people to do that.”
This is Debby Sillito.
"If they bring out the Livable Basic Needs Benefit, that would change a lot of things for people. There will be less people visiting the hospital, there would be less mental health issues, there would be less people going hungry. There would be less crime, because wouldn't have to steal to get things. It would be a better place to live. ... People on EIA don't want to be on EIA, right? They're stuck on EIA, and that's the problem."
This is Kerry Weymen.
"With Harvest and welfare and my kids, I've gained so much. I'm not ever going to stop volunteering here. ... I don't think I'd be able to get a job either, because of my seizure disorder. ... After my rent and hydro paid, I'm reduced to $100 a month, and I'm supposed to try and live."
This is Desiree McIvor.
"It wouldn't be worth it for me to just get out of poverty, if I couldn't take all my brothers and sisters with me. So part of breaking the cycle for me was going to back to school and doing something different, so that my children didn't have to live the way that I lived. Instead of making cuts, we need more programs to help them, to find themselves...
If the government wants to help, they have to stop cutting things that are important to people."
This is Al Wiebe.
"There are so many barriers to get ahead. The problem is that more barriers are being put in the way. [The goverment] is taking money away from those in poverty, rather than doing what they can to help them.
They had a policy for people to search for work, and what they did with that was cut that by $25.
Where's the motivation to actually go out there and find work when the government is actually fighting you on it?
Human life is a cost. People die because of poverty and not meeting nutritional needs. There are many little costs. ... Poverty costs the health care system. It increases our health care costs because people can't look after themselves."