Essex County Council is working on Pathway to Potential

Windsor and Essex County’s Pathway to Potential poverty reduction strategy has been updated and provides a roadmap for action over the next four years.

The strategy has been developed through extensive consultation and community engagement, recognizing the multifaceted nature of poverty.

Research and stakeholder engagement have shown that to tackle poverty, a collaborative, unified and citizen-centric approach across the region is crucial.

The updated strategy document was presented to Essex County Council on Wednesday by advisors and representatives from the City of Windsor, which administers the Pathway to Potential programme.

Pathway to Potential provides funding to Windsor-Essex agencies that support vulnerable youth and families, and partners with municipal departments to remove accessibility and financial barriers while working with community leaders toward a shared vision of prosperity for all.

The strategy identifies three core goals: strengthening priority neighborhoods, promoting affordable regional programs and measuring regional impact.

Director Hilda MacDonald says they want to be part of the solution, so if they can find partners willing to help devise a strategy, they’re all for it.

Especially because they have varying degrees of need in the seven provincial municipalities.

“To tackle these big topics and big issues, we have to work together. It cannot be something that one municipality can tackle alone. If we work together, to me that is the only way we can get a handle on poverty and poverty.” about giving people tools to find a way out,” she said.

MacDonald says this is a difficult problem to try to solve, but it is made easier by working together.

“It’s an investment, right? The investment of time, expertise and other resources. We can’t do that individually when we have a population of somewhere between 12,000 and 36,000. We can’t tackle these things on our own, so to tackle one, we have to work together.”

She says it is extremely important to have a roadmap and move towards it quickly because these people experiencing hardship are their residents.

“We have a duty to care for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. I believe it is both a moral obligation and a political obligation that we do what is best for the people who live within our borders,” said MacDonald.

Essex County will contribute approximately $670,000 to Pathway to Potential in 2024.

You can find the full Pathway to Potential report here.