Since 2014, EndPoverty Edmonton has been making key moves in its bold mission to eliminate poverty in our community in a generation. Now, the organization is gearing up for a physical move as well, as it prepares to take up residence at United Way’s office on Stony Plain Road.
According to the City of Edmonton’s Kate Gunn, director of community initiatives and coordination leading the EndPoverty Edmonton transition, the move is significant for the new organization, which started out as a task force. “The opportunities that this will offer the organization in its inaugural year, with United Way staff and partners at the offices, will be sure to spark connections and creative partnership opportunities,” she says.
EndPoverty Edmonton – which will facilitate, co-ordinate, support and mobilize the efforts of individuals and organizations working toward its goal of eliminating poverty – is set to hire staff and move into the new location from its current home at the City of Edmonton in early 2017. The team will include an executive director and additional staff members, who will share office and meeting space and communications networks with staff from United Way.
The inaugural co-chairs of EndPoverty Edmonton are Bishop Jane Alexander, who co-chaired the founding Task Force with Mayor Don Iveson, and Dr. Jeff Bisanz. The organization continues to align its work with the federal and provincial governments in their effort to end poverty.
The physical move is the next step in EndPoverty Edmonton’s five-year goal of lifting 10,000 people out of poverty in the city. According to Gunn, accomplishing this goal would be a strong first step towards the organization’s ultimate vision of eliminating poverty for the estimated 100,000 Edmontonians who face it every day, one-third of whom are children.
“The value of a community-led organization with the deep history and exemplary, innovative track record of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region is a gift that can’t be underestimated in the launch of the new kid on the block, EndPoverty Edmonton, with its mandate to end poverty in a generation,” says Gunn.
Anne Smith, CEO of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, says many at the organization are looking forward to EndPoverty Edmonton working at the new location.
“It is a really unprecedented time in our community in terms of the alignment around poverty elimination,” she says. “That creates immense opportunity for the city to come together and really address one of the most pervasive social issues we face.”
Smith is excited about the collective impact model EndPoverty Edmonton will be using. That model will see several community groups created, including the Stewardship Round Table, which has already been formed and will strategically guide the Road Map, a five-year plan with 35 actions focused on ending poverty.
Smith is a member of the Stewardship Round Table and says this group will hire EndPoverty Edmonton’s first staff member, who will then create a “small, but nimble” group, which will support the entire community-based structure.
The other groups will include the Indigenous Circle, which will be made up of representatives from the region’s indigenous population; a Stakeholder’s Forum, which will give a voice to those living in poverty; and the Count Me In Network, which will engage Edmontonians in EndPoverty Edmonton’s efforts.
Smith says using United Way’s offices makes sense. “It is a really cost-effective way to support the team and put an infrastructure behind them.”