February 12, 2020 – The Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee is excited to announce the release of the Central Okanagan Community Wellness Analysis.

The Community Wellness Analysis is a project the committee undertook in early 2019 to address the lack of regional and community-specific data around poverty. The analysis provides baseline data on key wellness and poverty indicators for the region, and includes local area profiles for each Central Okanagan community including the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Okanagan Indian Band and Westbank First Nation.

Before the analysis, the community often relied on provincial poverty and wellness data. Now there is regional and community-specific data to help identify priorities and establish baseline indicators for measurement. The Community Wellness Analysis also highlights key focus areas and opportunities for action on wellness and poverty, identified through community consultations and lived experience interviews.

“Poverty is a critical social issue in the Central Okanagan, impacting children, families, seniors and individuals in every community in the region,” says Reanne Holden-Amadio, Community Investment Manager at United Way Southern Interior BC, a partner agency for the analysis project. “The Community Wellness Analysis provides important insights into wellness and poverty in Central Okanagan communities and provides a solid foundation for the development of a Central Okanagan wellness and poverty strategy.”

The analysis was developed with input from community stakeholders throughout the region and involved engagement and interviews with people who have lived or living experience of poverty – something that has been a key part of the committee’s work since they began in 2017.

The Vancouver Foundation, Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership, City of Kelowna, United Way SIBC and District of Lake Country provided financial support to this project, and Urban Matters CCC was the contracted consultant. The Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee will be sharing the Community Wellness Analysis with local governments, partners and other community stakeholders. The Executive Summary is located on United Way Southern Interior BC’s website: https://unitedwaysibc.com/how-we-help/poverty/united-to-reduce-poverty/

Download Regional Analysis Executive Summary 

Download Community Wellness Analysis Report

About the Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee:

In 2017, the Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Committee was established by the Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership with the goal of developing a regional poverty reduction strategy. The committee is comprised of representatives from multiple social services agencies, government, health and research. Initially supported by funding from Vancouver Foundation, the committee’s work on lived experience engagement and systems planning has set the stage for a community-driven, regional approach to addressing poverty.

About United Way Southern Interior BC:

United Way Southern Interior BC serves the communities of the Okanagan, Columbia, Shuswap and Similkameen regions. Our mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. The United Way invests time and resources in three focus areas that support all that kids can be, move people from poverty to possibility and build healthy, strong communities. For more information, visit www.unitedwaysibc.com or call 1-855-232-1321.

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