COPAWS Development Update
Thank you for your interest in the development of the first Central Okanagan Poverty and Wellness Strategy (COPAWS).
While the work to date has been going well, our team has encountered a number of challenges causing recent delays. United Way, RDCO, and partnering communities have agreed to temporarily pause work until there is a full understanding of the impact and there are updated plans in place to move forward. This will impact the overall project timeline, so we wanted to provide an update on progress and next steps. Below is a summary.
Engagement for the strategy is underway and completed work includes:
• Development of the overall engagement plan for the project
• Digital survey of participants who have lived experience with poverty – over 225 surveys have been completed to date
• Initiation of small focus groups to gather feedback via our service providers and partner organizations
Some of the scheduled engagement activities over the summer will be delayed. This is due to changes in the communities that we work to deliver the project. Specifically:
• The United Way’s recent amalgamation of six United Ways in British Columbia (now called United Way British Columbia) has required a restructuring of United Way staff – this transition is underway but not yet complete
• Ongoing challenges due to COVID have made it difficult to undertake the in-person engagement necessary to get the input needed
• The profound grief our indigenous partners and community members are experiencing due to confirmation of grave sites at former residential schools has understandably taken priority over engagement activities
• Meeting set for July with restructured United Way British Columbia staff, the RDCO, and partnering communities to re-establish the timeline and budget for the outstanding work – this will include the introduction of United Way’s Director of Poverty Reduction who has completed a number of poverty strategies in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island
• When appropriate, United Way British Columbia will collaborate with Alderhill Planning Inc. (contracted consultants) to restart Indigenous engagement
• Further update COPAWS partners later this summer when timelines and work plan has been re-established
We have received a grant extension for this work from UBCM until May 2022 to enable us to respond to challenges noted above.
Need more information? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-232-1321.