Don’t fight the poor, fight poverty
Published: May 28, 2021
“It can happen so quickly, you have no idea.” If health is influenced by social factors like having enough money, why doesn’t our health care system do more to address the root causes of poverty?
1 in 5 children in BC live in poverty

 The cost of poverty on BC health

 

 "It can happen so quickly, you have no idea."

If health is influenced by social factors like having enough money, why doesn't our health care system do more to address the root causes of poverty?

The Community Health Centre (CHC) model is different than other health care models because it includes a focus on the social determinants of health. Because the health of a community depends on so much more than things like exercise and diet, CHCs provide primary care services as well taking on programs and partnerships to strengthen food security, poverty reduction, safe and affordable housing, and other systemic issues that end up impacting our health and well-being. 

CHCs are governed by community members, so they are natural partners with community organizations who share values of health equity and social justice. Many BCACHC members have programs that specifically focus on communities facing conditions of poverty. In Kamloops, STEPS CHC teams up with Kamloops Changing the Face of Poverty to push for action on poverty reduction. Have a look at this compelling video they created as part of their anti-stigma campaign.

 

Stories of poverty

"This video shares the stories of community members with lived and living experiences of poverty. These are the stories of our community members, our neighbours.

Poverty is a systemic issue; members of our community are impacted by poverty each day. No one should have to carry the burden of stigma or the weight of shame. People have a right to a dignified path out of poverty. Please visit https://www.kamloopschangingthefaceofpoverty.com/ to learn more about ending stigma today.

Kamloops Changing the Face of Poverty would like to thank the City of Kamloops and United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo for their support with this work, and the CFP member organizations for their contributions. We are grateful to the individuals who shared their stories in this video. Your stories and messages need to be heard, they are at the heart of why this work matters, and why we need to take action today."