P2P plan taking stock of how to reduce poverty in Windsor-Essex


Officials in Windsor and Essex County this week hearing from residents about what they think about the regional strategy to reduce poverty.

The nine-point plan called Pathway to Potential (P2P) is intended to focus on essential social investments in residents, neighbourhoods and the larger community.

Residents had an opportunity to provide input on the area’s poverty reduction strategy by participating in a pair of public meetings this week.

One feedback meeting was held on Monday evening in Windsor, and another Tuesday evening in Essex.

Officials say the purpose of the consultations was to gather input from city and county residents on their priorities and concerns, as P2P works to ensure the strategy aligns with current and future community needs.

Stephen Lynn, Manager of Social Policy and Planning with the City of Windsor, says the genesis of the plan started way back in 2009.

Lynn says P2P underwent a refresh to the current version in 2017, but even since then a number of federal, provincial, and other municipal plans have been developed.

"There's lots of other work that has taken place since 2017 and the purpose of this is to update the strategy so we are not duplicating efforts, that we are focusing the dollars that we have from City and County council to be the most impactful that we can," he said.

He says sometimes overlap isn't a bad thing, but they just want to be sure funds are going to the areas where there is the most need.

"Overlap can be looked at as a way to ensure that residents are able to access services in multiple different areas and different streams," Lynn continued. "But what we're recognizing is that the current strategy is too broad, that's what we've heard from the consultation efforts so far and poverty is a really complex issue."

Lynn says some of the existing strategies are related to affordable housing, moving people into housing who are homeless, and they're looking to see how P2P compliments those efforts.

"How do we compliment in way that's not the duplication, but that complement to ensure that the work is done in a coordinated effort. These strategy renewal sessions that we've been doing is trying to bring Pathway to Potential out of the 2017 priorities into what's happening in 2023 and 2024."

Lynn says the information gathered this week will be collected, and an updated P2P plan will be presented to Windsor City Council and Essex County Council sometime later this year.


- with files from AM800's The Shift with Patty Handysides