Jim Dugan is the archdeacon for St. Alban's Cathedral in Kenora, and he's been working with a number of community partners, as they help people get out of poverty.
"People living in poverty frequently react to situations that they find themselves in, because they're living in a chaotic and crisis situation," he says.
Over the last couple of years, the congregation has been working with the health unit, NeChee Friendship Centre and the district services board.
"Often different social work agencies are dealing with the same individual, but they don't talk to each other. So, we had an opportunity for people to sit down and talk with one another," the archdeacon added.
The Circles / Bridges Out of Poverty program comes to Kenora out of southern Ontario and the U.S., and it helps individuals who want change in their lives to find resources and supports to make a change. From Lambton County in southern Ontario, the program has made its way north to Timiskaming, where an Indigenous program is offered.
After an initial workshop, a 16-week program helps participants find the resources and get the support they need, in order to provide some stability in their lives.
From the first course, seven of the 12 applicants finished. In two weeks, a second course will end, and as many as seven of 11 will finish.
While the Kenora community may be generous with offerings of the basics, such as food or clothing, the outreach program at St. Alban's wanted to offer more sustainable change.
Allies are being sought for a workshop in early June, which will offer longer-term support for graduates of the program.
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