The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network (NPRN) is a group of social agencies, educators, business and government representatives, faith communities and individuals. NPRN’s vision is “All Niagara residents live above the poverty line.” This vision is supported by a mission that encourages “Private, voluntary and public sectors working together to improve the quality of life in Niagara.” The Niagara Community Foundation’s Convener actively participates in this network.
The work of NPRN takes place throughout the Niagara region. All components of the community, including neighbourhoods and special interest groups, regardless of where they are in Niagara, are encouraged to participate in the work of NPRN.
The network evolved in 2011 out of a community-based committee that had an interest in guiding a pool of poverty-reduction grants provided by Niagara Region. Committee members identified the need for a network to tackle the issue of poverty reduction beyond grant-making because grants are finite but the depth and breadth of the issue of poverty is infinite. The network meets at least six times a year.
Community stakeholders observed that the number of people in Niagara experiencing poverty is growing and that traditional, one-dimensional solutions were no longer effective. Poverty is a complex problem with interlocking causes and effects. Solutions must also be interlocking, comprehensive and preventive. A network, representing all aspects of the community, was formed to begin the work on these solutions.