Building bridges out of poverty

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By Nick Seebruch
Building bridges out of poverty
Carilyne Hébert, Executive Director of the Social Development Council (left) and Stacey Ferguson, Administrator of Social and Housing Services for the City of Cornwall (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario –  The Social Development Council (SDC), Social and Housing Services Cornwall, Vibrant Communities, and their partners will be presenting a one-day Bridges out of Poverty workshop designed to inform the public on the impact that poverty has on individuals and on the community as a whole.

The workshop will be taking place on March 11 at the Cornwall Civic Complex from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Holding the workshop is the first step towards bringing a chapter of Circles® Canada to Cornwall. Circles® Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of poverty.

Stacey Ferguson Administrator of Social and Housing Services for the City of Cornwall advocated for bringing the Bridges out of Poverty workshop to Cornwall and explained its importance.

“The Social and Housing Services department provides services to some of the most vulnerable residents of Cornwall and SD&G,” said Ferguson. “The department regularly searches for innovative ways to provide high quality service to those residents and to ease the effects of social and economic challenges and improve their circumstances.  The idea of Circles® was brought to my attention by another Service Manager whose community had greatly benefited by the implementation of Circles® Canada. After discussions with the Social Development Council, it was determined that this initiative would align with the mandate of Vibrant Communities and as a poverty reduction strategy.”

Ferguson explained that there are currently 2,042 affordable housing units available in Cornwall through Social and Housing Services and that over 700 were on the waiting list.

Carilyne Hébert, Executive Director of the SDC explained some of the challenges for those living in poverty as well as some of the causes.

“Poverty is quite complex and is usually caused by a number of situations. Income being a big factor along with disabilities and illness, the labour market, lack of access to education or to food or the right health care. For most people it is a number of things,” said Hébert.

According to Hébert, about 12 per cent of Cornwall is living below the low income cut off.

The Bridges out of Poverty workshop will be presented by Dr. Ruby Payne, PhD.

Those interested in joining the workshop can sign up through Event Brite.

The SDC is also looking for those interested in supporting the event either through volunteering or sponsorship. Those interested in supporting the workshop are asked to contact Carilyne Hébert at or 613-930-0211.

There are resources available to anyone struggling with poverty that can be found on the City of Cornwall at

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