The Niagara Prosperity Initiative uses a neighbourhood-based approach as specific poverty issues and community dynamics vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
Research shows that strong neighbourhoods are ones that engage residents and are essential to healthy, safe and prosperous communities. Niagara Prosperity Initiative uses defined neighbourhoods to focus funding in areas that require attention.
The defined neighbourhoods were identified through work done in 2006 where an Ontario Early Years Data Analysis Coordinator facilitated community focus group sessions across the twelve municipalities. At these sessions participants looked at maps to determine neighbourhood boundaries - consensus was reached in all sessions and 74 neighbourhoods in Niagara were identified and named.
The Niagara Neighbourhood Mapping Tool:
◾Uses defined neighbourhoods
◾Uses municipal and not regional averages as baseline
◾Matches areas of need with existing resources
◾Identifies neighbourhoods in need of attention
Examples of Niagara Prosperity Initiative Projects
◾Before and after-school programs for children and youth
◾Reading/literary programs for children and parents
◾Food and nutrition programs
◾Neighbourhood engagement to identify needs and develop local solutions to poverty
◾Mental health counselling
◾Leadership development programs for youth
◾Health promotion programs
◾Food, clothing and transportation support