The Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) was founded in 1997 in Saint John, New Brunswick by civic minded business leaders and professionals who wanted to move beyond charity and substantially reduce poverty in Saint John.
Over the years, BCAPI has attracted a large number of professionals, businesses, community organizations and individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to initiatives that are reducing poverty in the city. In fact, more than 20 years of concentrated community effort has reaped many successes. The overall poverty level in the City of Saint John has dropped from 20% to 13%. However, the child poverty rate has remained stubbornly high at 30%, a signal of generational poverty and our need to focus on breaking the cycle and helping every child succeed.
In its primary role, BCAPI is a catalyst for change, leveraging the skills, resources and influence of it members and partners to help change the outcomes for those living in a cycle of poverty.
BCAPI focuses on increasing opportunities for children, youth and single-parents living in poverty to succeed in school and achieve employment that pays a decent wage. Second to this, is ensuring there are adequate resources in low-income neighbourhoods and schools to help low-income families improve their well-being, work toward economic self-sufficiency, and feel valued as contributing members of a vibrant community.
BCAPI knows that if you can help children succeed from Cradle to Career you can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
BCAPI contributes business and professional leadership, skills and resources to specific community initiatives. It also advocates for the projects that help children, youth and young families to overcome the barriers to achieving their full potential. Its members are business leaders and professionals who believe poverty can be substantially reduced if the community’s leadership focuses on this common goal and works with all sectors to achieve change.
Poverty is a complex challenge that negatively affects communities. In Saint John, the level of BCAPI engagement of local business leaders in this issue has caused other cities, governments and non-profits from across Canada to pay attention. Business leaders and professionals are rolling up their sleeves and digging deep to help children and their families succeed in life.
You too, can contribute to Saint John’s poverty reduction strategy.