Social Planning Council of Cambridge & North Dumfries  
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Rural Poverty


In the rural townships, challenges experiences by individuals, children, and families experiencing poverty are not unique to rural areas but are accentuated by the geography and scarcity of resources. It is the Rural Realities Network’s (Network) belief that the approach taken to address poverty will need to address these challenges specifically.


The purpose of the Rural Realities Network is to provide a vehicle through which to leverage the work of the various agencies, organization and outreach workers working in each townships by identifying themes and issues that are creating barriers to peoples’ ability to move forward.

The Network works collaboratively across the four rural townships to:


  • Develop a collective understanding of issues, reflect on possible solutions and take action to reduce poverty;
  • Be an authentic voice for rural issues and to be recognized as the “go to” body for rural issues
  • To be known so others can seek out the group for input; to act as a body to be consulted
  • An advisory group to support rural Family Outreach Workers and other rural issues
  • To be a place to support rural agencies
  • Reduce duplication and increase efficiencies
  • Increase knowledge of services available across the 4 townships
  • Help reduce poverty in the rural townships

Rural Forum

April 7, 2016 the Rural Realities network hosted the first Rural Poverty Forum. The event focused on the four rural townships in Waterloo Region and how poverty in these areas stays hidden.


For the 1st Rural Forum Highlights please click here.


Below you will find the infographics highlighting poverty in each township.

North Dumfries





To read the 2018 Rural Youth and Young Adult Wellbeing Assessment for North Dumfries, Wilmot, Wellesley and Woolwich Townships click here.   This report was prepared by Woolwich Community Health Centre in partnership with Wilmot Family Resource Centre, Langs, Woolwich Community Services and the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries.