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Facing poverty

Many people in our community don’t have easy or affordable access to basic banking services, and it’s difficult to participate fully in community life without it. We believe basic financial education and services are essential to our members to build economic self-reliance. At Vancity, we work directly and with community partners to support people to get this access.

The path from poverty to self-reliance

Vancity’s Asset Building Path – adapted from the Credit Path model developed by Alternatives Federal Credit Union from Ithaca, New York (USA) – presents four steps that individuals take on the path from poverty to economic self-reliance, along with the products, services and community partnerships that will help them get there. We also support the Asset Building Path by providing access to financial literacy education for people who want and need it.

The path begins with basic banking – getting a bank account – through learning how to save and invest, build credit and pay off loans, and finally, owning assets. Click on individual steps on the Asset Building Path below to learn more about each step.

Self Reliance Pathway Basic Banking Savings & Investments Credit & Debt Ownership Financial Literacy Education

Wondering how the Asset Building Path works for real people? Read our stories on Bob and Agatha:

  • Bob, a 44-year old casual construction worker who has suffered from depression and is a recovering alcoholic. He’s been clean for a year, has a decent place to live, and is ready for a better life.
  • Agatha is a 29-year old immigrant who arrived in Vancouver with Canadian government assistance after several years in a refugee camp in a war-torn country.

Financial products and services to help people build better lives

Vancity offers a range of products and services for low-income and marginalized individuals and communities to gain access to the financial services they need. Many organizations are doing groundbreaking and inspiring work to help individuals in our neighbourhoods to break the cycle of poverty. To support that work, we provide grants to organizations that are helping people in our communities take steps forward on the path to economic self-reliance.

Learn more about Vancity’s products, services and grants to support action on poverty: