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Rupnow

The Eau Claire County Poverty Summit met for its eighth and final session Thursday night to discuss its improvement goals surrounding poverty and income inequality.

“We are about to embark on the implementation phase,” said Ann Rupnow, board president of Clear Vision Eau Claire.

The Clear Vision Eau Claire-created summit aims to identify and take action on critical community issues in Eau Claire County. At the start of the summit last year, participants identified about 300 different issues but narrowed that list down to nine related to poverty and income inequality. At the final summit at Grace Lutheran Church, action teams assigned to each of those topics presented their overall goals and the next major step they’re working to achieve.

Action team topics include access to resources; children; education access; incarceration transition; food insecurity; mental health access; housing, income and job skills; and stigma and public narrative.

Many of the teams said compiling a list existing resources related to their topic will help community members better navigate available help. Teams also suggested using that list to identify resource gaps.

“Our plan is to connect families to resources surrounding the educational system,” said Ashley St. Aubin-Clark, a coach for the education access action team. “One of our big fears is that families don’t have knowledge of this wide, winding, turning educational system ... There’s a lot of jargon surrounding it. Helping to make this path a little easier is the goal of our team.”

While Thursday’s meeting was the last in the series, Clear Vision Eau Claire will continue to support the action teams throughout the year, according to a news release from the organization. Two separate committees — one with representatives from each team — will help with overseeing projects and connecting teams to existing data and local expertise.

Contact: 715-830-5828, lauren.french@ecpc.com, @LaurenKFrench on Twitter