The Elgin St. Thomas Coalition to End Poverty formed as a result of conversations within Bridges out of Poverty St. Thomas Elgin. Bridges Out of Poverty St. Thomas Elgin is a group of committed community leaders and volunteers whose mission is to eliminate poverty by uniting the strengths and passions of those living in St. Thomas & Elgin County. In 2015, Bridges out of Poverty St. Thomas Elgin appointed a small working group to further investigate interest in a comprehensive poverty coalition to tackle the root causes of poverty and commit towards eliminating poverty entirely.
In October 2016, planning tables of community leaders across St. Thomas Elgin were invited to come together to talk further about what could be done. Subsequently, a group of about 25 agencies and community citizens met two additional times, December 2016 and January 2017 to establish and inform a Steering Committee. The local YWCA and Public Health Unit agreed to provide backbone services and the Steering Committee met for the first time officially on February 15th, 2017.