Help Make Poverty #UNIGNORABLE

Poverty has many faces. It could be the small child who comes to school hungry or stays at school late every day because their parents are both working and no child care is available. A university graduate who drives a taxi part time due to lack of opportunities in their field. Parents of a disabled child who have to be at home each day to care for them and struggle to pay their rent each month. A senior whose retirement does not cover more than rent and basic meals. Or a newcomer to the city who is struggling to find work and adjust to their new country.

Circumstances

Most of us, at one time or another, have been at risk for poverty. Losing a job, dealing with an illness, struggling through a divorce or living situation change, or being a single parent can all create situations where income can become insecure and affording basic needs becomes a daily challenge. Additionally, abuse, inter-generational trauma, the effects of colonialism on Indigenous people, and lack of educational opportunities can further compound the issues and make it hard to rise out of poverty.

Programs and supports

With a minimum wage of $13.85 per hour and a living wage calculated at $19.39 per hour in Victoria, working multiple jobs is often the only way to make ends meet. The common advice of ‘go find a job’ does not help those who are already employed but unable to  access higher wage positions due to an unfinished high school degree or absence of formal training. Having a minimum wage job or lack of full-time hours leaves little room for meeting a basic budget. Working 35+ hours a week while still remaining below the poverty line is distressing, especially for those with families.

Sadly, many hard working local residents are only a paycheque away from not being able to pay the bills, afford nutritious food, or pay rent. Two or more months of no paycheques puts people at serious risk of poverty.

14%

Is Victoria’s poverty rate

71%

BC’s poor are adults between the ages of 18-64. Approximately 1 out of 5 of the poor in BC are children.

1 in 4

Victoria residents spend more than half of their income on rent.

13 x

The average income of the top 10% of families was 13 times the income of the bottom 10%. BC is the most unequal of all provinces.

Help solve this issue.

There are so many ways you can do local good in your community—right here, right now. Even the smallest actions have the power to change someone’s life. Doing local good is all about helping people who might be struggling. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger, or a coordinated effort to raise money for good at your workplace. By taking action, you’re helping put an end to some of the biggest issues in Greater Victoria —including mental illness, domestic violence, and poverty. You’re showing your belief that everyone deserves to live a great life in a great place. You are a champion for your community.

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Success Stories

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