Poverty….Not Our Problem…Or Is It?

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Some answers to why poverty is our problem:

Canadians waste over $31 million in food a year. This is at the same time household food insecurity, inadequate or insecure access to food because of financial constraints, is a significant social and public health problem in Canada.

In 2011, 1.6 million Canadian households, or slightly more than 12%, experienced some level of food insecurity. This amounts to nearly one in eight households, and 3.9 million individuals in Canada, including 1.1 million children.

There were 450,000 more Canadians living in households affected by food insecurity in 2011 than in 2008

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In Northern communities food costs can be astronomical. I can buy this same bag of rice for $3 at the dollarstore in my city. How often does food get thrown out by one home when another is starving for it.

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Approximately 40 percent of Canadians believe that homeless people want to live on the street and in shelters.

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• 35 percent of Canadians believe that if homeless people really want to work, they can always find a job.

The CPA said the survey found that more than half of employees — 51 per cent — would find it difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque were delayed by a single week. That was up from an average of 49 per cent over the past three years.

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It is hard to apply for jobs when you have no address to put on your resume, no phone number for them to contact you, or at least not one you can keep connected consistently and no place to sleep, eat or shower. How do you even get the interview let alone meet the requirements of a job when you do not have the necessities of life.

  • 37 percent believe that there is really nothing I can do to help homeless people.

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• More than one-third of Canadians believe that there is more than enough help for homeless people.

  • 1 in 8 Canadian households struggle to put food on the table.
  • 62% of children living in the North are food insecure.
  • 374, 698 Ontarians visited food banks in March 2014.
  • 2 out of every 5 Northern households are food insecure.
    • The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has described the lack of a national housing and homelessness strategy in Canada as a “national emergency”.
    • Three-quarters of Yukon’s population live in Whitehorse where the average price of housing increased 80% over six years.
    • Estimates place the number of homeless individuals living with a disability or mental illness as high as 45% of the overall homeless population.
    • In Toronto, there were 5,219 people who were homeless in 2013 (the latest available data). Roughly half of the homeless population were on wait lists for affordable housing during the same period.

    Child Poverty: The number or percentage of people under the age of 18 living in poverty

    • 546,000 children across the country live in conditions of poverty.

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• Almost a quarter of Canadians believe that homeless people are not interested in obtaining housing.

  • 3.3 million Canadian households are precariously housed (living in unaffordable, below standards, and/or overcrowded housing conditions).
  • Over 200,000 people in Canada experience homelessness each year; as many as 1.3 million Canadians have experienced homelessness over the last 5 years.
  • Almost 1 in every 5 households experience serious housing affordability issues (spending over 50% of their income on rent) which puts them at risk of homelessness.

• 19 percent believe that individuals in Canada who are experiencing homelessness still have it pretty good.

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• Nearly one-fifth of Canadians believe that homeless people are always to blame for the situation they are in.

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• 17 percent of Canadians think people are homeless because they are lazy.

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