People become stuck in difficult financial situations for many reasons.
The cost of living is expensive and always increasing, and some can no longer keep up.
It is important to remember that both people on social assistance and working individuals may struggle to afford healthy food for their families.
Below are stories of individuals in Niagara who are struggling to afford the basics:
Note: Names changed, but scenarios based upon actual experiences of Niagara residents.
Adapted with permission from: United Way of South Niagara & The Raft. (2012). Putting the Pieces Together Report.
"Poor health and poverty go hand in hand." - Community agency staff member
"Just because someone has a job does not mean that they are protected from poverty. 60% of our clients are classified as the working poor. Their income is not enough." - Community agency staff member
"Realistically everyone wants to eat healthy, but it’s very hard to make those consistent healthy choices when you don’t have enough income." - Community agency staff member
"Poverty is a reality for many people, it is in our community." - Community agency staff member
"Affordable housing is the most important thing people living in marginalized situations need. Those living in these situations are spending in the area of 30-40% of their income on their rent." - Community agency staff member
"Poverty creates constant and continuous barriers to service delivery." - Community outreach worker
"Poverty is not a choice, it is a systemic outcome created out of ignorance, neglect and fear or our neighbours, family and friends." - Community outreach worker
"Poverty can be viewed as a disease, with a pathology and preventative measures to stave it off." - Community outreach worker