Poverty is a simple word, but affects all of us in many ways: from mental health, to housing, physical health to childhood, the range of damage from poverty is wide spread and often affects the most vulnerable people in our society. The tools we provide, help people to have the strength to deal with challenges in their lives and to overcome difficulties.
- Helped 2,172 low income individuals’ complete 2,971 tax returns
- 61% of survey respondents said they would not have been able to complete their taxes on their own
- Launched a Volunteer Advocacy Program to assist individuals to access government benefits
- 165 people were assisted in applying for Income Assistance (double the previous year)
- 530 people were assisted in applying/appealing for disability benefits
- 3,708 bags of clothing distributed and 436 laundry/shower facilities provided to women in need
- Helped over 2,800 people improve their awareness of benefits and housing options through sharing of information, resources and referrals.
- Helped 185 people successfully appeal their Income Assistance and PWD benefit claims. ( 98% success rate)
- 212 people were helped to access other benefits including crisis and moving supplements, medical supplies and damage deposits.
- Successful in preventing 119 people/families from becoming homeless
- 105 people were assisted off the street to find housing
- 16,213 food hampers from Sources South Surrey/White Rock Food bank were distributed to 1,764 clients
- 136 tons of food were donated to the Food bank including 4.7 tons of produce from community gardens
- Launched the Sources Langley Food bank in October 2014. Serving close to 400 individuals per distribution day
- 6,953 hot meals were provided to women and families in a safe welcoming setting
- 96% of 47 survey respondents felt that the hot lunch program at Women’s Place saved them money
- BC has had one of the highest poverty rates in Canada for the last 13 years. The child poverty rate in BC is 18.6%
- Most people who live in poverty have a job.
- BC has one of the lowest minimum wages in Canada, and the highest cost of living
- 16% of seniors who live alone in Surrey are living in poverty
- A single parent with one child, working full time all year at minimum wage ($10.25/hr) earns $8,000 below the poverty line
- There are insufficient community supports to provide access to affordable and healthy food for those in need
- Food Banks in BC help feed 97,000 people every month but receive zero dollars in government funding
- In 2011 in BC, the average cost of the nutritious food basket for a family of four was $868.43 per month
- Those earning minimum wage, or on welfare struggle to find ways to purchase healthy food as well as meet their other basic survival needs.
- Housing costs in the Lower Mainland are unaffordable for many, particularly low income or social assistance recipients.
- Welfare rate of $610 a month (single person) does not cover average housing costs let alone other survival needs
- Average monthly rent in metro Vancouver for a bachelor unit is $876 and $1005 for a one bedroom.
- In Metro Vancouver 45% of renters spend over 30% of their income on housing
“I was so upset because everything and every corner was a dead end. The [welfare worker] told me, ‘You’re falling in the cracks. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do for you.’” Before Nick left, they gave him a name–“something called Rent Bank.”
“We had no place to go, we were living cheque by cheque,” Debbie said. “[Sources] helped us out a lot. [They] put us in contact with the people we needed to at the time, and now that I’ve come full circle, I’m here to help the people who don’t know how, to ask for help. That’s why I’m standing here today. For all those people out there who don’t have a voice, I can stand here and say, I know where, I can help you!”
“They were very sympathetic and tried everything to help me out. It really amazed me. We’d like to thank Sources Rent Bank for changing our life.”
We have a number of programs and initiatives geared to providing relief to the weight of poverty. These programs include: