VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - October 06, 2016) - One in 6 people living in the Lower Mainland lives at or below the poverty line. This means that nearly 20% of our population faces challenges in meeting basic needs such as housing, food, transportation and health care.
Even with a job, families are struggling to make the month here in one of the most expensive cities in the world. There are an estimated 100,000 working poor across the region, people who are working but still living below the poverty line.
United Way has developed an interactive online poverty simulator to raise awareness of what it's like to live in poverty and how United Way can help. Visit makethemonth.ca and choose to simulate the life of a single person, single-parent family or two-parent family living at or below the poverty line. You will be given a monthly budget and have to make difficult choices while you live paycheque-to-paycheque and try to make ends meet.
"When you're living in poverty, it's not just a lack of financial resources that is the problem, it's also a lack of available choices," said Michael McKnight, President & CEO, United Way of the Lower Mainland. "Poverty is a complex social issue. When families can't get enough food to meet basic needs there are ripple effects -- like poor physical health, anxiety and depression. United Way works to ensure that people have the basics so they can move out of poverty and build better lives for themselves."
There are 12 United Ways participating across the country. Share your experiences with us using the hashtag #makethemonth.
*Statistic Canada's low income cut-off is a threshold below which a family devotes a larger share of its income on the necessities of food, shelter and clothing than the average family. The low income cut-off after tax (LICO) for an individual living in a metropolitan area in Canada, like Greater Vancouver, is $19,774 (Statistics Canada, 2011). For a family of four, that figure is $37,387.