United Way of the Lower Mainland

United Way of the Lower Mainland

November 03, 2015 13:00 ET

Could You Live on $1,600 a Month in Vancouver?

First Online Poverty Simulation Tool Released Across Canada

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 3, 2015) - One in 6 people in Greater Vancouver live in poverty. This means that for nearly 18% of our neighbours, every day is a struggle with hunger, stress, isolation and worry.

Make the Month is an interactive digital poverty simulation that has been designed to help Canadians understand and experience what it's like to live at or below the poverty line and face decisions that will either make or break the month.

Try it now at www.makethemonth.ca. Choose Vancouver from the drop-down menu and hit "start." You can choose to simulate the life of a single person, single parent or family living at or below the poverty line. Participants are given a budget and forced to make choices while living pay cheque to pay cheque trying to #makethemonth. Difficult choices include paying the increased rent on your apartment or moving; buying fast food or more expensive nutritious food; or paying for car insurance or just risking it. The choices are meant to illustrate some of the difficult choices that 1 in 6 people in Greater Vancouver make every day. The tool also helps people learn about some of the resources and services that exist for vulnerable people many funded by United Way of the Lower Mainland.

"The concern over Canada's low income individuals and families is understandable. These are hardworking people struggling to meet their basic needs - from paying rent to putting food on the table. Make the Month is a tool that gives us insight into the barriers to success for these low-income Canadians," says Todd Hirsch, Chief economist with ATB Financial and spokesperson for Make the Month.

"Poverty is a complex social issue. Not only does it get in the way of meeting basic human needs - needs such as access to nutritious food, stable and safe housing, and clothing - it also marginalizes children and families. At United Way, we work to ensure that people have the basics so they can move from poverty to possibility and build better lives for themselves," says Michael McKnight, President & CEO, United Way of the Lower Mainland.

November 3, 2015 has been declared National Make the Month day. Join our twitter campaign and tweet, share or post your experience using #makethemonth.

Make the month was made possible with help from Imperial, in collaboration with Park Digital and 12 United Way's from across the country. Make the Month is available nation-wide.

*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 $19,307 (Statstics Canada, 2011).

Contact Information

  • United Way of the Lower Mainland
    Jennifer Young
    604.268.1333
    Cell: 604.309.3937
    jennifery@uwlm.ca