Surviving a cold winter in Canada – without proper shelter

As winter burns on (although, mildly in Toronto), the homeless and impoverished struggle to keep warm and find food. Wintertime in Canada is hard on all Canadians, but it is worse for people living without proper shelter and clothing.

Canada’s minimum wage ranges from around $10 to $15, varying from province to province. In recent years, there has been much movement towards increasing these rates as the cost of living in Canada soars and decent living standards become harder to achieve. Minimum wage in Canada is proven to be a liveable paycheque; if you are single, have no large debt, and live a strict financial ship. Once you begin to add children, university fees, and other financial burdens, it becomes harder to survive on the few dollars you are receiving. Statistics show that people living in poverty either work long hours for little pay or are reliant of Canada’s welfare system. It comes as no surprise to see unreliable jobs skyrocket 50% since the 90s. Canadians living in poverty are struggling for financial security

Although only 1 in 7 Canadians live in poverty, these statistics vary amongst different groups. For example, it is estimated that 50% of First Nations children live in poor conditions. Poverty and homelessness is an important focus for Canadians, as the cold weather makes it difficult to survive without shelter or food. Along with government aid, various independent non-profit groups have been established to cater to individual needs. Together, these organizations aim to make housing more affordable, keep employment steady, and help families provide for themselves.
With awareness on the rise of people less fortunate than ourselves, it is becoming easier to get involved. It is important to remember, that even if we aren’t living in poverty, it is still our problem. North America wastes enough food to feed the world of starving people. By wasting less and giving more, people who may not have much, can acquire the tools to get a secure job and provide for themselves consistently.

– Luise S.