(Illustration by Malika Favre)

It’s no secret that many struggle earning a ‘living wage’ in the city of Victoria.

But with minimum wage being $13.85/per hour and the city’s living wage calculated at $19.39/per hour, bridging that gap can be more difficult than ever for many families, and the risk of poverty can seem like a real possibility.

Children and families are most often affected by these circumstances, with 16% of children in Greater Victoria living in poverty.

Parents and guardians are often faced with impossible choices – like whether to put food on the table or to pay the rent. Poverty touches every aspect of a child’s life, making it difficult to get ahead and realize a life full of possibility.

Circumstances

At one time or another, a lot of people have been at risk of poverty – losing a job, dealing with an illness, struggling through a divorce or living situation change, or being a single parent can all create situations where income can become unstable – and affording basic needs becomes a daily challenge.

Abuse, inter-generational trauma, and lack of educational opportunities can also further impact the issues and make it hard to rise out of poverty.

Programs and supports

Working multiple jobs is often the only way to make ends meet in Victoria – many are already employed but unable to access higher wage positions due to an unfinished high school degree or absence of formal training.

Having a minimum-wage job or only part-time hours leaves little room for meeting a basic budget, and on the other end of the spectrum, working 35+ hours a week while still remaining below the poverty line is distressing, especially for those with families.

Sadly, many hard-working Victorians are only a paycheque away from not being able to pay the bills, afford nutritious food, or pay rent. Two or more months of no paycheques puts people at serious risk of poverty.

#UNIGNORABLE Issues

Along with child poverty, United Way’s #UNIGNORABLE campaign has shed a light on many other local issues not to be ignored, including:

social isolation;

domestic violence;

hunger;

mental health;

education inequality;

and homelessness

United Way’s #UNIGNORABLE campaign looks to solve unignorable issues – and it takes the entire community! You can show your local love by taking action and donating to United Way today.

United Way of Greater Victoria

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