Child Homelessness Continues to be a Concern in Edmonton
With National Housing Month bringing the issue of access to affordable housing to the forefront of our city’s concerns, The Edmonton Social Planning Council, Public Interest Alberta, and Alberta College of Social Workers provided a recent report on child poverty that brings another issue to our attention, focusing on children who face homelessness within Canada. The report highlights how the Government can help to end child and family poverty in our country. Right at Home Housing Society has prided itself in serving large families and providing safe and affordable housing to enable our youth to grow up with the stability of a permanent home. Highlights from the report below remind us of the important role housing plays in reducing child poverty.
Number of Children Facing Poverty in Edmonton
The report outlines that 14.1% of children aged 0-5 years old are experiencing poverty in Edmonton. Right at Home Housing Society believes that no child should have to face poverty in our city, and further, that the number of children who do is unacceptable.
A Greater Need for Affordable Housing
As of 2016, the report shows that 36% of households in Alberta are spending 30% or more of their income on housing. In addition, the average cost for daycare in Edmonton is $875/month, which makes a comfortable lifestyle unattainable for many of these families who wish to improve their financial situation through employment. The Government has committed $1.2 billion in the next five years towards developing or rebuilding more affordable housing units, and we hope to see this reduce the number of families who continue to spend large portions of their income on housing.
High Living Cost Means Lower Food Security
A survey conducted in 2016 by Food Banks Canada showed that 39.3% of food bank users are under the age of 17. Furthermore, the living wage in Edmonton for a family of four was calculated at $16.31; this means a family making the current minimum wage will be unable to live in economic stability and maintain a modest standard of living.
In spirit of National Housing Month, Right at Home Housing Society would like to stress the importance of a safe, affordable home for both individuals and families. We believe strongly that the foundation of a good home will set a child up for success in their future. Please watch Finn’s story below, made in partnership with Old Saw Productions, as a reminder of how it starts with home, and why we are so excited to do the work we do.
If you would like to help children within Edmonton, you can do so by donating to our Housing Development Fund. Especially as we enter the holiday season, it is important to remember that no child should ask the question ‘Where would I stay tonight if I couldn’t go home?’