These are the final four of our twelve recommendations for provincial candidates:
C. GIVING DIGNITY
People experiencing homelessness rely on the system at times to provide basic necessities of food, clothing, income, and places to be. Therefore, we offer the following recommendations:
- The current social assistance rates provide an income at less than half the Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs). A dignified social assistance rate would require an immediate increase of 43% to bring us back on track with rates prior to 1995 cuts.
- Nutrition support for people experiencing homelessness is greatly dependent on the charities and faith communities in our city. Food banks require provincial support at a minimum of funds matched to those provided by private donors.
- When a person is living homeless, they lack private spaces in which they can live, love, and be. Drop-in centres must be considered an integral component of supporting people through difficult times, particularly in our harsh climate. Provincial support of drop-in centres could be accomplished by matching existing federal HPS funding.
- More and more, we are finding people who are homeless who are also employed. Increases of the minimum wage are key to addressing this issue, and need to be continued, annually, indefinitely.