Today, approximately three million Canadians, or one in 10 people, live in poverty. The Salvation Army recognizes that poverty is a critical issue, and that everyone has a right to access basic necessities such as nutritious food, health care, education and economic opportunity.
The effects of poverty are quite serious and deserve our attention:
- It requires people to make painful choices between necessities, such as paying the rent or feeding the kids, going to the dentist or buying a monthly bus pass.
- It often leads to hunger or unhealthy eating, poor health, interrupted schooling, homelessness or poor quality housing, substance abuse, crime, violence and despair.
- Those who experience poverty have a shorter lifespan, and often suffer physically and emotionally.
- Those who live in poverty often require higher than average use of publicly funded programs like welfare, hospitals, police and correctional services which increases taxes.