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2020: It hit those experiencing (and more likely to experience) poverty harder

Posted: Jun 24, 2021

We Need to Prioritize Ending Poverty in All Economic Actions


Though we don’t have full reporting from 2020 available yet--we’ve all seen the alarming proxy data we do have. I’ll call your attention to a couple of things highlighted by the image below:

  1. The Community Bridge eviction support program quadrupled its applications last year, and more than doubled their loan amount. Many of those applying now are from lower-middle class backgrounds.

  2. Food security work has more than tripled and extensive distribution of funds and food have been happening over the last year or more -- increased food security is often seen as the canary in the coalmine for housing crisis, as a food budget is the first place a person can quickly cut costs.

Many speculate these trends will continue for 3 to 5 years as those on the edge of poverty exhaust their own personal financial resilience before being eligible for other supports.

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As we look at the economic impacts, we cannot dismiss the fact that in 2020 - 20,600 women fell out of the workforce and that in the middle of 2020, Edmonton had seen a 43% drop in available childcare spaces. We don’t have any recent data to know the degree to which this is recovering.

In Calgary, a fall 2020 projection suggested that an additional 75,000 people in that City fell into poverty in that city that year. We have no reason to think it’s any different in Edmonton.

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