Poverty in London is a real and continuous issue. Uneducated families are unable to afford an adequate and sustainable lifestyle.
The Salvation Army Centre of Hope is a non profit organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and addiction.
“The numbers are not decreasing whatsoever. We’re seeing the number stay pretty even across the board and there is a lot of people that we see coming into our food banks that are low income families that are just trying to get through the week putting food on their table,” said Shannon Wise, the Public Relations and Development Representative.
Every morning, 1 of 7 children go to school hungry. People on welfare receive about $710 per month and those with physical disabilities receive $1,133 monthly.
In 2016, the city of London had the highest rate of 11.8% for the low-income rate after tax. In comparison, the provincial rate was 11.1% and the national 11.4%.
“Education. We are seeing older adults going back to school, so that’s one way people are trying to fight the cycle of poverty by going back and getting an education. For government purposes making that affordable seems to be one of the main issues at the forefront,” said Shannon Wise.
Wise also mentions another factor that could be the reason behind those in poverty
“We see people who suffer from addiction, so addiction can be a reason that people are struggling in life and struggling to find their place,” she added.
People going through tough situations are more vulnerable to struggle with resisting to spend the little money they have to satisfy addictions.
“we see people coming through our doors that have an addiction problem and drugs, things like alcohol those are definitely a problem that we do see and we are trying to help any of those people who are coming through our door looking, but that’s the main challenge sometimes is that those individuals who are suffering from that problem they have to be the ones who want help,” said Wise.
London is a welcoming city. Help is given to anybody who needs it, not mattering who they are, or where they come from.
“Anyone who comes through our doors, as the salvation army, we accept all people regardless of their religion, or their gender, or their socioeconomic status. Whatever it is, we are open to everybody.
Having balance and being open minded is the key to overcome any situation. Those seeking comfort can also find the way out spiritually
“Yes, we are a christian faith based organization, but we never turn anyone away. As the salvation army, we are taught to accept everybody and that’s exactly what us and our employees do and our wonderful volunteers.”