Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Basic Needs are Becoming a Challenge to Meet for Many Calgarians

According to Wikipedia "Basic needs" refers to those fundamental requirements that serve as the foundation for survival. Access to the basic needs of life, including shelter, food, and clothing is necessary to the development of a strong community and a necessary precursor to individual self-sufficiency.

Calgary’s Living Wage Action Team determined an individual working full time (35 hours per week, 52 weeks a year) needs a minimum of $18.15/hour without benefits to earn a living wage. Nation wide minimum wage ranges from its lowest in PEI at $10.45 to its highest to $12.50, meaning Alberta, up until October when minimum wage jumped from $10.20 to $11.20,  had the lowest on the country.

A good example of the repercussions of low wages, unemployment and / or a downward spiral of an economy is a place like the Calgary Food Bank getting more than 6000 calls per month for help, The larger problem however, according to Statistics Canada is that approximately one million people in Canada earn a wage that does no allow them to meet their basic needs. With persons under 25 and women from 25 to 54 accounting for 81% of minimum-wage workers, young people, single mothers and children are the most greatly affected.

What this all boils down to is the the non-profit sector is a vital necessity to the structure of our city. By extension, the non-profit sector is an important contributor to the economic health of the nation. In the end, this is what CIES stands for and we have been very proud to play our small part over the last 30 years. Further still, as our Community Investor Series trumpets. the non-profit sector of Calgary is a family of caregivers, helping those who need it most, however and wherever we can. Each has its own story, its own passion, All of us here at CIES strive towards collaboration with our non-profit family, as in the end we are all here to help those who need it most, and by extension, help in making Calgary the best city in can possibly be for all who live here.

Not sure what basic needs are? CLICK HERE to take a brief quiz.

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