Lethbridge poverty report discussed at SACPA
A new report outlines the grim stats of child poverty here in our city. A report from the Social Health Equity Network of Lethbridge and Area says poverty remains a big issue in our city. In 2019, over 15 per cent of children and youth in our region were living in low income. Child poverty rates were highest for children living in single parent households, and Indigenous homes.
Sharon Yanicki, the spokesperson for SHENLA says this is a huge issue in our city that needs to be addressed. She also cited a Calgary report that said in 2012, the cost of poverty in Alberta was estimated to be between $7-9.5 billion per year. Adjusted for inflation, the cost of poverty in 2022 would now be between $8.4-11.4 billion per year.
“And so we need to understand that poverty is having impacts and costs across the healthcare system, social services, across policing, across all sorts of sectors in our society. And so it’s not just the cost of helping people who are on social assistance. It’s a cost that we bear, all of us bear across the whole system.”
Yanicki says here in Lethbridge, a living wage is currently 19 dollars an hour, while minimum wage is sitting at 15 dollars an hour.