"Poverty is the new normal."
According to a press release sent out by the City of Calgary, there's a shocking number of people living below Calgary’s poverty line.
Calling this crisis “the new normal,” the data reads that there are currently over 189,000 people living below the poverty line.
This means that over 12% of residents cannot meet their basic needs and apparently, these numbers come from before the pandemic event started.
We know that poverty isn't just about income
Meaghon Reid, Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Calgary.
Reid calls this a “new reality” and admits that while COVID-19 has presented challenges it has also presented the opportunity to accelerate the city's poverty reduction strategy.
It's estimated that 15,000 new affordable housing units are needed and by 2025, that number will rise to more than 100,000.
Literacy rates are also an indication of poverty and according to the city, reading rates continue to drop among youth in Calgary.
In addition to this, almost one in seven Canadians are reporting food insecurity and mental health conners continue to remain high as COVID-19 continues.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi has declared October as End Poverty Month and is aiming to raise awareness of poverty and poverty reduction within Calgary.