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Social Work
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Poverty and Homelessness – January 10, 2013 SEE SLIDESHOW NOTES ONLINE - Living wage vs. minimum wage - Poverty Stereotypes - Poverty and homelessness are different yet the same - Starting in the 1980s it was clear that homelessness referred to a poverty that includes being unhoused. It is a poverty that means being without required social supports. And it is poverty so deep that even poor-quality housing is not affordable. Canada has aways had many people living in poverty. In the 1980s more and more people were not only poor, but also found themselves unhoused – David Hulkhanski - Deep poverty leads to homelessness – homeless people are always poor, poor people aren’t always homeless - To meet a minimum standard of living people need three things:  Housing  Income  Support services - The more the government pays attention to income, the less radical it needs to be in housing policies. If they aren’t paying attention to income realities then there is homelessness and they have to address this. It costs more to shelter someone in a homeless shelter for the night than to address poverty before it reaches homelessness - If income is addressed, people will still be poor but at least they will be housed - Same how all problems tend to bleed into one another – that the poor/the homeless are less healthy - Our inattention to poverty services can lead to homelessness - Seeing homelessness as the natural outcome of the way we have organized our housing system and social institutions operate Poverty in Canada Jan 17 Poverty is pain Physical: long work hrs, little food Emotion: humiliations from dependency and lack of power Moral pain: forced to make choices -experience of material and social deprivation that prevents you from reaching your full human and social potential Social exclusion: lack or resources, rights, goods and services and inability to participate in normal relationships and activities Social determinants of health: economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals, and communities. They include iincome and income distribution, food security, and the social safety net Poverty is a level of income Falls below some standard of adequacy in relation to Median income (half of incomes are above, half are below) A market basket of goods The proportion of money spend on necessities compared to average families Global measure of poverty: those living on a dollar a day Why study poverty? Anyone can be susceptible Impacts children’s development Affects everyone’s health \ DEFINITIONS FOR OECD DATA • Poverty line: income falls below 50% of median income • Poverty rate; the percentage of the population that falls below the poverty line • Poverty gap: the percentage by which the income falls below the poverty line Canada’s poverty rate higher than most countries but gap better (2000) Canada has a higher poverty rate higher than the average and also now has a larger poverty gap, grew by 6% in a decade..from early 2000-late 2000s Canada spends more than average on healthcare and less than average on social expenditures Single, unattached of working age households are growing fastest Loss of manufacturing jobs in Ham greatest sector to see change ie Welland 6-12 factories closed..may not have any left The rise in poverty among single unattached adults Poverty is dropping among lone parents (since mid 1990s) Due to ie national child benefits Little progress for two parent families and couples with no children Child poverty has been reduced Feb 7 Anti poverty programs and strategies Principals for the standard rate of pay Adequacy, fairness, financial incentive to work Minimum wage would be used as reference wage ‘basic measure of adequacy’ to serve as benchmark for determining cost of living Less eligibility From 1800s Worked and were paid for less than other workers Influenced by moral underclass discourse You should be worse off on social assistance than working minimum wage Approaches to income security Universal social programs – avail. to all Social insurance Targeted programs Means or needs tested Based on your total needs and what resources available Income tested Based on income Income support for children and families Canada child tax benefit National child benefit supplement For working poor families...those on social assistance get clawed back...reduced Ontario child benefit Universal child care benefit GST credit Working income tax credit 2 needs tested income support for children and families OW + ODSP Income Security for the Elderly Universal Basic Minimum Old Age Security Guaranteed Income Supplement Spousal Allowance Social Insurance CPP/QPP Private Plans Occupational Pensions Private Savings ie RRSPs Provincial Poverty Reduction Bill 152 Child poverty reduction plan Poverty Reduction Invest in affordable housing or rent supplement Access to medication for all low income households Vs Drug Card Benefit (only if on income assistance) Universal $7 a day child care Increased minimum wage Community investment Shortcomings in current poverty reduction efforts Increases to minimum wage and social assistance is minimal and benefits quickly eroded by increases in costs of living Focus on poverty among families and children, not single attached who are the rising poor pop. Reformist approach ignores structural issues – not with issues of race and gender From immediate to structural Treat ill people (health bus) Reduce illness (school breakie program) Reduce vulnerabilities (universal chi
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