Poverty Amongst Calgarians

Calgary’s Poverty numbers are increasing with today’s economy; there are measurements that need to be taken to reduce these numbers.

Karen Begg is a full time Sculpture Technician and a small business owner.

Begg is a very involved member of her community and surrounding area.

She is apart of nine different associations with in the communities and is the founder of Dover’s Free Little Library.

Begg contributes financially to some local charities every month to help with poverty.

“I spend my free time at local charities helping and will donate money when I can,” said Begg.

Begg feels that some areas are worse than others when it comes to poverty.

According to her research Calgary has the average income of $92,000 per annum.

She also found that the Greater Forest Lawn (GFL) community has less than $50,000 annum.

Begg is not the only helpful hand in the community; she pairs with the community to plant community gardens.

“We plant gardens in communities, everyone helps maintain them and then we share the product we grow amongst the communities in need,” said Begg

Begg says, that poverty can happen for any reasons the saddest being illness.

She would love to see people go farther with their education to get better paying careers.

“If people had the opportunity to make more money we may see there to be a decline in poverty, said Begg.

Begg has a big concern for poverty among the senior population.

She often sees seniors struggling to pay for their food or using community services.

Begg’s acquaintance Hughina Hewey is one of many seniors who struggle month to month.

Hewey says she lives on a very small budget each month.

Hughina Hewey, 75, of Calgary, Alta. A local senior citizen.

“My Canada pension is not very much, I can barely afford rent,” said Hewey.

Hewey explained her struggles are mainly because rent is more than half her monthly pay.

Hewey says that before her husband became ill they never seemed to have a struggle.

Since he fell ill 10 years ago they have struggles just to obtain everyday necessities.

“Thankfully my daughter often helps me get through each month,” said Hewey.

She struggles to buy enough food for herself and husband.

“I use the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank often, I utilize as many resources possible but still find myself to struggle,” said Hewey.

Marie Robson is a 21-year-old woman who spends her time working at the stampede grounds.

Robson lives in the Greater forest Lawn area with her mom.

She struggles with some medical issues and often finds herself asking for help to get each prescription.

Although her mom still helps support her she still struggles getting through each month with money.

“Sometimes I borrow money from my mom or grandma so I can afford to a new pair of shoes or my required medication,” said Robson

She struggles to have a full week of shifts because there are so many people that also need shifts too.

With the economy right now its difficult to even find a second job, I am not ready for school either, really I am just stuck,” said Robson.

“Poverty sucks and I wish I could do more for us all,” said Robson

Begg also mentioned that the community does not only see one age group of poverty.

She says often time’s teens or young adults become homeless because they get into drugs or have a falling out with their family.

Begg believes that one day sooner or later we will see a large decrease in poverty numbers and that it will be a turning point for society.

“One day poverty will become history and when it does our society will be stronger, said Begg.

 

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