Fairview FCSS on assisting the homeless

Fairview FCSS on assisting the homeless

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Stereotypes are all too common when it comes to the homeless; negative perceptions make things worse for those who need help.

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Higher prices across the country mean even low-income earners are at risk of becoming homeless.

In the winter season, homelessness means navigating the day through temperatures that sometimes drop to minus forty degrees. Emergency shelters are becoming more crowded, which means diseases can spread more easily.

Homelessness is a very complicated problem that we don’t see very often in Fairview, maybe a few times a year with more of it year for sure. Otherwise It’s often a hidden problem in the community when people are couch surfing [for example]”, says Fairview Family and Community Services (FCSS) Coordinator Faro Taug.

Because of mental health or addiction issues, homeless people often don’t have ID, phones, or personal records, Taug says. “I can put them on the phone here, but the government’s only emergency financial support comes from the income support program.”

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To apply for this, someone must provide documents such as an ID card, three months of bank statements and current taxes. It may take several days to receive the funds once approved.

If someone takes any other type of assistance, they cannot be eligible for the income support program.

“If you live on a reservation, you cannot apply for income support. You must contact your band office for financial assistance.”

Taug says there isn’t much that can be done for immediate, same-day assistance

“It becomes complicated when they are not honest about their situation or believe they do not need any help other than immediate financial support. As a result in many cases They get frustrated with the process and move on before they can even get help.”

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There are inherent gaps in service for the homeless, Taug says.

“However, no program can give out funds to unknown people who don’t even have ID as they have to also be responsible for their use of funds.”

FCSS cannot distribute food or money. Taug says they are ill-equipped to help in these situations other than making referrals to support systems and providing assistance with applications.

Times of inflation have caused rental prices to rise across the country. Canadian government opens applications for the Canadian Housing Benefit Program (CHB). This will give low-income renters $500.

reports say the average monthly rental cost in Canada is $1,722, up 12.4 percent year-on-year.

The application deadline for the program is March 31, 2023.

One of the conditions for 2021 is that families had to have a net income of $35,000 or less and individuals had to have a net income of $20,000.

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