Pathway To Potential Windsor Essex County's poverty reduction strategy
Poverty in Windsor-Essex
Making Poverty Everyone's BusinessDownload the PDF now
Making Poverty Everyone’s Business
P2P is a City of Windsor and County of Essex funded initiative to reduce and prevent poverty in Windsor Essex.
Our mission: Together we will reduce poverty and ensure the social and economic well-being of residents who live in Windsor and Essex County.
Our aspiration: Windsor Essex County is a thriving community where every family and individual builds potential through access to quality opportunities, supports, and resources that work for them.
Poverty results from barriers to social and economic resources that prevent well-being and access to opportunities in the community.
- Economic Security – Employment Income and Public Income Supports
- Basic Needs – Housing, Transportation, Child Care and Food Security
- Education and Skills Training
- Physical and Mental Health Services
- Full Participation in Society
- About 1 out of 6 (16,428) children and youth in Windsor-Essex live in poverty.
- Food banks in Windsor-Essex served 31% of their meals, a total of 69,415, to children in 2011.
- 54.2% of low-income children live in two-parent families.
- More than 1 in 3 children living in poverty in Ontario are in families where at least 1 parent works the equivalent of a full-time, full-year job.
- Children who live in poverty are more likely as adults to develop a range of diseases and have lower life expectancy.
My classmates are on a field trip. My parents kept me home because they didn’t have the $10 for me to go.
- Almost 25% of Ontario workers earn wages below the poverty line.
- 1 in 10 adults accessing Ontario food banks is employed.
- Households with the lowest income spent 51.8% on shelter, food, and clothing as compared to those with the highest income who spent 29.5%.
- Almost half of Canadians feel they are 1 to 2 paycheques away from being poor.
- A total of 226,416 meals were served by the Windsor-Essex County Food Bank Association in 2011.
We both work. We should be able to send our son on a school field trip, but we budget every dollar and $10 just isn’t available.
- The Windsor area has 42,035 seniors (65+).
- More than 35% of seniors in Windsor-Essex live on less than $20,000 a year.
- 1 in 4 Windsor-Essex residents is over age 50.
- Ontario’s poverty rate for seniors has risen faster than the national average since 2007.
- The average senior received the following from CPP and other benefits:
- Canadian Pension Plan: $463.18 per month (Nov. 2005)
- Old Age Security: $383.55 per month (single person in July 2005)
- Guaranteed Income Supplement: $383.55 per month (single person in July 2005)
- Total $14,778 per year
I have worked all my life, raised a family, and contributed all that I could… only to retire into poverty.
- Many immigrants have high levels of education, and often find their training and work experience in other countries undervalued in Canada.
- Immigrants and refugees in Ontario are at risk for homelessness due to poverty, discrimination, cuts to social programs, lack of housing services, and a lack of information about their rights.
I came to Canada to work as a radiologist, but my qualifications were not recognized. I had to work a minimum wage job while updating my credentials. Later I still couldn’t find a job in my field. I returned to India, frustrated and disappointed.
- ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) recipients are 11 times more likely to be unemployed compared to those not receiving social assistance.
- Maximum income for an individual on ODSP is $13,765 per year; LICO (Low Income Cut-off) is $16,328.
- Most people who have a disability live below the poverty line because they are not able to get full-time, well-paying jobs, and social assistance only covers the most basic necessities.
- 18.2% of those served at food banks in Ontario have a disability.
- 35% of ODSP clients have a mental illness.
I have a severe mental illness that keeps me from working, but the income from my disability benefits keeps me stuck in poverty. It’s hard to cope when every month I’m worried about how I’m going to get my basic needs met.
- There are 18,500 social assistance recipients in Windsor-Essex.
- Individuals and families are required to liquidate their assets; they must have less than $3,000 in liquid assets (such as house, car, savings and investments) to be eligible for social assistance.
- An individual on OW (Ontario Works) lives more than $9,000 below the LICO (Low Income Cut-Off).
I am on social assistance and can barely make ends meet, but many people just think I am trying to work the system.
- 30% of single moms live in poverty in the Windsor area.
- The average cost for a toddler in daycare in Windsor-Essex is $43.43 a day.
- Of single parents in the Windsor area, single mothers make up 81%.
- A single mother of two, earning a low wage, will spend between 56% and 76% of her monthly income on food and shelter alone, without childcare costs calculated in.
- Ontario students graduating with debt in 2009 owed an average of $25,778.
I graduated from college and have a job offer for $11 an hour ($88 per day). The average childcare cost is $44 per day. There is a wait list for the childcare subsidy program. What do I do?
- In Windsor, 34% of the Aboriginal population was living in poverty in 2006.
- In Ontario, about 1 in 3 (30%) children of Aboriginal identity live in a low-income family.
- In Ontario, the average individual income for Aboriginal peoples is $21,822 compared to $33,027 for non-Aboriginal peoples. That is approximately $11,000 less per year.
- In 2010 the unemployment rate in Ontario for the Aboriginal population was 12.6%, far higher than the non-Aboriginal population.
- According to Labour Force Survey data, for 2007-2010, the dropout rate among First Nations people living off-reserve, Métis and Inuit aged 20 to 24 was 22.6%, compared to 8.5% for non-Aboriginal people.
People don’t see how hard I work to keep my family together. I want my kids to have real opportunities.
- As of 2010, the youth unemployment rate in the Windsor area was 21.7%.
- The city of Windsor is the only location in all of Windsor-Essex with homeless shelters.
- Even though youth who have some post-secondary education have better job opportunities, research suggests that many of those who graduate end up pursuing entry level jobs for which they are overqualified.
- The Windsor Youth Centre serves roughly 1,000 meals per month to youth.
- The 2012 Ontario budget announced a 20% reduction in spending on youth services.
- In Ontario, 37.5% of food bank users are under the age of 18.
My parents kicked me out. I was staying at friends’ houses, but that only works so long. I need to get to the city and find a place to stay.
- The average life expectancy of a homeless person is 39 years.
- The rate of suicide among the homeless population is 40 times higher than the national average.
- It is estimated 20-35% of homeless individuals suffer from a mental illness.
- 1 in 5 renters pays more than 50% of their income on rent, placing them at risk of homelessness.
- In spite of the low housing costs in Windsor-Essex, only 9% of household rental properties in the City of Windsor are affordable to tenants with low incomes.
- Emergency shelter use is available in the City of Windsor for up to 14 days. After this time, those in need can apply for an extension. There are roughly 1,709 individuals using shelters.
I don’t want to be homeless, I want to work, but finding employment with no fixed address is next to impossible.
- 52% of workers in Ontario said they were most likely to be living paycheque to paycheque.
- Less than 45% of Canadians have an emergency fund.
- Between 2009 and 2010, 4,592 individuals claimed bankruptcy in Windsor.
- 10% of those turning to food banks in Ontario are doing so for the first time.
- The mean debt per Ontario borrower who rents is $36,200.
- Debtors in Ontario owe, on average, between $124,700 and $157,700.
We thought we were building our dream home. Instead we are struggling to hold on to our house and stay financially afloat.
The unfortunate reality is that the average family in Windsor-Essex might be a job loss, wage decrease, or illness away from living in poverty.Pathway To Potential, Windsor-Essex County's Poverty Reduction Strategy