Local businesswoman Bonnie Zufelt sees the homeless problem every day from her Main St. Partners Billiards and Bowling, and she’s passionate about trying to help.

This past week, Zufelt helped a young homeless man with severe frostbite on his feet requiring hospitalization.

“He couldn’t feel his feet at all. What’s going to happen when it’s minus 25 out there, some of them don’t have boots. We see them out there with street shoes. Where are they coming from? Where are they going to go?” she asks.

Zufelt is calling on the city and province for more affordable housing.

A community initiative to keep the homeless warm through the winter months was quashed by the City due to zoning regulations and potential fire hazards.

Last week Alina Beda, the vice-president of The Urban Knights and Ladies – a community patrol group that helped build two warming huts on a small field by the Manitoba Métis Federation building near the Disraeli Bridge.

The area has become an encampment for people experiencing homelessness, with trap tents set up in the area as shelter. Beda said the huts were meant to provide a warm place for the community in the winter months.

What happens to one of the world’s poorest places if you randomly pick more than 10,000 poor families out of an eligible pool and give them $1,000 each, no strings attached?

Dozens of studies have already shown conclusively that just handing very poor people a considerable sum of cash can transform their lives in lasting ways. That is hardly surprising. But this study set out to ask a different question: What about their neighbors?

There is someone waiting on a list for affordable housing in more than 283,000 households across the country, Statistics Canada says in a new batch of data that also sheds light on what Canadians think about the cost of housing overall.

The survey data, the first of its kind on wait times for social housing, shows 173,600 households, or nearly two-thirds, were waiting at least two years.

The payments that Nunavut welfare recipients receive each year are dramatically lower than what their counterparts in Yukon and the Northwest Territories receive, a new report shows.

And if you subtract the value of social housing benefits, Nunavut’s annual welfare income in 2018 was close to that paid to welfare recipients living in southern Canada.

The report, titled Welfare in Canada, was issued by a national non-profit anti-poverty organization called Maytree.

For 2018, an unemployed couple with two children living in Iqaluit could expect to receive a total welfare income in 2018 of only $29,561, the Maytree report found.

That’s a little less than in Ontario, where a couple in the same situation would get $30,998 in 2018, or Manitoba, where the figure was $29,918.

Some people think that we will always have poor people. Others believe that we can eliminate poverty with a program variously called Guaranteed Basic Income, Basic Income, Living Wage, Minimum Income Guarantee or Universal Basic Income among others. I will call it Basic Income in this article.

Why should we want it? Emil Munsterburg in the American Journal of Sociology puts it this way: if we don’t have the necessities of life we respond in one of two ways; we beg or we take what we need by force or stealth. To this society responds in two ways: charity/philanthropy and the police / “justice”system. A basic income for all Canadians, will substantially reduce the cost of the police / “justice system.”

It is going to cost $570 million to bring all Manitobans up to the poverty line. (Statistics Canada 2016) To put that into context, the 2019 Manitoba budget is $13.6 billion. $570 million is a mere 4.2% of our annual budget.

Use of food banks in Canada has stabilized but a new report shows that single people – and especially seniors – are more likely to be using the facilities.

As more Canadians struggle with their finances, Food Banks Canada says that food bank use among single people has hit a record high with single person households accounting for 48% of users.

By analyzing data from 4,934 food banks across Canada, the organization has discovered that this percentage is up from 38% in 2010, while single parent usage has fallen in that time from 27.5% to 18%.