“Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that the lives of people living in deepest poverty has not changed,” said Tom Cooper, director of the Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

Cooper added people living in poverty face more challenges than 10 years ago — higher rents, fewer vacancies for low-income earners, homeless shelters at capacity, longer subsidized housing waiting lists, increased food bank needs, and tighter eligibilities for employment insurance making it difficult to access.

Cooper said it’s shameful that the provincial government has “institutionalized poverty and food banks” by making them permanent realities for those on social assistance.

It’s frustrating that despite years of advocating for anti-poverty measures that Hamilton — and Canada — still experiences high levels of poverty, he said.