With the crisis spreading, calling Metro Vancouver home is only getting harder.
These are last year's stats...
They're harsh, and only getting worse
Shelters are at 103% occupancy...
Unaffordability and rental scarcity are spreading...
Since 2015, low vacancy rates and rising costs have spread from Vancouver to suburban areas like Burnaby and Surrey
More families seeking help...
Since 2014, there's been a 32% rise in Metro Vancouver families on BC's Housing Registry
Single moms are struggling...
After paying for basic needs, a single mom who works full-time and earns minimum wage only has $4/month to spend on other essentials, like bus fare & clothing.*
Frequently Asked Questions
Union Gospel Mission is a non-profit organization, determined to overcome poverty, homelessness and addiction—one life at a time. We do this by providing meals, outreach, emergency shelter, safe housing, chaplaincy, alcohol & drug recovery programs, children’s programs, and more, to struggling men, women, and families. UGM has seven locations across Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission.
We used the most current data possible. Here's how we calculated it:
|Hourly Minimum Wage||11.35/h at 40h/week||12.65/h 40h/week|
|Monthly after-tax income||$1,684||$1,855|
|BC Affordable Child Care Benefits (Replaced Child Care Subsidy on Sept 1, 2018)||$210||$210|
|Canada Child Benefits||$450||$456.74|
|Median monthly rent (2 bedroom apartment)||($1,400)||($1,543)|
|Average food cost||($535)||($533)|
|Average child care cost||($442)||($442)|
|Remainder for other expenses||-$33||$4|
What's shocking is that these expenses only include rent, food, and child care costs. Even with recent increases in BC's minimum wage and the Canada Child Benefits, this family only has $4 to spend on all other expenses, like bus tickets, clothing, and dental care.
The film you saw online is a fictional story based on real-life trends and situations encountered by UGM’s guests. While this story isn’t based on any one individual’s experience, the events depicted are common, and the sequence of events is entirely plausible.
Not everyone has friends or family to rely on during hard times. Many UGM guests do not have stable friends or family who can offer long-term (or even short-term) accommodation during emergency situations. Also, a person’s journey into homelessness often unfolds over a difficult series of weeks, months, or even years. They usually exhaust all options for help before turning to places like UGM.
When people are homeless, or on the brink of homelessness, they often enter ‘survival mode’, exhausting all energy on immediate needs: finding shelter, keeping warm, avoiding street dangers, finding work, or dealing with past trauma and grief. Most people don’t have the luxury of taking the complicated task of moving cities, especially if they won’t have support, or access to life-saving services when they arrive.
Also, the unaffordability crisis is expanding far beyond the City of Vancouver. For example, between 2015 and 2017, rent for bachelor apartments in Surrey increased by 25%, compared to 9% within the 3 years before that.
Yes, UGM is a faith-based organization. Following in Jesus Christ’s footsteps, we provide our programs & services without discrimination. Everyone is welcome at UGM, regardless of religion, race, age, gender-identity, sexual orientation, and social class. We offer:
- Meals, shelter, outreach and chaplaincy services that relieve suffering and renew hope
- Life recovery programs that offer freedom from addiction
- Education and job preparation that equip for successful living
- Affordable housing that fosters community and personal contribution
- Preventative programs for women, children, youth and parents that build healthy families
We’re so glad you asked! There are so many things you can do to help.
If you want to tangibly help people who are affected by poverty, homelessness, and addiction, there are tons of ways for you to make an impact! Head to ugm.ca/take-action to explore the possibilities.
You can also sign up for UGM’s e-newsletter to be the first to read guest stories, get information on how you can help, and receive updates on our latest initiatives.