In a recent survey of our client base, we asked the question, What is your employment status? The results:
- 40.2% of the respondents answered they work more than 32 hours a week.
- 16.8% work at a scheduled part time job of 10 to 32 hours per week.
- 32.7% work casual day labour.
Our clients may be homeless, but they’re not jobless.
Who, then, are the clients of the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre?
Statistically, 90% of our clients are male. The majority are 36 to 45 years of age (58%) and 21% are 26 to 35 years old.
But that’s statistically.
Emotionally, physically, 100% of our clients are individuals who never had a dream of being homeless but who find themselves in that predicament today. Sometimes because of bad choices. Sometimes because of an addiction or poor mental health. Sometimes because of poor life-skills learned in abusive or neglectful homes. Sometimes because of pure bad luck.
Regardless of what drove them to the street, the majority of our clients are not homeless because they don’t have a job or don’t want to work.
They’re homeless because our society has continued to grow and prosper while they have fallen behind the curve of our economic prosperity.
They’re homeless because the cost of housing and availability of affordable housing in Calgary are diametrically opposed.
In another survey question, we asked: How much do feel you can afford to pay in rent?
51.4% answered $400 to $800.
Rental units in Calgary within that cost bracket are few and far between, and as soon as a landlord hears the phrase, “I currently live at the Drop-In Centre” from a potential tenant, discrimination sets in and the once open door is closed.
The faces of the homeless are as individual as the issues that drive them to the street. Regardless of why a person arrived at the Drop-In, however, the fact is, homeless does not equal jobless.