According to a 2021 University of Regina study, 19 percent of Saskatchewan’s population lives in poverty. The child poverty rate, at 26 percent, is the second highest rate in the country.
Poverty involves a complex array of risk factors that adversely affect the population in a multitude of ways, including:
-Emotional and social challenges.
-Acute and chronic stressors.
-Health and safety issues.
The Ministry of Social Services said that in August, 35,525 people were on income supports. Of those, 18,590 were on Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) and the remaining on Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS).
Poverty reduction is about ensuring that all people living in Saskatchewan have the right resources to be healthy and to thrive, to feel included and to feel they have control of their lives.
Groups like the Anti-Poverty Ministry work in our community to help the unhoused find a home and to address the issues that prevent one from renting or buying. These issues included: discriminatory advertising for rental accommodation; landlords refusing to rent to people in receipt of public assistance; and income or damage deposit requirements that, in effect, prohibit those in receipt of public assistance from obtaining housing. People in these situations are especially vulnerable to becoming homeless if they are evicted, so they are often hesitant to complain on an individual basis.
As part of URSU’s commitment to becoming a collaborative partner in your holistic student life, we continue to provide quality supports, services, opportunities, and advocacy, to ensure that all students have a fun, safe and healthy University experience. URSU and community associations have set up community fridges and pantry days to give people judgment-free access to free food. The URSU Thrifts program has expanded from offering just clothing to giving students and community members to get household items and school supplies at no cost. URSU will continue to find ways to feed hungry students while also helping those who help so many in our city and province.