Where Welfare Money Goes
The BC government provides $610 a month in welfare to an able bodied single person who is expected to look for work.
The amount provided for rent is $375, but it is almost impossible to find anywhere for this money. Even in the Downtown Eastside most single rooms (about 120 square feet, no kitchen and a shared bathroom) costs $425. Even if you manage to pay less than $375 in rent, you don’t get to keep the difference.
You have to pay a damage deposit; usually ½ of a month’s rent. Welfare takes this off your cheque at $20 a month until the deposit is paid, usually in 10 or 11 months.
Look for Work
To look for work and contact the welfare office you need a phone and to be able to get a bus, so $21 is included for a book of 10 bus tickets. If you live in a rural area, you may have to pay for gas.
And you need to spend something on keeping yourself and your clothes clean.
|Rent (realistic cost of an SRO)||$425|
|Book of 10 bus tickets (to look for work)||$21|
|Cell phone (to look for work)||$25|
|What’s left for food||$109|
$109/m * 12 months = $1308 a year
$1308/a year / 365 days = $3.58 a day
$3.58 a day * 7 days = $25.09, rounded up to $26
No money for clothes, a coffee, haircuts, or any social life or treats.