Why $26?

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.

Room Deposit

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.

Total welfare $610
Rent (realistic cost of an SRO) $425
Damage deposit $20
Book of 10 bus tickets (to look for work) $21
Cell phone (to look for work) $25
Personal hygiene/laundry $10
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.

Find out what $26 does buy

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