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Calgary agencies want more done to support city's most vulnerable

Last Updated Nov 6, 2018 at 9:24 am MST

Calgary cop kneels to speak to a homeless woman in the downtown District 1 area. (CREDIT: @josh09385371 on Twitter)

Social agencies in Calgary think the Alberta government need to increase rates in programs like AISH.

They are are calling on the NDP to also match inflation rates.

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A few Calgary organizations are calling on the NDP government to do more to help people living on social assistance.

Public Policy Coordinator at The Women’s Centre of Calgary Nevena Ivanovic said the current rates are a big problem.

“The math just simply does not add up,” stated Ivanovic. “A single person being able to work on social assistance receives just under $8,000 annually and just to rent a basic one bedroom apartment in Calgary is $850 a month or $10,000 annually.”

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Ivanovic added they are asking the government to provide any increase they believe is possible as well as keep up with inflation.

“Raising income support in Alberta is the right thing to do and it is also the smart thing to do because we all know we would be better off as a society, have better health outcomes, less need for emergency health care services and we would have less homelessness.”

Coordinator of Disability Action Hall with the Calgary Scope Society Coleen Huston says the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped or AISH program is below the poverty line.

“It’s sick, I don’t understand why we have to protest to get these rates done, to me it’s just simple math to have this index to the cost of living so people don’t have to lose their dignity begging to make ends meet.”

The agencies taking part in this provincial call to action are The Women’s Centre, Vibrant Communities Calgary, Momentum, the Calgary Scope Society and YW Calgary.