MONCTON – A community development officer says a new report shows homelessness in Moncton is on the rise.
Sue Calhoun with the Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee said numbers from their ‘Report Card on Homelessness’ show that more people used shelters in 2013 than in 2012.
The report card also showed that the wait list for affordable housing in New Brunswick has grown by 58 per cent in the last two years.
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“Some recent studies are showing that for every individual person who is homeless and uses the shelter, there are another three or four who are part of the hidden homeless,” said Calhoun.
She said many factors have lead to the high numbers, and one of them is people working for low wages.
“They get here and they find out a lot of those jobs are minimum wage jobs that do not pay a living wage,” she said. “They end up unemployed or underemployed.”
The high numbers are no surprise to staff at the Karing Kitchen, a soup kitchen in downtown Moncton.
“There’s just not enough money,” said Phyllis Perry, kitchen supervisor. “The wages aren’t going up, the expenses are going up.”
Shane O’Donnell has been turning to the Karing Kitchen for support because he said he can’t get into subsidized housing.
He is on the wait list, but doesn’t know how long he will have to wait before he can find a home.
“Its just a waiting game right now. If I get it or not, each will result in a different story,” said O’Donnell.
The full report card will be released next Monday.