Hamilton social assistance rates still haven’t recovered from the recession

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The recession started a cycle of poverty that many Hamiltonians still can’t escape

By Samantha Craggs

The recession was eight years ago now, but the number of Hamiltonians on social assistance still isn’t back down to pre-recession levels, shows a report on the state of local poverty.

Hamilton still has about 12,000 people on Ontario Works, says Joe-Anne Priel, the city’s general manager of community services.

That’s far above the 9,753 cases in 2007, a year before the recession hit. And the recession is to blame, she said.

People with low incomes are the first to be hit by a recession, and the last to bounce back, said Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. The stubborn OW rate is evidence of that.

“It’s really, really hard to get off the system once you’re on it,” he said. “It’s particularly so because people don’t have the resources to do that job search. To maintain.”

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Article and image source: CBC Hamilton

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