Help! I Can’t Pay my Rent

Black and white image of a close up of man's and woman's hand helping.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the vulnerability of many Canadians when faced with unexpected economic impacts. When Allan’s work crew was reduced due to health risks of COVID-19, he collected benefits. But they eventually ran out, leaving him in danger of becoming homeless. With no where else to turn, he contacted The Salvation Army.

“Bills piled up,” says Allan. “I couldn’t pay my rent. The fear of being homeless was overwhelming. I sat a lot on the couch—hopeless.”

As a result of financial strain throughout the pandemic, an increasing number of Canadians have faced challenges to their food and housing security.

“The fear of being homeless was overwhelming.”

“I was a welder by trade for 45 years,” says Allan. “When the virus affected by ability to work, my life spiralled downhill. I had never been this poor.”

Food insecurity became Allan’s constant companion. He received assistance from The Salvation Army’s food bank in Port Hope, Ont. When work-related and COVID-19 benefits ceased, The Salvation Army paid a month’s rent and hydro bill while he waited for welfare to kick in.

“Without The Salvation Army’s help, I probably would have been evicted,” says Allan. “They saved me from being on the streets.”

A recent survey by The Salvation Army says that 42% of Canadians are not certain that they have enough income to cover their basic needs.

“Thanks to The Salvation Army, I am still in my apartment,” says Allan. “Their help was pretty important at the time. They were welcoming and treated me with dignity. That meant a lot.”

“They saved me from being on the streets.”

Over the last year, the number of households served by The Salvation Army increased by 11 percent. This year, thousands of Canadians are once again being impacted by the pandemic. Neighbours who were already dealing with challenges may find themselves without food, or even homeless.

Imagine the burden of wondering if you will end up on the streets or how you will prevent your child from being undernourished. Your generous support is more crucial than ever. Together, we can change someone’s tomorrow—today.

By Linda Leigh