The public believes that poverty is an important issue.

Do you ever wonder what the average Canadian thinks about poverty? More than 1.85 million Canadians receive help each year from The Salvation Army. One-third of the funding comes from a very generous and supportive public. Contributions are received in the Christmas kettles, through letter appeals, school fundraisers, church bake sales and internet donations. Many people contribute in many ways to help make a difference in the lives of fellow Canadians who need a helping hand. It takes a lot of concerned citizens to make a difference! It’s worth knowing what they think.

The Salvation Army regularly conducts research through public opinion polling to understand what the public thinks about issues of poverty. The Salvation Army uses this information to inform the public about the issues facing vulnerable and marginalized Canadians, and debunk myths about poverty in Canada.

Recent reports include:

Debunking myths about poverty in Canada – March 2011
Canada Speaks: Exposing Persistent Myths About the 150,000 Canadians Living on the Streets – May 2011
Promoting Dignity: 1-Year Review – March 2012
Canada Speaks 2012: Mental Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty – May 2012

Here is a brief summary of recent research:

  • Canadians believe that poverty is the third most important issue facing the country, behind the economy and health care.
  • The Salvation Army is recognized as the charity most associated with helping homeless people and families in need amongst all other Canadian charitable organizations.
  • One in nine Canadians believe that people living in poverty deserve a helping hand.
  • One in eight Canadians believe that helping out poor families helps set up children of these families for success.
  • The majority of Canadians believe that poverty is a problem that we can do something about.