Financial vulnerability affects a wide and growing segment of Calgary and the surrounding area, and describes people’s chances at successfully recovering from an unexpected cost or adverse event—such as a loss in income, a housing emergency, or a sick pet that needs urgent care. Over the past several decades, wages have not kept up with the rapidly increasing cost of living in Calgary. The recent economic downturn means those with financial challenges are even more vulnerable. Most families living below the poverty line are living in households where at least one person is working. Many more are living above the poverty line, but experience financial vulnerability, and are at risk of slipping into poverty because of unstable employment, high debt, and limited savings.
United Way invests in programs and services that support individuals living on a low income to achieve greater financial stability by reducing their debt, growing their savings, and building their assets. Our investments support people who are experiencing temporary financial stress, and prevent others from slipping entirely into poverty. Helping individuals and families build financial stability creates a wealth of opportunity, allowing people to live more comfortably today and feel confident in their ability to deal with what may come tomorrow.