Making Ends Meet: Low wage work, poverty and healthy communities in Vancouver

The Living Wage for Families Campaign is excited to embark on a three-year project to better understand the experiences of those working in low-wage work, with financial support from the Vancouver Foundation.

Over the last 10 years, one in five children in British Columbia have continued to grow up in poverty. In Metro Vancouver, 11.6% of all people who work live in poverty, and almost half of those people are living with children who depend on them. Child poverty and family poverty are connected. Some groups of people experience working poverty at a higher rate: Indigenous communities, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, single mothers, single senior women and queer and trans folks, especially youth.

This research aims to provide a better understanding to policymakers of possible responses to the issue of working poverty. The project will explore how working poverty impacts the health and well-being of families and communities in Metro Vancouver, while providing training and support to build capacity for policy advocacy among individuals impacted by working poverty.

Through a participatory action research project, we will work alongside low wage workers throughout the whole project. Workers will receive training in research methods, outreach work and other research skills. This will prepare participants for advocacy to influence decision makers to take action on the recommendations that come out of this research.

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach to research - a set of principles and practices for designing, conducting, analyzing and acting on research.

The Making Ends Meet PAR is a way of learning and doing work with communities that…

  • is community driven and puts the perspective of those experiencing working poverty at the centre of the research.
  • seeks understanding about communities and issues identified by participants.
  • recognizes participants as “experts” on their experiences.
  • uses reflection and findings to take action on issues that are identified by and important to participants and broader community.
  • allows participants to take action within and beyond their communities.

For more information, please contact our Research Coordinator Leila Trickey.