About Making Ends Meet

Making Ends Meet logo
SFU labour studies program
Vancouver Foundation

About Making Ends Meet

Living Wage for Families BC is running a three-year project to better understand the experiences of those doing low-wage work, in partnership with Dr. Kendra Strauss, Director of the SFU Labour Studies Program and the SFU Morgan Centre for Labour Research. This project is possible due to financial support from the Vancouver Foundation. 

11.6% of all people who work in Metro Vancouver live in poverty. Almost half of those people are living with children who depend on them. Child poverty and family poverty are connected, and in British Columbia one in five children live in poverty. Some groups of people experience working poverty at a higher rate:

  • BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Colour) communities
  • immigrant, refugee, and migrant communities
  • people with disabilities
  • single mothers
  • single senior women
  • queer and trans folks, particularly 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. This project will also provide training and support for the working poor to advocate for themselves.

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 in community, 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 findings to take action on issues identified as important to participants.
  • allows participants to take action within their communities and beyond their communities.


Research Coordinator, Making Ends Meet - Bonnie Koehn (she/her)

Bonnie is passionate about child and youth advocacy and social justice in both her personal and professional life. She believes that social and community support, secure housing, quality childcare, access to healthy food, and socioeconomic opportunity are imperative to the well-being of families. Bonnie has an experiential understanding of the challenges many families face in navigating medical, mental health, legal, and social systems, and this fuels her motivation to create positive change. Bonnie’s background is in library services, family childcare, and freelance writing. She is currently completing her Masters’ degree in Clinical Counselling, with a focus on trauma and resilience.