A local initiative is encouraging Regina residents to donate future tax credit checks to anti-poverty organizations.
Earlier this year, the Saskatchewan government announced it would distribute $500 affordability checks this fall to residents who filed their taxes in 2021.
Share the Credit Regina Equity Project aims to direct funding from the province’s Affordability Tax Credit to four local shelters in Regina.
Carol Schick champions the Share the Credit program and hopes the project can make a difference in people’s lives.
“The main idea is to see if the tax credit can be used more effectively and collectively to help solve the horrible problem of poverty in Regina,” Schick said.
Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry, North Central Family Centre, Carmichael Outreach and All Nations Hope are the shelters and organizations that will benefit from the donations.
Rally Around Homelessness prepares for a tough winter and distributes sleeping bags to those in need.
“We just want everyone to prepare for the cold,” said Alysia Johnson of Rally Around Homelessness. “There’s going to be a lot of people battling minus 30 winds and trying to take shelter this winter.”
Johnson adds that there are also fewer services available for people affected by poverty than at this time last year.
Nineteen percent of Saskatchewan’s population live in poverty, while child poverty in the province is the second highest rate in Canada at 26 percent, according to a 2021 study from the University of Regina.
The University of Regina and the City of Regina have created a survival guide that includes a directory of services for those in need.
“What they have is a directory of services that outlines various centers that offer food and other services, emergency shelter services, free clothing, and needle exchange,” said Johnson said.
Donations will be split equally between the four organizations, or a donor can decide where they would like their money to go within an organization.
Schick asks those not struggling to consider donating to local advocacy groups.
“Some of these organizations have been working for 50 years,” Schick said. “When they started, they thought [poverty] would be over, but in many ways it got worse.
People who want to help a specific organization can do so by going to their online donation pages.