The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of low-income Calgarians as they cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research project engaged with people with lived experience of poverty to understand from their perspectives, how COVID-19 is impacting their day-to-day lives.
We asked participants to describe changes in their lives related to income, employment, service access and health and wellbeing specifically because of the pandemic. Some people reported positive changes including an increase in income from their pre-COVID wages to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, reduced spending on ‘luxury’ items, increased savings and establishment of their ‘true’ social support networks. However, the majority of people, reported serious and significant negatives changes in their lives related to loss of employment, loss of income, food insecurity and being many weeks or months behind in paying household bills.