For the past 2 years, Burlington has been ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. It’s an affluent city with a low unemployment rate and an average household income of over $110 000. But there’s another side to the city that may surprise you. 10% of families there are living in poverty, making less than $40,000 a year.
Barb Chilwell knows first hand what it means to be poor, “you lose your dignity, you lose your confidence your self respect you feel guilty you feel full of shame.” She was once a successful business owner but 7 years ago she had a heart attack and could no longer work. As a single mother she struggles to support her daughter who has a learning disability.
Individuals like Barb are overshadowed by the affluence of the city. On Burloak drive there are million dollar homes that sit across from community housing complex, where more than 50 families are living below the poverty line. And there are pockets of poverty like this throughout the city.
Barb says the city is rich in resources, many supported by the United Way to help people like her but poverty is a difficult cycle to break.