VHA partner organization WoodGreen Community Services and The Toronto Board of Trade released a report in July 2021 on Affordable Housing for Essential Workers in Toronto.
VHA personal support worker Joie Francisco had the opportunity to contribute to the report:
Joie is a Toronto Personal Support Worker who rents one bedroom in a 4-bedroom boarding house with three other women, one of whom is also a frontline worker. Roughly 50-60% of Joie’s income goes towards her rent and utilities each month.
The impact of COVID-19, combined with her challenging housing situation, has had a negative toll on her mental health. Joie said, “Looking at the other expenses, the cost of living here is higher than [ever]. There are things that I gave up in order to maintain where I am at the moment. […] We have been working very hard beyond our [capacity] to cope. Mentally, physically and emotionally – at some point I am drained.”