WATCH: As Hamilton struggles with encampments, this BC charity gave $7,500 to homeless individuals


Published October 12, 2020 at 9:16 pm

As COVID-19 continues to expose holes in Canada’s social safety net, Hamilton is learning hard lessons of its own.

The pandemic forced the closure of a number of public spaces and social services, leading to tent communities popping up in parts of the city.

READ MORE: With the injunction lifted, the City of Hamilton will remove certain homeless encampments

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, homeless individuals were simply handed cash. And it worked.

Foundations for Social Change (FSC), a Vancouver-based charitable organization, recently completed a study and social program, in partnership with the University of British Columbia. As a global first, the New Leaf project provided a one-time lump sum direct cash transfer of $7,500 to 50 people who had recently become homeless, with recipients choosing how best to spend the funds.

READ MORE: Hamilton showed that a Universal Basic Income is the solution

Frans Tjallingii is the Co-Founder of Foundations for Social Change and Board Chair. He chatted with’s Anthony Urciuoli about the results of the study and how we can get voters to buy-in to the idea of “giving away” cash.

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