National charity Prosper Canada is calling on the federal government to invest $85 million over five years to provide free financial help to Canadians who have been the hardest hit by the current affordability crisis.

The proposed investment would expand community-delivered financial help services to every region in Canada, helping 1.5 million low- and modest-income Canadians tackle their affordability and money challenges and connect them to approximately $2 billion in income benefits they are eligible for but not receiving.

Research and pressure on existing services indicate that there is a large and growing unmet demand for tailored, community-delivered, financial help services for low- and moderate-income people, and that when people access these services their financial health measurably improves.

While there are some community organizations currently offering financial help services, these are tenuously funded, missing from many regions, and lack enough resources to meet the needs of Canadians with low-and moderate-incomes who are seeking help.

“One in two Canadians with low and moderate incomes are in bad or terrible financial shape, and most of these are struggling to feed their households,” explained Liz Mulholland, CEO of Prosper Canada. “This level of hardship is untenable. The services we’re asking the government to support are a critical lifeline that can help struggling Canadians to tackle urgent affordability and money challenges and build a stronger, more secure financial future for themselves and their families.”

The investment Prosper Canada is proposing would expand services to every province and territory (including rural, remote and Indigenous communities), offering individuals free access to one-on-one financial help with urgent financial problems and longer-term financial goals, debt management help, and year-round tax filing support and benefit screening and assistance. “Financially struggling Canadians can’t afford to wait any longer. The federal government needs to act now to ensure every Canadian, no matter where they live, can access the income available to them, balance their budget, tackle debt, and rebuild their financial resilience,” concluded Mulholland.

This approach is in line with Canada’s National Financial Literacy Strategy, which identifies enhancing access to trustworthy and affordable financial help services as a key priority for building the financial resilience of Canadians.

SEED WINNIPEG, Winnipeg, Manitoba

“We are seeing a level of desperation and demand for financial help services the likes of which we have never seen before. Right now we are forced to turn away more people than we serve simply due to a lack of resources. It is distressing to turn away 75 to 200 community members each week because we do not have the staff capacity to serve them. We also receive numerous requests that we cannot meet from First Nations communities and other organizations seeking capacity building training or onsite program delivery. Sustained investment in community-based financial help services is critical at a time when so many Canadians living on low levels of income are struggling to meet their basis needs.” Louise Simbandumwe, Co-Director

Momentum, Calgary, Alberta

“As a community organization that provides financial services to people living on lower incomes in Calgary, Momentum understands the financial strain facing many Canadians as they struggle to cover costs of living. We also know that working with people to manage and save their money reduces stress, and helps people become more hopeful for their future. The proposed investment by Prosper Canada in community-based financial help services across Canada would significantly expand and stabilize current services so more Canadians are able to become financially empowered.” Jeff Loomis, Executive Director

West Neighbourhood House, Toronto, Ontario

“Our financial empowerment program plays a crucial role in our community. In just the first 3 quarters of this year, we have already worked with 1,130 low-income people. The demand for financial help continues to climb as word of mouth has grown about the value of financial empowerment services such as ours.

Securing long-term funding is more important now than ever to enable our program and those like ours to keep meeting the financial needs of Canadians who are traditionally and historically underserved, if not exploited.” Rebekah Mylie, Manager of Financial Empowerment

North York Community House (NYCH), Toronto, Ontario

“Consistency in funding across all regions in Canada will expand services and increase capacity to provide long-term services to Canadians experiencing financial vulnerability, so that, they can build financial resiliency and set achievable financial goals.” Noemi Garcia, Financial Empowerment Manager

EBO, Vanier, Ontario

“For the last 45 years, EBO Financial Education Centre has been providing financial empowerment services to low-income individuals in the Ottawa area. Demand for these services continues to grow, and the financial issues faced by our clients are becoming increasingly complex. The investment proposed by Prosper Canada would not only provide immediate support to Canadians struggling with high inflation, but also help maintain essential services for economically vulnerable people across the country.” Marc d’Orgeville, Executive Director

Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia

“The clients we serve at Family Services of Greater Vancouver often experience intersectional barriers to accessing quality and appropriate financial help services,” said Maria Howard, CEO at Family Services of Greater Vancouver. “With the support of organizations like Prosper Canada, we’ve been able to expand our services to meet people where they’re at but demand is increasingly on the rise, as is the complexity of the support needed. A government investment in free financial help services will not only help Canadians access their benefits but send a clear message to low- and moderate-income people: your wellbeing matters.” Maria Howard, CEO

About Prosper Canada
Prosper Canada is a national charity dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty through program and policy innovation. Prosper Canada works with government, business, and community partners to develop and promote financial policies, programs and resources that remove barriers and help more Canadians to prosper.

Learn more at

Media inquiries contact: Wendy Abbott-Serroul, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, 416-993-6409

SOURCE Prosper Canada