Welfare in Hamilton, Ontario

This isn’t one of those ‘do my research for me’ kinds of threads, but a real question - does welfare, or social assistance, or whatever the correct term is, even exist in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada? I am talking specifically of the ‘I have no money and need to pay my rent so I am not homeless’ kind of welfare.

Because I am coming close to that category, and my dad (who has a bad record of being out of touch with these kinds of things) is convinced this exists - that there is a program I could find or sign up for, that I would be eligible for, that would assist me with a $300-500/month until I was able to find work.

I can’t find anything like this in Hamilton. No Google search I’ve yet tried leads me to anything that looks like ‘traditional’ welfare, the kind we heard of growing up, and since I’m not crippled and don’t have any kinds, and am in fact a white guy, I can’t find any social assistance I’m likely to be eligible for.

Does anyone know anything about this, because I am at complete loss and have no idea what to do.

I’m nowhere near Ontario, but after a quick Google search, I found Hamilton Housing Help Centre, which says, “Tenants facing eviction for non-payment of rent can apply to receive financial assistance from the provincial rent bank program. If a tenant’s application is approved, the outstanding rent is paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.” Also try this site for the City of Hamilton Public Health Services & Social Services.

That sort of thing is usually handled on the provincial level, not the city level. This site may be of some help:


I’m chiming in to second “rent bank”. Vancouver has been talking about instituting one for exactly the situation you describe, based on models in place in eastern Canada somewhere. The idea is that they offer short-term loans at low or no interest. I don’t know anything further. Good luck!

Also, you could try Jewish Social Services Of Hamilton or Catholic Family Services of Hamilton. In some places, these religion-based agencies help people of all faiths (or no faith).

It looks like you would be eligible for the Ontario Works program:

To be eligible to receive help from Ontario Works, you must:
[ul][li]live in Ontario[/li][li]need money right away to help pay for food and housing costs, and[/li][li]be willing to take part in activities that will help you find a job.[/ul][/li][/quote]
Here’s a link to their Hamilton offices.

:confused: Social Assistance is not tied to race. Governments can’t discriminate based on race.

Sounds to me you’ve been looking at the City of Hamilton web-sites; as others have posted, social assistance is handled at the Provincial level.

Ontario Works is what you want.
It is provided by the city (community services).

IFAIK, Ontario has welfare. The amount paid to single able-bodied persons of any gender or race is likely quite low, and I suspect they have rules about looking for work. (Seriously, none of the dozen Tim Horton’s in the 4-block radius around you are hiring??)

I know Mike Harris and his like spent a while trying to change the system so that welfare bums would get booted off the system, so what’s available and eligibility may have changed from what people think. Plus, unlike the wet dream fantasies of the typical conservative, you don’t get your own place and all amenities on what a single person gets from welfare. Plus, living off the taxpayer is an art - it’s not something so simple that any able-bodied single person can do it.

Google is your friend:
http://www.ontario.ca/socialassistance - an application and eligibility guide