Basic Needs

Basic needs include any resource deemed necessary for persons or households to achieve and maintain physical well-being (Collin & Campbell, 2008). Traditional lists of basic needs are composed of minimum requirements for the private consumption of items such as food, water and shelter. However, more recent lists have expanded to include essential services provided to the community as a whole (for example, healthcare, education, transportation and sanitation). These more comprehensive lists have been developed to represent a more holistic picture of what is required to move beyond mere survival to well-being. Such lists consist of: food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, personal care items, essential furnishings, transportation, communication, laundry services, education, sanitation and insurance (Sarlo 2006).

In 2015, Statistics Canada estimated the amount of income needed in Canada to afford these basic necessities (Statistics Canada, 2015). Their research suggested that a single-occupant household would require $16,436-$20,389 per annum depending on where in Canada they are living. Furthermore, a four-occupant household would need on average $37, 542 (Statistics Canada, 2015). These amounts were calculated using the Market Basket Measure (MBM) of Low Income, Canada's official poverty measure since August 2018. The MBM defines the cost of a necessary "basket of goods" required by a household to maintain an adequate standard of living. This income required to maintain the standard of living varies upon region and defines the poverty line.

Ideas presented here do not reflect the COH and the Homeless Hub.