While nearly everyone is struggling with finances thanks to inflation's effect on food costs and utilities, the challenges faced by newcomers coming to Canada include additional costs and fewer benefits.
Settlement Advisor with Southeast Newcomer Services, Laura Eddy, said setting set up in a new country is just generally expensive.
"Even if you're a family here, and if you're a temporary resident, you don't get the benefits that I do as a Canadian or somebody as a permanent resident. So they could have four kids, but they don't get the child tax benefit, which is supposed to help people in low income," she explained. "They don't have an opportunity for that until they've been here for 18 months."
"18 months is a long time. It does not kick in until then," she noted. "If you're a single person, you don't get the GST credit. They're paying taxes here, but they don't get those benefits."
She said this is why you'll see lots of newcomers struggling with food security and like being able to secure their homes.
"I think we as Weyburnites live in a bubble. We don't think that people are going hungry and they think, 'well, there's the food bank'. Well, yeah, there is the food bank, but once a month. There's many people that are accessing it now."
Eddy pointed out that in most cases newcomers don't come to Canada with a lot of money.
"If they do come with any money that they saved, we have to remember that they have to get here. They have to pay to be here, like, they have to pay for their work permits. They have to pay to set up a household."
She said this includes paying all the deposits at once.
"As older people that are established here, we forget that we had to pay a deposit on our utilities. We have to pay a deposit to get a cell phone. We have to so pay it first and last month's rent and a deposit there. So there's a lot of cost and then you have to try and find furniture. They're newcomers here that are sleeping on floors because they can't afford beds."
Eddy noted she does try to help out the families with these kinds of things but beds in particular are more expensive and not usually found 'extra' for second hand or giveaway.
"Blue Earth has been really good, actually, and the Catholic Women's League has been very kind in helping us," she shared. "I have gone out to other service groups and asked for their assistance because maybe there is somebody in their community that's moving and we have had people that they're like, 'we're moving my mom into a home, here's all her stuff'."
She added that while this is progress within our community, "we as Canadians need to be mindful of that they're not coming here with a ton of money."
This has been the latest installment in an ongoing conversation about the challenges newcomers face. Find related stories below for more information.