By Kevin Woodhouse
Within the last five years, the number of single parent families in southern West Island municipalities like Beaconsfield, Kirkland and Ste. Anne de Bellevue has increased by 20 per cent according to recent data collected by non-profit organization TQSOI (Table de Quartier Sud de l’Ouest de l’Île).
TQSOI has begun an intensive effort to find out more about “our vulnerable populations such as single parent families, seniors, and people with mental or physical disabilities in order to address them,” TQSOI coordinator Alena Ziuleva told The Suburban.
As a way of reaching out to those in need and what needs specifically are not being addressed, the NGO holds a series of focus groups with single parents being the next topic taking place Wednesday, March 25.
Ziuleva has noted that single parent families living under the poverty line have a very difficult time juggling rent, school needs, food, electricity and other monthly bills.
“Because the West Island does not have a lot of affordable housing, a lot of what single parents with limited resources spend their monthly income on is rent,” the coordinator said.
Lack of transportation opportunities can result in social isolation, TQSOI’s study noted that “certain groups of the population live in isolation due to poor transport services and isolation results in social exclusion, preventing people from meaningful participation in the society and detaching them from important social services.”
Once the TQSOI accrues all of the information culled from the various focus groups, “we will compile an action plan for the territory we cover,” Ziuleva said.
TQSOI focus group on single parent families will take place Wednesday, March 25, starting at 11 a.m., at 502 Delmar Avenue, Apartment 2, Pointe Claire.
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