Vital Signs report finds inequities complicated by pandemic
LONDON, ONT. -- Too many Londoners are being left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s the message coming out of this year’s Vital Signs: Be The Change report by the London Community Foundation (LCF).
The report addresses what it describes as “longstanding structural issues and inequities that have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The report looks at six issues which its authors say have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic- - housing, racial equality, gender equality, health and well-being, food security and education.
Dr. Jerry White, Vital Signs chair and LCF board member, said in a statement, “COVID-19 brought many structural inequalities into sharp focus. It also demonstrated that we can act together to change systems and practices, even when confronted with significant fear and uncertainty.”
The issues were identified based on grant requests received through the foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
Among the key points highlighted in the 2020 report are:
- About 5,000 Londoners are currently on the waiting list for rent geared to income housing.
- Alarming rates of poverty: 36 per cent of London’s Indigenous community and 55 per cent of newcomers are living at or below the poverty line.
- Police-reported hate crimes rose to 34 in 2018, up from 26 the previous year.
- Family Service Thames Valley indicates at least a 30 per cent increase in domestic violence cases since the pandemic began.
- From June 7 to 20, the most diverse and marginalized neighborhoods in London saw approximately four times as many COVID-19 cases as the more affluent areas.
- One in seven households in the community experience food insecurity.
- Approximately 16 per cent of adults in London do not have a high school diploma - that number rises to 28 per cent in the Indigenous population.
To view the full report visit: www.bethechangelondon.ca