Salvation Army Launches the Dignity Project to Educate, Activate Public Support

Mar 1, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Report: Myths about Poverty Persist Throughout Canada

A report released today by The Salvation Army finds that many Canadians continue to believe persistent myths about poverty and the poor. The study is being released in conjunction with the launch of The Dignity Project, a campaign designed to educate and inform the public about the challenges facing society’s most vulnerable people.

While the research, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, reveals that Canadians consider poverty to be the third most pressing issue facing the country today, numerous misconceptions about the poor still endure.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly 50 percent of Canadians feel that a family of four could get by on $10,000 – $30,000 per year or less
  • Nearly half of all Canadians feel that if poor people really want to work, they can always find a job
  • Nearly 40 percent believe people who live in poverty in Canada “still have it pretty good”
  • 41 percent believe that the poor would “take advantage” of any assistance given and “do nothing” with support provided
  • About a quarter of Canadians believe that people are poor because they are lazy and have lower moral values than average
  • 96 percent of Canadians believe that everyone deserves a sense of dignity, but only 65 percent believe that being poor can rob you of dignity 

Commissioner William Francis

“It’s clear from this data that many continue to believe well-worn myths about what it means to live in poverty,” said Commissioner William Francis, leader of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. “Our hope is that by educating the public through the Dignity Project, we can debunk some of these myths and help put dignity within reach for every Canadian.”

Please visit to read the report in its entirety.

The Dignity Project is designed to inspire and educate the public about what it means to live in poverty – and what they can do to help. Through online events, on-the-street outreach, traditional advertising, social networking and other communications tactics, The Salvation Army will engage Canadians about the reality of poverty in the 21st century. Additional information is available at

“The Salvation Army has always taken a holistic approach to service and we make every effort to provide a sense of dignity to all of our clients – even those who come to us in their darkest hour,” said Commissioner Francis. “Promoting the importance of human dignity is a natural fit for us as an organization.”

The Salvation Army provides direct, compassionate, hands-on service to more than 1.6 million people in Canada each year, restoring hope and dignity to the most vulnerable in society.  As an international Christian church that welcomes everyone, The Salvation Army’s faith motivates its mission to serve and treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Learn more at

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

News releases, articles and updated information can be found at

For further information please contact: 

Media Contact: 
Andrew Burditt
Territorial Public Relations Director
The Salvation Army
[email protected]

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