A Calgary financial planner is offering saving and planning advice to a surprising demographic — the city's homeless.
Ramandeep Banga is holding seminars at the Calgary Drop-In Centre, where hehas invited accountants, lawyers and police to give advice and provide incentive for the homeless to re-enter the workforce.
"I spoke to an individual who is homeless and he [said] 'I can't get a job,' " Banga said. "[He said] 'I owe the government money — the minute I get a job they'll take it all away, so why should I get a job?' That's why we need accountants to come here and clarify."
Officials will address how to handle outstanding debts and warrants, finding a place to live, goal-setting and building up savings.
"We're not looking at getting clients here or we're not looking at anything from the Drop-In Centre. All we're looking at is a change in Calgary, a change for the better," Banga said.
Jason Gladue, whoattended one of the seminars, said he didn't know how to manage his money.
"I had money, I just didn't know what to do with it, so it became more of a negative, rather than a positive," he said.
Financial errors lead to homelessness
Darce Moray, a worker at the centre, said financial mismanagement often can often lead to poverty.
"A lot of people end up in homelessness due to their budgeting skills and life skills [which] may be a little lacking," he said.
Calgary is currently enjoying an economic boom, but housing prices have soared and there are few rental vacancies. City officials are seeking new buildings to house the homeless over the winter.
The Calgary Drop-In Centre is already reporting that it is turning away as many as 100 people a night.