Low Income Services Available in Vancouver

Jeannie Meredith By Jeannie Meredith, 22nd Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Money Saving Tips

Are you low income? Do you live in Vancouver? Are you looking to find services that you may be eligible to utilize? The following resources are geared at assisting low income individuals, and families.

Help Is Available

Whether you are on Income Assistance, Employment Insurance, or working for lower wages there are resources available to help supplement you, and or your family. Availability to a variety of services, is based on individual eligibility requirements. To learn more about these options, visit the individual links to see if you are eligible for assistance.

Free and Low Cost Food

Vancouver Food Bank The food bank provides food to families in need, each week. Call 604-876-3601 for your closest depot location.
Quest Food Exchange Offering affordable and healthy choice food options to families in need.
City Reach Care Society Food for Families Offers a weekly food bank for families in need, as well as a bulk buying monthly produce program.
DOWNLOADABLE PDF FILE List of soup, community kitchens, and other resources.


Dental for Low Income Vancouver Community Dental Health Program
additional low cost dental resources Affordable dental options listed with Redbook online

Other Health
Hearing Clinic Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clinic, offers hearing tests, evaulations, hearing aid trials, counselling, and reconditioned hearing aids through the Lend-An-Ear Loaner Hearing Aid Loan Program


BC Housing Offers assistance with emergency housing, supportive housing, subsidized housing, rental assistance, and affordable housing.
Housing and Homeless Resources for VancouverCity of Vancouver's Resources for Housing and Homelessness


Vancouver Parks and Recreation City of Vancouver residents that are in need, can access the Leisure Access Card which allows them to utilize facility services at a reduced cost, or for free. At the above link you can view eligibility requirements, benefits offered, and how to apply.
Many of Vancouver's local community centres also offer services to low income individuals one of these centres is: Carnegie Community Centre
Many recreational activities can also be accessed at a reduced cost on specified discount nights, for instance theatres offer a discounted Tuesday rate, as well many live theatre playhouses offer a reduced rate during matinees, or special evenings. To learn more contact your venue of choice, and inquire as to whether they have such discounted times in place.

Household Goods

Free Geek Free Geek has a thrift store that offers computers, and peripherals at a minimal cost. They also offer a reward based volunteer program, a volunteer can acquire a free computer after having logged 24 hrs of volunteer time.
Wrags If on Income Assistance, a simple referral can allow for one to receive a free bed. If on a low income and not receiving Income Assistance, one can contact Wrags to inquire about their discount prices. They also take donations of used metal objects, cell phones, batteries, plastic, and wax candles.
Helping Families in Need Society A registration fee of $10 will allow a family to visit this organization to acquire needed household items, for three consecutive weeks.
Salvation Army


Dress For Success
Thrift Stores
Free or low cost items can also be located via Kijiji or Craigslist


Charlie's Food Bank An animal food bank that provides free food for cats, dogs, birds, and other small animals; as well as accessories, information on training/behavior, and free spay/neuters.
Veterinary Care The SPCA also provides a financial aid program for those in need, which covers 33% of the cost of services provided at their clinic.

Christmas Hampers

There are many individual organizations throughout the lower mainland that offer Christmas assistance with food, and or gifts. Contact individual places to learn of their eligibility requirements, and services offered.
Vancouver Christmas Bureau
Salvation Army or alternate information
Union Gospel Mission

Employment Services

Employment Services offer a variety of assistance depending on the individual organization. Some assist with identification replacement, transit fare, certification, and upgrading assistance, computer/telephone access, copying, printing, as well offering other useful help that aid in one gaining employment.

A few include:
newSTART Bridging, a VEES community service Provides employment readiness to women, specialized services geared towards women who have experiences abuse or violence, whether they are on Income Assistance or not. Some of their services include counselling, training and or assistance with certifications, ID replacement, and workshops.
Mount Pleasant Neighborhood House Employment Program Individualized service geared at assisting individuals in finding gainful employment. Includes assistance with short term training, such as First Aid, and WHMIS if required, as well as information on community resources with regards to housing, nutrition, and counselling.
Work BC Employment Services Work BC offers services to job seekers and employers. Contact your local office to learn more.

Legal Help

Wills Clinic, offers Pro Bono legal assistance to seniors and terminally ill people with Last Will and Testament Draft and Execution
Ministry of Justice Access Center Vancouver A place to receive help for family and civil law issues, some of which include separation, divorce, debt, housing, employment.
Pov Net An online anti-poverty community that provides resources, advocacy, and help towards navigating the various avenues.
UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program University of BC's Law students provide a legal advice program
Create Free Legal Forms Create and download free legal documents
Legal Services Society (Legal Aid) Legal Aid provides assistance to individuals who can not afford a Lawyer, and who have legal issues.

Simply for Seniors

Low Income Seniors
Wills Clinic, offers Pro Bono legal assistance to seniors and terminally ill people with Last Will and Testament Draft and Execution
BC Centre for Elder Advocacy Support Justice programs include: seniors abuse, and information line, victim services program, and legal programs
411 Seniors Centre Information and referral services for seniors.
SAFER (Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters) Provides monthly supplement payments to eligible seniors aged 60 or over with low or moderate income to assist in subsidizing their rent.

Additional Resources for Vancouver

The amount of places that offer assistance to those in need are truly limitless. One must just take the initiative to seek out the help. If you are seeking individual assistance in a particular area I recommend viewing the following link, which provides a search option to narrow down location and type of service.
BC 211 (Redbook Online)

DOWNLOADABLE PDF FILE OF ASSORTED RESOURCES FOR VANCOUVER A 2 page list of resources within the Greater Vancouver area, available for print out or download.

One can also contact schools that are training persons in a particular area, to see if they are offering services at reduced rates or free of cost. Some of these services may include: dental, mental health, hairdressing, food, income tax submission etc.
Vancouver Community College, offers a variety of low cost services to the public including a cafeteria, hairdresser, and bake shop

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author avatar Wanda
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

Wow.. well done Jeannie! What a resourceful article! Looking forward to reading more!

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author avatar Jeannie Meredith
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Wanda, you can read them all on my main page this is my 7th lol I appreciate your feedback...

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author avatar Matt
30th May 2016 (#)

Hey Jeannie,

Matt here from Canadian Legal Wills. I just stumbled across this page and wanted to compliment your post. Very good wealth of information that's still relevant even 3 years later.

That being said, I really enjoyed your content relating to Legal Help. I currently work for www.LegalWills.ca; we're Canada's #1 provider of online Wills and pride ourselves in offering great service at an affordable price (no hidden fees like some of the "free" services out there).

If you're ever looking at updating this list, feel free to check us out!


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