A spokesperson from Steinbach Community Outreach says Manitoba's minimum wage increase this week won't make a big difference for the community's most vulnerable residents.

The minimum wage went from $11.65/hr. to 11:90/hr. on Thursday. Myra Gerbrandt is the Drop-in Coordinator for Steinbach Community Outreach. She notes this increase is a step in the right direction but most likely won't make much of a difference for the people that use their services.

“Most of our clientele will be either on social assistance or trying to hold down a part-time job at minimum wage. I don't think that that little bit of a raise is going to help make their ends meet. It is definitely not an incentive for people to come off of social assistance to get a minimum wage job and a lot of our clients that is all they are going to be able to get realistically"

Gerbrandt says it is very tough for their clients to make enough money to live, especially single parents.

“Who can afford rent and hydro and dental and eye care and all these things on minimum wage? It is difficult to get affordable housing so a lot of the comments that we hear around here is about the little amount of money that they have left at the end of the month. Some have as little as $65 after all of their bills are paid to get food, to have any kind of unexpected car repair or gas or any of those things, it is just not sustainable.”

According to Gerbrandt, many of the guests that use their services have physical or mental health issues that make it difficult to hold down a full-time job so the best they can do is find a minimum wage part-time job and oftentimes they are actually better off turning to social assistance.