March 2022 NOTE:
This text was written in late 2021, before inflation began to rise. My food costs have, as of March 28, 2022, increased 30%. My income, which as a homeless person is all of $343 monthly, is not sufficient to cope with these costs. Homelessness is a trap. Resources are the path out.
The fundraising goal of $35,000 should be adjusted upwards to match rising costs, yet, and I’d like to emphasize this point — the goal of my fundraiser is to return to living. The specific overall amount is less important than what it buys, namely, security and a future.
(Originally Posted July 28, 2021. Minor edits for clarity, March 28, 2022.)
Note – Presenting these numbers is a bit of a challenge. Starting from nothing is expensive. The minimum cost of my return to housing as I’d like it to be starts with first and last month’s rent.
After moving in, the important factor is stability. I am terrified at the prospect of becoming housed again, only to fall back into homelessness for lack of work and income.
The cost of living numbers I’m using are from July, 2021. I’ll continue to use them for a while seeing the costs in grocery stores continue to edge upwards. Hopefully they’ll stabilize by the end of the year.
Numbers as of July, 2021 – Source: www.numbeo.com
$6,834 is my before-tax minimum cost of moving into a 1-bedroom apartment in Toronto.
$34,624 ($6,834 [start-up costs] + $27,790 [10 additional months of expenses] is the approximate minimum cost of living for one year.
My criteria for a return to housing is a one bedroom apartment, outside of downtown and near a subway station. This includes internet access, and a cell phone. It also includes a bed, a kitchen table, and a desk. These items can be sourced fairly cheaply from IKEA, or other budget retailer. Second hand furniture is out of the question due to risk of bed bugs.
Moving into an apartment in Toronto requires an up-front payment of First & Last month’s rent. Using those two months as a guide, I’ve listed the minimum base cost as two months expenses. Seeing I’m starting from nothing, that will include start-up costs for items such as utensils, dishes, pots, pans, a bed, a table, and other items.
I’ve used figures including the cost of rent, groceries, phone, etc. My aim is to balance my needs against overall costs. That’s to say I have given a lot of thought to the value and importance of the items I’ve listed.
The numbers, as I’ve written, are crowd-sourced and are averaged by numbeo.com. Fairly accurate from what I’ve seen.
Below I abstract the figures around moving into a 1-bedroom apartment. More detailed figures are farther down the page. Costs of bedding, pots and pans, etc, are based on low-middle range examples. Costs of miscellany include average price of condiments, spices, etc.
Minimum Start-Up Costs:
Rent – First & Last
2 x $1,800 – Low-Mid Average Cost of 1-bed Apartment as of July, 2021
Groceries – (2 Months)
2 x $568 – as of July, 2021
Utilities – (2 Months)
2 x $165 – Calculated for 85 square feet, as of July, 2021
Misc. Consumables – (2 Months, Start-Up)
1 x $43 – Grooming, Hygiene, Laundry Soap, etc.
Textiles – (Start-Up)
1 x $150 – Bedding, Towels, Dish Cloths, etc.
Internet Access – (2 Months)
2 x $75 – Budget Network Access Provider
Transit Pass – (2 Months)
2 x $156 – As of July, 2021
Phone – (2 Months)
2 x $15 – Least Expensive Phone Plan
Kitchenware – (Start-Up)
$575 – Coffee Maker, Pots, Pans, Dishes, Can Openers, etc.
Furniture – from IKEA
Kitchen Table – LERHAMN
Twin Bed – Frame & Mattress
$79 – Frame – NEIDEN
$199 – Mattress – MORGEDAL
$130 – MALM
$6834, before tax – this is the approximate start-up cost to move into a 1-bedroom apartment.
In calculating the ten months additional to the first two start-up months, I’ve used these same numbers, minus the start-up costs around bedding and kitchenware.