Downtown Halifax drop-in centre files taxes for people who need help
A tax clinic in Souls Harbour Rescue Mission in Halifax is helping dozens of low-income and vulnerable Canadians file their tax returns for free this week.
The Returning Hope Program is an initiative by H&R Block that's in its seventh year and runs until Saturday. It is aimed at helping people who struggle to file taxes due to a lack of resources such as a bank account, government ID or a computer.
Cherry Laxton, the chief operating officer at Souls Harbour, said the clinic has seen an "exponential" growth over the years and has served hundreds of clients.
"Every year, we see a growth in the number of clients who are coming in," said Laxton. She said if it wasn't for this service, many wouldn't be able to file their taxes.
"Many people who come to Soul Harbour need disability benefits or are on income assistance. If they don't file their taxes, they can't access the government benefits they need."
Laxton says holding the tax clinic in Souls Harbour creates a comfortable environment for clients who regularly use the space.
"Most of them are coming here anyway to access meals or clothing from our free mart location."
"A lot of them just wouldn't go to a place where they're not familiar or if they would have to use any of their disposable income to access the service."
Craig Putt regularly comes to Soul Harbour to eat. On Monday he was there to file his taxes.
"I'm blind. I can't see, do nothing, can't do it myself right," said Putt. "That's why I come in for help."
The clinic at the Souls Harbour location on Cunard Street is by appointment only.
MORE TOP STORIES