Food for Thought Blog

In the Community: Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.

February 1st, 2021In the Community

Hoyes, Michalos & Associates believes financial problems can happen to anyone, at any time. And they also know carrying debt can mean choosing between paying bills or having food on the table.

The team is committed to helping people – struggling with debt – get back on track which is why they have partnered with The Food Bank of Waterloo Region as an annual Food & Fund Drive sponsor.  

Since 1999, Hoyes Michalos has helped more than 60,000 Ontario residents get out of debt and gain a fresh financial start.  

In this business profile, we chat with Douglas Hoyes, Co-founder of Hoyes Michalos to learn about the importance of giving back and the partnership with The Food Bank.  

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region (The Food Bank): Tell me a little bit about your business?

Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. was founded in 1999 by Licensed Insolvency Trustees Doug Hoyes and Ted Michalos to help people in our communities achieve debt relief.  

We know that financial problems can happen to anyone at any time. We meet with individuals from every walk of life, and we recognize that each of our clients has a unique life story. People often find themselves in debt through circumstances beyond their control – underemployment, job loss, illness, and divorce commonly lead to severe financial problems. Our job is to listen with respect and understanding. Dealing with debt is stressful. Our team strives to make the debt recovery process friendly, caring and as easy as possible. 

In addition to helping people get out of debt, we want to ensure our clients recover and build a healthier financial future. We place a strong emphasis on financial literacy education throughout their debt relief journey to prevent future financial hardships. 

The Food Bank: Why is it important, as business to give back to the community?

As Licensed Insolvency Trustees, we see the financial and emotional fallout from so many people living paycheque to paycheque and relying on debt to make ends meet. 

Stagnant incomes and rising expenses mean many Canadians struggle with necessities like food and rent and have poor access to extra-curricular activities that build better lives and healthier futuresThe recent pandemic highlights what happens to individuals, our economy and society when so many people live on the edge financially. 

We give back to ensure that more individuals can meet their basic needs and change their circumstances for the better. 

It’s also why, as an employer, we have committed that all direct and indirect staff working at Hoyes Michalos will receive a Living Wage. We recognize that more and more people are working for low wages, and we see the financial struggle this creates every day. We are proud to lead by example and be a Certified Living Wage Champion.  

The Food Bank: What does it mean to your business to be able to give back so generously to the charitable and non-profit organizations in Waterloo Region?

It means taking an active role in bringing positive change to our society and the communities where our team lives and worksWe support local programs like The Food Bank of Waterloo Region that help people rebuild for a better tomorrow. 

Just as our team wants to empower individuals by teaching them how to manage their money better, we want to support our communities to help lift people into a better tomorrow. 

The Food Bank: How does your business support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region?

We are proud to sponsor The Food Bank of Waterloo Region’s Food & Fund Drive to tackle food insecurity in the region.  

We also spoke to Wendi Campbell, CEO of The Food Bank recently about how the organization combats the stigma around food insecurity on our company’s Debt Free in 30 podcast. One of the most notable statistics on your website is that 28% of people only visit the food bank once. That speaks to the breadth of need in our communities, a message we hope we can help deliver. 

The Food Bank: Why do you and/or your business support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region?

Our average client spends 31% of their net monthly household income on personal and living expenses, including food and 40% of their net income on housing costs. Rising food and housing prices have an immediate and detrimental impact on someone living paycheque to paycheque while also trying to repay debt. Making a debt payment at the beginning of the month can mean not having enough money at the end for necessities, like putting food on the table. 

Seeing the financial dilemma people experience between paying a bill or buying foodit was only natural for us to partner with the Food Bank. 

We understand that just like debt problems, food insecurity can happen to anyone, through no fault of their own. With this partnership, we hope to support those in need and inspire more conversations that challenge and change the misconceptions around food and financial insecurity. 

For more information about debt relief, you can visit hoyes.com or contact them at 1.866.747.0660.