“Bob” didn’t want his actual name to be used.
“It’s bad enough being poor; I don’t want my friends to know what I’m telling you.”
Bob’s shoes were given to him by his Mom. She purchased them at Foot Locker.
What is your biggest struggle on a daily basis?
“It’s gotta be having to meet personal needs. Being clean, having a place to keep clean, personal hygiene. Oh, and transportation. That’s always an issue. Needing rides to places, having to rely on people, that sort of thing. Being able to communicate with others is a struggle too.”
Tell me about living in poverty.
“Well, I’d like people to know that it’s not true I’m poor because I don’t have anyone that cares for me. I have my sister and my mother to help me. If I asked, they would help. I just don’t want to burden them. It’s not fair to them. This is my problem.”
“ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) doesn’t provide enough money. It’s more like an allowance as opposed to having enough money to live on. But thank God for it. Without ODSP, I’d never be able to afford rent. I’m trying to save for first and last months’ rent. To find a better place. It’s hard. The place I’m in now is okay but I wish it were better. It’s temporary. I have a view of the Salvation Army. It’s not so bad. I’m downtown. And I have friends nearby so it’s okay.”
“Bob” is a new-to-me client of the shelter. He’s started serving food, taking out the garbage, and helping out with whatever needs to be done. I haven’t worked alongside him yet but other volunteers spoke highly of him as an eager, enthusiastic worker.