Their Shoes #43

Nancy’s shoes were purchased by her parents. Her previous pair fell apart and she required a new pair for a non-paying career gig.

“I plan on paying them back. For now, it’s added to the nearly $10,000. debt to my parents incurred over the years from buying necessities like food, clothing and shoes. Not to mention, wedding and shower gifts. Just because you’re poor, it doesn’t mean you don’t want to participate in society.”

What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis? 

“Not having a home of my own because the landlord wants to take over my apartment. I fear I’ll never have a stable home. I struggle with mice in my place, too. When you’re battling mice by filling every crack and crevice with foam, it’s very time-consuming and you can’t earn a living. An average person may be able to do it, but I can’t manage it. I can’t keep my clothing or my bedding clean because of the mice.”

“I’m on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). I can’t afford good, habitable and safe housing on the amount provided by ODSP. My rent is nearly $300 more than the shelter allowance. I don’t have enough money left over after rent is paid to afford to eat, let alone have money for Christmas and wedding gifts.”

What would you like people to know about living in poverty?

“We need to demand more from the government. I don’t have much to say to encourage struggling people but don’t be afraid to seek help at food banks and shelters. Although, the food will just sustain you for three to four days at a time.”

“Talk about your situation to promote awareness so the government can do more to help people be self-sufficient. Knowing I have an insurance policy helps me. If the housing program with the city is still available, check it out. I plan to cash in my life insurance policy to go towards a home of my own.”

“Learn about RDSP’s for people on disability. Put money into it like it’s rent or a phone bill. You may have parents now to help you out, but down the road, you’ll have the RDSP to rely on.”

“I have to stop moving so often. Moving costs are around $1000. It’s important to stay in the same place instead of relocating all the time. It’s very difficult to find a place I can afford when I can’t even put food on the table. I have to stop moving backwards and start swimming. I have skills. While I do struggle to keep employment in my field, I am an entrepreneur. One day I will be self-sufficient.”

3 thoughts on “Their Shoes #43

    1. John:
      Those on ODSP are disabled. They require assistance to survive and are systemically poor, as a result of underfunding. Social assistance benefits are but a drop in the bucket compared to the tax benefits that the wealthy 1% receive. We have a responsibility, a humane duty, to provide adequate assistance to the disabled. We are not currently doing enough, as those on ODSP are living well below the poverty line.

      Excerpt: “The poverty gap is the distance between the income people receive through benefits and the poverty line.”

      Excerpt: “In 1994… the Harris government slashed the basic social assistance rate (what would later become OW) by 21.6%, causing the gap to again widen significantly.”

      Excerpt: “Flash forward to 2014, and the situation has actually gotten worse since Harris left office in 2002. For single people receiving OW, the gap increased by 7%, from 53% to 59%. For single people receiving ODSP, the gap increased 14%, from 19% to 33%”

      Source:
      https://www.pressprogress.ca/people_on_social_assistance_in_ontario_are_actually_in_worse_shape_now_than_under_mike_harris

      Tell me John, how can the disabled “break the cycle” without their basic needs even being met?
      Wouldn’t you agree it is up to all decent citizens to demand better public policy and disability benefits of the government, if the disabled are truly to “break the cycle”?

      Liked by 1 person

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