Tia recently received her shoes from the homeless shelter.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“Shelter! I’ve just been couch-surfing since I lost my place. I no longer have a place of my own. I rented from my cousin before we, shall I say, parted our separate ways. My situation changed after I lost my job as a tool-and-die apprentice. I had to go on welfare.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“I feel ashamed to admit it now but when I passed this shelter before, I was quite arrogant. I know I judged the people here. I thought they all were addicts. And, look at me, now! What would I do without it?”
“Don’t be judgmental! You don’t know how it is until you go through it yourself. There’s a multitude of factors that get you here.”
“Don’t let the situation define you. Keep in touch with family. Family can keep you motivated. You’ll want to do better for your family’s sake.”
“Take it one thing at a time. Solve one problem at a time. Get to the root of the problem and seek resources to help you get there. If you don’t get to the root of the problem, nothing will change for you. Social assistance is providing me with career counselling and help for depression. I know I’ll work again. I’ll get out of this.”