featured Inclusion Poverty

Kendall Worth on solving the puzzle that is Kendall Worth

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – As most of  my readers know, I have been a poverty advocate here in Halifax for a long time. I have been visiting places where people who live in poverty go to do research for my articles. And lately I have been the chair of the Benefits Reform Action Group (BRAG).

I see my life as a puzzle with many different pieces that has not yet been put together.

I also want to mention my involvement with the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network. Once I had a dream of wanting to have my own business. The dream was for me to have a business to provide employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Since I am a person with a disability myself, the business would also be owned by persons with disabilities.

The story that brought me to tears

In my day to day life I sometimes reach out to people and talk to them about life on income assistance.

Recently  the story of a person who I reached out to, on why she is on the system in the first place, brought me to tears.  She told me how she was never able to hold down a real job, had no friends and was never  successful in living in an intimate relationship.

Kendall Worth. “I see my life as a puzzle with many different pieces that has not yet been put together.” Photo Robert Devet

Of course in my day to day life I hear stories that are similar to her story. I am not going to share her personal story because she has asked me not to share her story.

However I will say that she is one of the many people on income assistance I talk to in the community  who is scared to come forward about her situation, attend meetings of the Benefits Reform Action Group, and advocate for herself to better her life because she has social anxiety.  She did give me the ok to share that much.

Just like most people on welfare, she does not enjoy being the system and she has a dream of someday wanting to get off the system. However it is very unlikely she ever will. The reality is, just like anyone on welfare in Nova Scotia she gets $535.00 for her rent, and $275.00 for her personal allowance.

When you live with social anxiety you have a dream of wanting to make your own money and be professionally fulfilled, but something in your brain won’t let you. Chemical imbalances in your brains that cause the anxieties keep you from holding down the job, and socialize with people.

If only I could do more

Hearing this person’s story made me wish that the business I once tried to get going was a success. If it had of been a success today I could hire her to come work at my business. It is sad that even as the chair of Benefits Reform Action Group what I can do to help persons like her is limited.

There are some employers out there who  have no problem hiring persons with mental illness, especially if the owner lives with mental illness herself.  If I had my own successful business where I could hire a few employees to work for me, I would personally know what it is like to be in their shoes.

Of course the person with the mental illness I would be hiring would have to manage their mental illness responsibly.

Also, I will mention that when I tell people that I am the chair of BRAG and tell them what BRAG is, many people who are scared to come forward tell me “Kendall you have guts being the chair of that group.”

The big reason as to why people who are on income assistance do not want to come forward about their situations is because they scared of losing what little they have in life.

However,  someone with social anxiety who comes to BRAG meetings for example, are nervous about speaking in groups and they tend to do better  speaking one on one with a person about their situation.

The puzzle that is Kendall Worth

I see my life as a puzzle with many different pieces that has not yet been put together.

One piece of the puzzle is represented by Hire Kendall Worth, an article that talks about wanting someday to get a paid  to reach out to people living in poverty, and the difficulties I encounter.

Another piece of the puzzle that is me is my wish to create a team to reduce poverty in the community, see my article Join Team Kendall Worth.

There is also My Life as a Poverty Activist and Writer, in which I talk  about the history of what got me into being a poverty activist and why I do it.

The final piece of the puzzle is the passion I have developed over my years of advocating to see poverty reduced.

I want to say that when someone pours their heart out to me to about wanting to make their life  better, I feel bad I cannot do more other than being her friend reaching out to her as well as sharing her story.  

If only the pieces of the puzzle all were all put together properly. I really wish there was opportunity for me to reach out more to her and those like her.  

If you can, please support the Nova Scotia Advocate so that it can continue to give a voice to people like Kendall and cover issues such as poverty, racism, exclusion, workers’ rights and the environment in Nova Scotia. A pay wall is not an option for us, since it would exclude many readers who don’t have any disposable income at all. We rely entirely on one-time donations and a group of twenty or so dedicated monthly sustainers. 





  1. Dear Kendall,

    As I read your story, I most certainly understand. I really think we need to unify forces. I do hope you remember me; what I keep thinking is we should do a TV series on http://SteveTV.tk TV I invite you to do such. What if I present to everyone ways to decrease poverty? What if we were to be the ones to change the face of this province?

  2. Hi Steve, Yes by means I remember you. I love your ideas you just posted. I will have a look at what I have going on with me next week (this week things with me are kind of tight) I know I keep putting off what we are going to meet. However I looked at your website and I really like your TV Chanel. So thanks for your message and let see about sometime next week for us getting together. I have your business card at home and will be in touch, before this week is up. thanks for your message and your interest.
    All the best! Kendall!

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