KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Nova Scotia Advocate readers may remember Full of hope, a story I wrote about a young woman who could not get into the Career Seek program. For seven years or so she faced all kinds of bureaucratic nonsense from the department of Community Services.
But she as an optimist, and she never gave up hoping for better times.
Well, she contacted me recently to tell me she is now off income assistance, and on her way out of poverty! And she is excited about it.
She got off the system “no thanks to the help of Community Services Employment Support Services,” she told me.
What happened was that since her story got published in the Nova Scotia Advocate, people at her church started sharing her story. When they realized they knew who this was about ,they all wanted to do something to help her out.
Through networking she now has a job. Sometimes getting a job through knowing someone who knows someone can happen. So now she is working and making $15 an hour. She is doing secretarial and clerical type work, and she tells me there are job training and other advancement opportunities.
“Kendall, it doesn’t really matter what type of work I am doing, I am just too excited about things,” she told me.
And her good luck doesn’t end there.
People who are connected to her church offered her a place where she can live rent free for one year, while the owners of that house are away. The idea is that she will be house sitting for them while they are overseas for this one year.
Her move into her one year rent free residents happened at the end of June. Therefore she was also able to achieve her goal of wanting to move out of North End Dartmouth.
When I asked her if she still wants to someday go back to to study social work, she said “For now I will not worry about going back to school because I am just too excited about my new and improved financial situation, but social work will always be my life’s dream.”
“I sure hope I never have to go back to depend on Community Services,” she said.
This coming September she enrolled into evening classes two nights a week at Dal. Those will help her decide whether or not she wants to keep the thought of going back to school on the back burner.
However, now that she is off income assistance, she no longer has to worry about getting accepted in the Career Seek program. She is happy that the days of dealing with the bureaucratic nonsense of Community Services is now over.
Her goal for this summer is to experience all the summertime fun activities that Halifax has to offer but that she had to miss out on the past six summers because they cost a lot of money.
She used the Harbour Hopper as one example of something she is looking forward to experiencing, and maybe invite somebody to keep her company. As I have often written, it is difficult to make friends when you are poor.
Other goals include:
- Wanting to make new friends and new social social contacts in the community.
- Join a fitness centre.
- Save money.
- Learn how to drive and get her drivers licence.
- Next summer, if at all possible, go see places in rural Nova Scotia.
Anyway, I want to end this story by saying that when I met this person she had the most positive attitude I ever saw. I personally wish her success moving forward. May her good luck continue forever more.
Kendall Worth is a tireless anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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