KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – “About seven years ago I went from a double income, sort of middle class, with a baby and a toddler, to very suddenly and unexpectedly living in a shelter and being on income assistance.”
“Being poor was like a fulltime job, and going through it, I realized how inaccessible the whole process was, and I had this burning desire to make it easier for others.”
In this weekend’s video we meet Laura Fisher, who was on social assistance not that long ago, and who is now a master’s student at Acadia. She co-authored last year’s Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, together with her mentor Dr. Lesley Frank.
I got to know Laura Fisher a tiny little bit not that long ago when she published a story in the Nova Scotia Advocate, pointing out that rural Nova Scotia is not always a welcoming place for low income mothers and their babies.
“This lack of welcome within community is felt in almost every aspect of daily life from obtaining food, housing, and healthcare to sitting on public benches,” she wrote.
“The answer to the question whether poor moms and babies are welcome in Nova Scotia is, no, not right now, but things are improving with the emergence of new programs, greater awareness of the challenges facing low-income mothers, and attitude shifts that recognize that the causes of poverty are largely systemic and not an individual shortcoming to be punished,” she concluded.
It’s very much thanks to the energy of people like Laura Fisher and Dr. Lesley Frank that these insights are gaining ground and slowly, way too slowly, things are getting better.
With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.
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