Friday, 26 May 2017

In this powerful video Nova Scotians who know about welfare first hand are asked to describe Income Assistance in three words. It takes them all of 49 seconds to tell us that social assistance in Nova Scotia is broken.

New contributor Lila Mosher writes about how she became dependent on income assistance unexpectedly. There’s the lack of money, obviously, and on top of that there are all the mean spirited people who criticize and judge you without knowing your story.

Former Streat Feat writer Judy Deal on a great variety of topics that all have poverty in common. “We all should be treated with grace and dignity, no matter who one may seem. You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Meet Emma (not her real name), who is on welfare and lives with chronic pain. Her doctor thinks she should get a chiropractic bed, but Community Services doesn’t believe her doctor. Meanwhile, Emma’s appeal got misfiled, and Emma is still waiting.

For this installment of Lives on Welfare we publish a letter by a middle-aged man who is on social assistance and lives with Crohn’s disease. He relates two experiences with Community Services while he was pursuing an education. His first story is about a tutor he didn’t need, the second one is about the computer he did need.

Meet Joanne (not her real name). Joanne lives in a mid-sized town somewhere in rural Nova Scotia with her three kids, two boys and one girl. Her teenage son has intellectual disabilities and requires special care. Several years ago she fled an abusive relationship and she has not yet been able to resume a public live, something most of us take for granted. She is on Income Assistance. “I am poor,” she says, “but I budget well.”