Tuesday, 21 November 2017

As a bit of a follow-up on last winter’s very successful Women’s March on Washington here in Halifax about three hundred women and allies gathered at Province House today at noon to remind the world they’re still here. We hope to do a bit more on today’s rally, but for now, here are a couple of photos, and El Jones’ contribution, on Nova Scotia’s women who live in poverty, published with her kind permission.

New contributor Fara Spence profiles Ruby, an older woman living with severe arthritis and unable to work she had to turn to Community Services after her husband left her. ““Looking back, I was naive. I always thought Community Services would be…I don’t know, happy to help.”

Kendall Worth with a short and sad story about a woman living with developmental disabilities and mental health issues who lost her job and is dreading the day she will have to apply for social assistance.

Kendall Worth follows up on his earlier stories about a woman who had to go in for day surgery but who had nobody to stay with her during the first two weeks of her eight-week recovery, even though the hospital insisted that this be the case. Turns out she has been getting nightly check-up visits from the police. No matter how well intended, she isn’t happy about it, especially since the visits were arranged by the hospital without her permission.

Our roving reporter Kendall Worth was walking down Spring Garden when some people who knew of his poverty activism and writing asked if he would tell their story. Here it is. No money for groceries, but many mental health and health problems, and lots of people looking down on them as if it is all their fault somehow.

Video reporter Jodi Brown visits the mother of a terminally ill six-year old son, who was kicked of social assistance and told to repay over $30,000 in payments Community Services claims she should not have received. The mother is denying the allegations and fighting her case in court. Meanwhile the family can’t make ends meet and is facing eviction.

It is terribly important that we support the few people in Nova Scotia who are on welfare and/or live in public housing who speak out publicly about the conditions they face, not only for what they have to tell us, but also for the simple act of saying it. They are examples and inspirations, what they do is crucial. Jodi Brown is one of these people, and this Weekend’s Video is about her unexpected encounter with both welfare and public housing. One day you have a job, then you get sick, next thing you have $56 grocery money for an entire month.