Frequent contributor Kendall Worth tackles the serious topic of social isolation. He looks at causes for isolation other than poverty, and particularly puts alcoholism under the loop. But poverty can certainly add to the problem, Kendall explains. He ends with a list of suggestions anybody can try, from joining a book club to becoming an activist.

Reporter Tim Blades wonders how come single parents on welfare see their child support clawed back in Nova Scotia, yet British Columbia has done away with the practice, and Ontario is soon to follow. And then there are some other policies that make the lives of single parents on welfare and their children particularly difficult, and sometimes even dangerous, Tim reports.

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.