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.”
Kendall Worth tackles the stigma of disability and poverty, especially when dealing with landlords who don’t understand the first thing about the realities of income assistance.
Kendall Worth on the hard work that being on social assistance entails, and how you gain an assortment of valuable experiences that you should be able to list on your resume. We’re talking about skills like economical shopping, policy research and building community. And you have to be a real mathematical genius to make ends meet.
Kendall Worth returns to the topic of paid poverty advocacy work, and how to make it a win win for everybody. It can be done. Business plan attached!
Another installment of “Lives on Welfare, people on social assistance talk about what it’s like to be poor in Nova Scotia. Bernice, who we first met last week, on how hopeless being on welfare makes you feel, and how it takes away your dignity.
Our series “Lives on welfare” continues. Meet Bernice. She cut her power bill, only to see Community Services deduct the savings from her monthly cheque. “What do you do? I am just exhausted, from arguing. I am taking my frustration out on my worker, but she has no control, so she takes the crappy end of it. But if you are so frustrated she is the one you vent too, and I keep apologizing to her, I am sorry, I know it’s not your fault.”
Poverty activist Kendall Worth directs his attention at our educational system. Why we should teach about local poverty at all levels of education, and what that might look like. Kendall has a couple of great ideas!
Watch this wonderful documentary by Nova Scotia’s Nance Ackerman, about the exceptional eight-year old Isaiah and his equally remarkable family as they live in poverty in the Annapolis Valley.
The story of Suzanne (not her real name), a university student who needed help after she got pregnant, and a caseworker who went out of his way to stop her from getting what she was entitled to.
Our series ‘Lives on Welfare’ continues. Here Joe, one the most gentle and soft spoken people I know, talks about becoming the target of a verbal attack by a Community Services employee. Being treated disrespectfully by Community Services staff and feeling powerless as a result is another common theme in the stories people on welfare tell.