I am writing about the misconceptions of welfare or disability. I shall start with the rates. It seems people think we are rich being on assistance. Let me clear some things up.
The regular assistance you get is $600 a month and $375 is only
allowed for rent. These rent rates have not gone up in years. Have you ever tried to find a place (even a bachelor) for $375 in Penticton. You can't so we are forced to live with others to survive.
Have you ever told a landlord you're on assistance? I would not try it. We are considered society's lows of the low.
So people think, OK you take $375Ê for rent and now you're left with $225 to live on. With this you have utilities, food, clothes.transportation and any other need.
How much are utilities now in the winter? Yes people who are able to work should be made to look for work. The people who are forced into poverty have it so bad they often go hungry in order to pay the heat.
Penticton Transit will allow a person on a disability a bus pass for $45 dollars a year. Here's the thing... the people that are on regular assistance do not get that deal. That makes no sense.
Do people even know how hard it is to even get disability assistance these days? You need doctors' notes and a lot of stuff to qualify for disability. Did you know even the sickest of the sick get treated the same way. The people who are mentally ill, who through no fault of their own can not work, still get the $375 a month for shelter.
We have to work hard at proving we are indeed disabled.
The moral of my story is there is always two sides to every story and I am letting you hear the other side. We are not a bunch of lazy people living off the government's money. We are forced to live in poverty and there is little way out, except for jails or institutions
I think I have an answer to some of these problems.ÊGive any low income person a bus pass either to get around or look for a job. Raise the rent portion so we can afford a roof overÊ our headsÊ so, then we will not be forced into crime to get a warm place to sleep.
I think that understandingÊthe problem of homelessness and what causes it is a first step in fixing it.