“Gloria” didn’t want her actual name used. She’s volunteered at the shelter in the past and enjoyed many meals there. She received her shoes from the shelter.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“It’s food. I have a hard time not just having nutritious food but enough food to last all month. ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) and Ontario Works arrive in the mail for many people at the beginning of the month. By the second week, people run out of money. Sometimes people don’t know how to budget or they haven’t been taught how to budget or they haven’t divided their allotment to cover four weeks’ worth of food. Often times, there simply isn’t enough money left over from paying rent to cover for the whole month. It’s hard to make the given amount of money stretch to last for four weeks’ worth of food, let alone for two or three weeks’ worth.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“It can happen to anyone, no matter how nice you are or how smart you are. But, the point to remember is it can be temporary. Most people can overcome it. It might involve big steps and hard work but for the majority of folks, it can be temporary.”
“If you have mental illness, it’s not a bad idea to get on the proper medication and to surround yourself with people that will support you and lift you through the tough times. Poverty is not an all-or-nothing situation. If I can overcome it, others can, as well.”