Participants have been asked to attempt to stay within a social assistance benefits’ budget. A single person on Ontario Works would receive $305 per month, $10.00 per day, or $50.00 for the five-day period. A couple would receive $468 per month, allowing a daily budget of $15.60 or $78.00 for five days.
The budget includes all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each participant will be given a daily challenge card, which will reveal an additional challenge to be completed before the end of each day.
The participants will experience some of the hurdles that people living on social assistance face. It is hoped that the event will raise awareness and break barriers for people living in poverty. The challenge takes place February 16th until February 21st, 2016.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
The last 'challenge' ..... "your dog is sick, what do you do?" I thought I'd been lucky with the daily challenge cards all week, and worried it might be time for my luck to change. I was a bit nervous about opening up this last card. It isn't always good to be right, and my first reaction when I read it was............. 'your dog is sick, what do you do? The thought of it brought back the memory of other moments with pets when they were seeming off, and the question begins, oh no, what's wrong? That's the hard part, the not knowing. If Emma were sick this morning I'd do what we've done in the past and spend the next 30 - 60 minutes monitoring and watching her behavior, checking for any visible wounds, cuts etc. try and figure out what was going on. I'd tempt her with a treat, which today would mean a piece of cheese, and see if she'd take any water and keep it down. I would watch her trying to determine what was wrong, if it was serious to see if she needed to see the Vet.
This challenge raises a highly personal question and from past experiences I've learned, you can't tell when a pet first seems off whether it's a minor problem that will pass or if it's the first indication of something much more serious and potentially life threatening? We've had both, and historically we're quick to get to the Vet's for their opinion in hopes of being told they've just pulled a muscle or could have gotten into the trash which has upset her system. Or then there is the other possible outcomes.
Either way, this challenge confirms what I think all of us taking part in this know, we wouldn't have pets. We couldn't with the limited amount of money we'd be getting from OW. There just wouldn't be any debate, if I was someone on OW assistance, it would be impossible for me to think I could look after a pet and offer them all they needed for a good and healthy life. Given how much I love and enjoy Emma, or any of the other pets we've had, this challenge forced me to accept the fact that I would no longer have the option of having a pet, it would be out of reach; unaffordable.
So while I've got enough food left for today, a couple dollars to spare and planning on shaving, which I know is going to feel good, I'm feeling the weight of today's challenge. Thankfully I have a healthy pet just underneath this desk as I write this blog, for which I'm extremely grateful, and also pleased that this is the last day I'll be trying to walk in these shoes. But when asked if Emma were so sick today that I felt she needed to see the Vet and I had only the assistance of OW to rely on, 'what would I do"? I really don't know, but I'm sure whatever it was, it wouldn't be without tears!
Friday, February 19, 2016
I've got the last of my chicken for supper tonight with more rice, smothered in margarine and some sauted kale ... that leaves a chicken leg/back for tomorrows lunch. I'll have soup with a cheese sandwich for lunch and there's plenty of oatmeal for tomorrow breakfast. The worry is what remains tomorrow's remaining challenge.
The worry is as it's been all week, will I have enough money to get me through, will it last?
It's a dreary day but I'm headed out to buy my ticket, and also get some exercise, something I've not done for the last few days ................ it's mild and I'm hoping the fresh air and a lottery ticket in my pocket will lift my spirits.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Found the help of my friends was my way to try and answer today's challenge of getting a new shovel. But it did mean having to ask ... most said go to Canadian Tire, or a hardware store ... lol (they didn't know I'd begun this challenge) I found one, but it will mean walking to Lakeside to get it but it would have taken much longer to find so many willing to help without access to the internet.
I know what I've got for breakfast, but am sure I'll miss that ice cream treat tonight after supper! I do however have a warm place to eat and sleep, and someone to share it with ....