UR Opinion

No Help For The Employed

Amanda Campbell

By Amanda Campbell

We moved to Barrie 3 years ago on only a single income. It was a struggle considering I wasn't receiving CTB, GST, OST, nothing, just my boyfriends pay alone. The cost of living, slummy landlords, and lack of funds drove us into financial depression, bills started to pile up, stress increased, and depression kicked in so I attempted to look for work. Without any luck we continued to struggle more and more, putting every penny towards are bills which caused us 2 years of no summer leisure with the kids. It was depressing when the kids went back to school with no fun summer stories to tell 2 years in a row. I finally found employment but it wasn't soon enough - Enbridge cut off our gas services before warm weather was here and left us cold, they did not approve a payment plan to help us slowly get caught up so I turned to local programs for help but OW, LEAP, and The Housing Retention Fund all turned us down. We were told we make too much money and that if I was unemployed we would be approved for financial assistance. So I asked, "If I quit my job, you would help us?" They said YES! So in other words, the hard working are not eligible for help, only those that aren't employed. This made me so angry because it took me 3 years to find a job and in order to get help hooking our gas back up, I'd have to quit. Not fair!
There are people who CAN'T work (which is understandable) and I respect that yes they sometimes need help from time to time but then there are people who just refuse to work because the "system" provides them financial support so they can feed their habits and laziness but those of us who are working are not worthy of help from time to time, unreal!
I have 3 children who are sick of taking baths and miss having a nice hot shower. My boyfriend works at a job that leaves him covered in lead dust and a bath doesn't cleanse the harmful substance off his body and with all my pleas for help, we were denied over and over and over again.
I was basically encouraged to let go of my job so I could "use" the system! What has happened to the world when helps not available to people who are trying to help themselves. We can't get caught up and can't get our gas turned back on because we are both employed!!!!
Remember everyone, if you're struggling to make ends meet, make sure you ask for help BEFORE you go looking for work because us employed people are expected to NOT need help ever, regardless of Christmas, Birthdays, Graduations, and everything in between!

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