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Just Havin' a Conversation
April 7, 2016 @ 6:28 AM by: Richard Steinecke

Recently I sat at a table with four members of our community sharing what I had learned about the Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program at a seminar the week before. I expressed puzzlement at how the system worked. I saw four nodding heads. They freely shared with me their experiences in navigating the system. No rancour. No anger. No resentment. Just havin’ a conversation. One person in the group needed to move out of his room. He did not want to “play the game” and stay in his room until he was evicted. The place he wanted to move to was affordable and had long-term possibilities. But he had no way to move his bed and clothes there. He was hopeful his case officer would see the benefit of helping with the move. Even if he was just able to keep most of the money he earned working the last couple of weeks (rather than having it deducted from his benefits), it would enable him to rent a truck. I did not see him the next week so I am hopeful that something worked out for him. Our community members are extremely resourceful.

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