A Walk In Other's Shoes - Poverty Challenge - Family

This challenge is asking families to attempt to stay within a social assistance budget for five days. Ontario Works benefits provide a maximum basic needs for a couple with any amount of children is $458.00; this sets the challenge budget at $75.00 per family, or $15 per day. A single parent would receive $344.00 per month, therefore, their challenge budget will be $60.00 or $12.00 per day.

The budget includes all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each family will be given challenge cards which will reveal additional challenges to be completed before the end of each day. As the family completes the challenge, they will blog about their experience.

Boucher Family

Boucher Family

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bed Bug Solution

After getting the kids to school this morning I walked up to town once again. I went to the Northwestern Health Unit to ask some questions. In regards to yesterdays toothache challenge, this is what I learned. If you earn less than $20,000 a year and have proof of residence and Ontario health card your children qualify for some dental programs. In my challenge, I could bring in my child and they would take a look and make some recommendations on what needs to be done. If my child needed dental care they would make the recommendation and help fill out the paper work. If a family did not have a permanent home (live in a shelter, hotel or someone else's house) if they have a Ontario health card and someone to vouch for them they could get care as well. For my challenge the health unit also encouraged a good flossing in case it was something stuck in the teeth that caused the sensitivity. I got toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss from them (I'm not proud but I returned the toothpaste and brushes, unused of course, the other day to buy the coffee I was craving!) I then walked to the next office to ask about any milk and food programs that may be available(we are running low of milk). The healthy babies program had milk coupons but our family situation did not qualify for them. The Minto Resource Center has a breakfast program where you can by a loaf of bread, carton of milk and small carton of eggs for $2. They were closed today and I was just too tired to walk that far for the milk and eggs. If they were opened I might have tried to mooch a ride there. From there I walked up the hill to the other Northwestern Health Unit building to address my bed bug situation. It was recommended that I don't move the backpack with the bed bug on it, bring a plastic bag to it and put it in. Then, very carefully put the backpack in the dryer (take out of plastic bag of course and knot it closed) and dry it on high. Only high heat will kill bed bugs. If any bed bugs are found in beds, couches and chairs I would need to get an exterminator in but that would cost a lot. If I were on Ontario Works, I would call them help deal with the situation. From there I picked up some paper work at the legal clinic and started the walk back home. On my way home I stopped at the Neechee Friendship Center for some soup and bannock. They serve soup or chili every Monday and Wednesday. I took some to go for Gerry and dropped it off at his work. Wow I am tired! Really, a few small errands took me so much time to do on foot and used up a big portion of my day. I have no energy to do anything else. If it took me much of the day to get help for my child's toothache or get help for a bed bug problem, get food and do paperwork/banking up town I really wouldn't have much left for anything else. Because if my child really did have a tooth problem I would have had to walk with them which would have been slower, had their teeth check, navigate the paper work for aid...that would be a whole day. Supper was stew made with potatoes, carrots, peas and wieners fried in onions in a cream gravy. Really, it's very good. I grew up on it and the kids love it. I also made biscuits. With all the baking I have done I am out of milk, have two eggs left and very little margarine. But because I have been baking cookies, muffins and biscuits from scratch I have $14 left so I can get more. The boys has Scout tonight. Owen stayed home because he was sick but Branson went. In reality, if we were on assistance we could not have paid for this. There is a program called Triple Play that helps families, who qualify, pay to enroll their children in one program each. We have in fact used Triple Play in the past. It is a wonderful organization that helps families and allows kids to join in activities they love. In Scouts the kids pay $1 dues each time they go to pay for some programing costs. I could send Branson $2 out of the $14 I had left for his dues. (I didn't pay last week) That felt great to be able to pay that. By the way, my coffee is wonderful and reusing coffee filters works great!

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