5 Questions about Poverty: Annapolis County Family Resource Centre

Our first contributor to this month’s series is Wendy Knowlton, Executive Director, Family Matters, Annapolis County Family Resource Centre. She’s first up to answer 5 questions about poverty.
 
How does poverty impact on your work? How does it play out in what you see everyday?

Part of our mandate is to provide services, programs and supports to families who are struggling with poverty. That is why we offer transportation to many of our programs. We also try to provide healthy snacks at our programs. Every day we see families who are struggling to provide for their children.

What are some of the changes you’d like to see – from a policy perspective, from a community perspective?

I would like to see a guaranteed income implemented in Canada so no one lived below the low income cut off. This could be done through the combination of the many little pockets of money available to families. The cost savings of administering such a system would be substantial, not to mention the money saved in health and justice systems.

What’s the biggest myth or misconception about poverty that you would like to change?

If people just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, they would be fine. The blaming of people experiencing poverty is systemic and prevelent in our communities.

Thinking about another determinant of health, what is its connection to poverty?

Gender is shown to be connected to poverty. Women are more at risk of living in poverty – especially women who are a visible minority or have a disability. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, women live longer, so they are more likely to be living in poverty as seniors. Secondly, women earn on average 70 cents for every dollar earned by men. 95% of lone parents in Nova Scotia are women, and they are very at risk of living in poverty.

We want to thank Wendy for her time and insights, and now we turn the comment section over to you. If you have thoughts or answers to some of the questions we’ve posed, we’d love to hear from you.

 

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