Patricipant's Blogs

The Options Committee of Making Kenora Home has proposed the fourth poverty challenge, A Walk in Other’s Shoes. This year the event will spin in a direction evolved from last year’s participants, the Kozak Family. The 2014 Poverty Challenge has become the Poverty Challenge – A Walk in Other’s Shoes – Family.

Participants will be asked to attempt to stay within a social assistance benefits’ budget. The maximum basic needs benefit for families accessing Ontario Works varies slightly depending on the number of adults in the household. The 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 a daily challenge card which will reveal an additional challenge to be completed before the end of each day. As the family completes the challenge, they will blog about their experience twice a day. The participants will experience just a few of the hurdles that people living on social assistance face.

A kick-off event will be held at Kenora City Council Chambers on Friday February 7th at 12:00pm. The wrap up event will be held at Northwestern Health Unit City View Board Room (Mount Carmel location) on Wednesday February 12th at 12:00pm. Everyone is welcome.


A Walk in Others Shoes- Family Poverty Challenge 2014 The challenge starts after the opening event (Counsel Chambers – Kenora City Hall) at 12:00pm on Friday February 7th and finishes during the wrap up luncheon (Northwest Health Unit City View Board Room) on Wednesday February 12th. Please invite family and friends. “Rules” The maximum basic needs amount from Ontario Works, 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. Basic needs are all expenses other than rent, heat, hydro and home insurance (if you are on social assistance and you rent is higher than your shelter allowance, you must use your basic needs to cover the difference). In attempt to keep it as realistic as possible, we ask that all participants attempt to not spend anymore than their budgeted amount during the five-day period. Please have cash ready for the start of the challenge. This is a self-regulated challenge. How stringently you follow the rules set forth is up to you. Please be honest while taking the challenge. If something is just too difficult to follow, please explain why. Before taking action in your day, consider such things as heating the home to a comfortable temperature, using extra personal supplies, accessing devices such as the internet or cell phone or washing clothes. Reflect on whether your budget could include the cost of those items. Attempt to keep those “usage” costs to a minimum. Food • All food and drink consumed during the five days must come from the budget – do not use pre-purchased supplies (this includes school lunches) • An attempt to eat healthy must be made • Do not let friends or family purchase or supply meals • Coffee funds must be paid out of your budget • Participants are encouraged to attend the meal programs offered through non-profit organizations Residence Related Costs • Keep utility costs to a minimum (i.e. turn the heat down, shower every 2 days) • Keep supply costs to a minimum (i.e. Laundry, food storage, cleaning supplies) Personal Supplies • The following personal supplies must be purchased with the budget  Tooth brush  Tooth paste  Body Soap  Shampoo/Conditioner  Deodorant  Toilet Paper  Baby supplies • Attempt to keep extra personal supply use to a minimum (i.e. makeup) or include it within the budget • Prescription medications are exempt, but if you need to purchase an over the counter item, try to keep it within the budget Transportation • Transportation for work, family commitments or other non-personal reasons will be allowed without penalty. • Should a vehicle be used for a purpose other than listed above, a penalty of $1.00 must be paid. Consider the costs of maintaining a vehicle; we would assume that if Ontario Works was your only source of income, you would not be able to cover those costs. We will consider the $1.00 payment to friend for gas. • Use of public transportation and/or your feet is encouraged. Entertainment • All entertainment and or sports costs must be included in the budget. • If you previously paid a membership to a club (.i.e. Ski hill) you must pay the day-pass rate, unless you have arranged for payment by a social assistance group. • Attempt to attend functions by utilizing free events or services Daily Challenge Cards • Every morning, open one challenge card • Each challenge must be completed at the end of the day • If the challenge could not apply for that day (weekday card on a weekend), pull another and set that one aside to use on an applicable day • Don’t forget to try to put yourself in the shoes of someone on social assistance Blogging • Blog at least twice a day – this can be done by any member of the family (please ensure that you proof your children’s blogging before it is posted) • Reveal your challenge card on the blog • Record your meals and activities of the day • Try to write about how you feel; how your family and friends feel; things you are enjoying, things you are missing; how the community perceives you. Reflect in your own personal style, there is no right or wrong way. Just remember it is for the public to read and it may end up in the media. • Share the website of to get the link to your blogs with friends and family Share Talk with people about your challenge. Share your feelings, your concerns, your experience with people you meet, coworkers, friends and family. Have fun, be honest and let the challenge guide you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.