Archived Letter – 999

I am a 37 year old (white male), looking for a HAND UP (not a Hand OUT).

Recently I have the dubious honour of being short on my rent. I was trying to stop a problem before my landlord evicts me. However there was nothing that Ontario Works could do. The Rent Bank can only help when it becomes a problem. For someone who needs a place to live (my family is 4 hours away), this is not acceptable.

This isn’t the only issue where the provincial government has failed me. When I was on my epilepsy medication I was told to apply for trillium drug program. However noone seemed to understand it was a waste of my money. As I would only need about $300 a year (on a generous side), and the program wanted $450 a year up front. And even though I still suffer from migraines and depression, it is not a disability therefore I am unable to get any assistance.

I am finding it harder and harder to access the resources that are available, simply because I do not meet the criteria. I am not a minority status, I do not have any major disabilities, and I do not have my post secondary education.

I am looking for advice, but most systems are in place for the hand out, not the hand up. And I do not want to be in the hand out situation dependant on others charity and kindness adding to the problems of our failing social systems. What can I do?

Christopher Mark Hopewell