A Walk in Other’s Shoes is returning to this year’s Week of Action Against Poverty. This challenge is being undertaken by individuals in the community who have interests within the health field. Participants have been asked to attempt to stay within a social assistance benefits’ budget. A single person on Ontario Works would receive $337 monthly for all of their personal needs and $384 for all of their shelter costs. Because participants cannot replicate the housing conditions realistically, shelter costs are not included within this challenge. For the five day challenge, participants will have $11 daily to cover all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each day, every participant will be given a challenge card which will reveal an unexpected challenge to be completed before the end of the day.

A Walk in Other’s Shoes is not a competitive challenge. It is a challenge that raises awareness of the hurdles that people living on social assistance face daily. As we within our community develop our own understanding, we can begin to reduce the barriers that they encounter and ultimately increase opportunities for increased prosperity for all. The challenge takes place February 10th-14th, 2018.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Feb 10, 2018, day 1, first blog

This morning, I got out of bed, excited to start my challenge. First thing I did was open my first envelope to see what I have to face today, aside from the grocery shopping I have to do with my $55 to last me the 5 days. The challenge card says I have to find somewhere to go from 6-8pm to get out of the cold as the shelter does not open until 8. I thought, piece of cake! Being a person who frequents the Kenora Rec Centre, I know there is a walking track which is free for everyone.
I went to go plug in my coffee maker, my daily routine, that my husband grinds the beans the night before, so I just have to turn it on, then realised, wait, I only have $55 for 5 days, I cant have this coffee, cause I couldn't afford it. Grrrr! So then I decide, since I cant afford to go to the gym, I'm going to go use the track and go for a run. I walk to the rec centre only to find there is a sign posted indicating the walking track is closed to the public all weekend as there is a hockey tournament. Guess I have to rethink my plan for where I can get out of the cold tonight.....
So went for a long walk with a friend, for over an hour. I stopped into the library to take out 2 dvd movies, for free, as I am a resident of Kenora, there is no fee to take out movies or books. I then came home and walked to the dollarama, no frills, as well as shoppers drug mart to buy my groceries and personal supplies for the next 5 days. I presently have $22.15 remaining. Funny how saving a dollar will motivate me to walk further. I used my environmentally friendly bags to save on plastic bag fees. I found myself being more aware of costs. At dollarama for instance Old Dutch dish soap for $1.50 for 740ml, instead of Palmolive, $1.25, for half the amount. I didn't buy myself any little treats, just the very basics. Not only did I have to be mindful of the cost of my things, I had to consider weight, cause carrying those bags all over town was a workout in itself!
I will blog this evening once I have completed my challenge for the day, hopefully I can figure it out.

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