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.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday Feb 13, 2018- day 4

I didn't sleep well last night. I'm kind of a why girl. I don't normally have daily contact with my family and friends, sometimes go days or weeks without hearing from some of them, but for some reason during this challenge, that is what I have found to be a huge obstacle for me. I have gone off on many adventures, including to China, where I travelled alone, and did not have contact with them, yet the past 3 days have seemed like weeks, leaving me with the question, why?

On a typical Tuesday, I would get up at 5 am, just like today, and be at the Kenora Rec Centre for 6 am where I would participate in a cross training class, which on an OW budget, I wouldn't be able to attend. I love to exercise in the mornings, it puts a little spring in my step and makes everyday look better. Decided since it doesn't seem as cold today and the weather forecast on the radio says its only -29 with the wind chill, I'm gonna take my dog for his usual early morning walk but it's going to be a bit longer. He doesn't mind if its cold or not. I get my winter wear on and go to saddle up big Thor, and the answer to my question hits me.....its my choice or lack there of choices that I am struggling with. Its my choice to have a dog, who is part of my family, which I would not have on the challenge I am on as I could not afford to feed him. Its my choice to be able to call or text my family and friends whenever I want to, or not, lol, when I am not on this OW budget, as I have a cell phone with unlimited everything like most other people. People on such a limited budget do not have many choices.....

My challenge card this morning says, its my 10 year old nephews birthday. How will you help him celebrate it?
I'm going to start by making him a birthday card from paper I have at home. I know the library is open today from 9am-8pm. They often have programs going on. I will call the library from work today to see what they have to offer. If I were not working today, I would walk to the library to check it out.
My breakfast today is going to be yet again, boiled eggs. I will have my apple as a snack, and for lunch, tuna, rice and vegetable concoction. I am part of Making Kenora Home so tonight as part of action against poverty week, I will be serving at Jubilee after work. Perhaps I will also attend the meal service to change it up from the chicken burger, rice and vegetables.

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