Single. Female. No kids. Late twenties. So far it sounds like an advertisement for a dating service. But in reality it is someone who is dealing with poverty.
A monthly “allowance”, if volunteering, is $427.65. Of that amount, $85 is automatically taken off to pay for subsidized housing. $68 goes towards a monthly bus pass. $12.96 a month is to be set aside for Tenant/Content Insurance. Monthly cell phone usage is $28.25. Laundry is stretched to $20, via a debit card like mechanism. Though living in an apartment complex, there is also the added cost of heat and hydro, which fluctuates on a bi-monthly basis. The monthly hydro cost is approximately $35 on average. Now for the matter of personal hygiene; items such as sanitary napkins, tampons, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, soap and toilet paper can be expensive depending on the product brand. The product list can be up to $30, taxes included. Household cleaning products usually cost $15 at the dollar store if they have adequate products. Maintenance and repairs to the apartment, if the need be, is another $15 a month that has to be set aside. As expensive as food is, only $29.61 is left per week to purchase groceries. That equates to $118.44 a month. Sure, to some it may seem like a sufficient amount to spend on groceries. However, without the $68 being added on for the Community Placement Transportation Expense for volunteering, there would be things that one would have to do without. $359.65 is all one receives if they are not volunteering.
It is a struggle. This is what I live. To find dignity while living this way isn’t easy. However, this is only part of my story. There is light at the end of the tunnel, it is only a matter of time before it shines.
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