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beaten down by life
May 19, 2007
5:29 pm
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canadian_scorp
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I don't know how much more I can take...

Things have not been good for me, and despite trying to find help i'm getting turned down left and right.

I can't work full-time right now because of chronic back problems, which are so bad that my doctor has prescribed morphine. I'm in quite a lot of pain most of the time.

Anyway, all this has caused a lot of depression, so I asked the doctor for a referral to a social worker in order to get some counselling and some help finding resources. The SW told me to apply for disability, and said there shouldn't be a problem getting it.

When I went to apply for disability, they told me I would have to go through Ontario Works (social assistance here in Ontario), and that the process to decide whether I would be eligible for disability could take several months. I can't work, so have no income, and bills to pay; and there is no one I can rely on for help of any kind. My father is in a nursing home, on a limited income, but has been helping me out when he could for the past few months as I took care of him in my apartment for a year before he went in to the NH.

Ontario Works turned me down and said it was because my father had helped me for a number of months and because my rent is too high (what they would give me wouldn't even cover rent on a one-bedroom apartment here). They told me to find a roommate, which is difficult at this time of year because I live in university-owned housing, and one has to be a student to live here. Most students have already found places to live for the next school year, and an additional problem is that I live thirty minutes away from campus; most students do not want to live that far away. So finding a roommate is easier said than done. I was told to move (by Ontario Works), but to where? The waiting list for rent-geared-to-income housing is three to five YEARS long.

All I want is for the government to give me some temporary help until I can get back on my feet. Job training, whatever, as long as it leads to a job which pays a living wage. I am 47, disabled, and couldn't finish my university education due to having to take my father in; now I'm stuck with no income and very limited job prospects.

I don't have friends in this city, because most of my fellow students were half my age with their own social groups.

I just feel so lost and afraid... afraid of becoming homeless and losing my cats, afraid of falling through the cracks when I'm trying everything I can.

May 19, 2007
5:49 pm
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Canadian_scorp,

I remember you! Oh dear, I am sorry to hear things have gone so badly... and I am furious at what Mike Harris did to the social safety net in Ontario. I am 50, and you and I grew up in a time we could not imagine things being like what you have had to face.

CS, what do you think about contacting a journalist about your plight? Someone like Michele Landsberg, if she is still around, or whoever writes that kind of advocacy column (I live in BC now so am out of touch with Ontario papers). And have you tried your MP?

What you are describing is absolutely disgraceful and I still believe there has *got* to be some way to get assistance. Sometimes the government can be shamed into it if the spotlight is shone on them brightly enough in public. Kind of like what Michael Moore is doing in his new film, "Sicko". Hey... maybe you should write to Michael Moore. He loves us Canucks, maybe he would help you out?!

I'm only half-kidding. And I don't mean to appear to be taking your situation lightly at all. I just think that desperate times call for desperate measures, and calling in the press might be one of those measures.

Please let me know how things go. (((Canadian_scorp))) I do hope very much you can get someone with clout behind you.

your friend,
kroika

May 19, 2007
9:20 pm
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chelonia mydas
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(((((CS)))))

I don't have any advice, but wanted you to know that I care and am sending positive energy to you.

May 20, 2007
9:45 pm
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fantas
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Hi C_S...I am so sorry you are experiencing such difficulties. I am in BC and I agree with Kroika, desparate measures for desparate times. I was wondering if you are affiliated with a church that could be of some support to you. I wish you all the best.

May 20, 2007
10:57 pm
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katarina
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Pray. I will pray for you too. go to a website called the healing touch radio. It really helped me when i got on their prayer list.

May 24, 2007
2:47 pm
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canadian_scorp
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Thanks kroika, chelonia, fantas and katarina for answering.

My next step is to get an ODSP (disability) application from their office, and not go through Ontario Works to do it... and fill it out then give it to my doctor, who has agreed to fill out his portion and send it in to the tribunal in Toronto.

I've applied for some jobs online, but won't hear about them for a while; will keep looking. A call centre here is hiring people for $10/hour right now so I want to apply with them too. Hopefully I can find a job soon because ODSP takes a while to decide whether benefits are allowed. The call centre presents a problem because they want three personal references, and I don't know anyone in this city well enough to ask for a reference.

Unfortunately, I'm not affiliated with a church (was baptized Anglican, but have not gone in many years). I'm praying, myself, but need to find a group who will pray for me.

My father is calling multiple times a day (at least 10) because he wants me to do things for him. Right now I am screening my calls and he is filling up my answering machine with dead air, since most of the time he doesn't say anything, just hangs up. I feel anxious when the phone rings because it's difficult to get his stuff done when he's constantly doing this, and I'd prefer to call him back after I've gotten his stuff done. He's called four times just in the short time it's taken me to write this. He's well aware of my situation, is mentally competent, but expects me to do all of his stuff before my own. If my situation wasn't so desperate getting his stuff done wouldn't be so stressful. But he is threatening to take the power of attorney away from me, and give it to one of my uncle's stepdaughters.

My uncle's stepfamily has never had much to do with my father and even less to do with me, and they've treated me very badly. When one of the stepdaughters put my uncle in a nursing home last April, she didn't even bother to let my father know so he could visit; nor has she ever called to see how my father is, or visited him (and she lives here in this city. The other stepdaughter is more civil but only visited my father last fall in order to drop off some family pictures that she had in her garage; she hasn't been heard from since, either. They both know my father has a considerable estate tied up in investments, and would just love to be able to get their hands on it.

The reason they treat me badly is because years ago, when my father molested me, my mother told my father's brother and sister. They accused me of lying. My mother believed me, and in fact my father admitted it to her after she confronted him.

Kroika, I remember you once recommended DAWN to me. I checked out their website, and still have it bookmarked, but they appear to be inactive; they have (or had) a yahoo group which I applied to get into, and was denied because the group owner did not check membership requests so my request expired. I can't afford the $10 right now they want to become a member of their organization, unfortunately.

Contacting my MP or journalists, or both... I wouldn't know where to start with it, how to word things, what to leave in or out. There's a grass-roots movement here in my city that is trying to get a "Reform" type government back; I saw the article in my local paper, and if that is the prevailing political climate around here there sure wouldn't be much help from the general public re finding affordable housing or offering jobs -- and this is what I need. 🙁

OK, this is too long as it is, but I needed to say thanks and hope that maybe some (more) brainstorming can happen in this thread.

May 24, 2007
6:54 pm
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Hi CS

Ah, sorry to hear the DAWN lead turned out to be a dud. Don't worry about the Reform Party. There will always be reactionary forces shuffling about. Find the progressive folks and hang with them!

Your MP must have a constituency office somewhere in the riding. If it's not in the phone book, you could probably call a library and the librarian could find the number for you. Then, my suggestion is you just call your MP's office and outline your situation and ask how they can help you. Maybe try that first before you go the journalist route.

Even if we didn't elect these specific people, we pay their salaries, and they are there to work for us. I do hope you can get some attention and some assistance -- please keep us posted!

regards,
kroika

May 26, 2007
11:40 pm
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canadian_scorp
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I will try the constituency office on Monday, and hope they can give me some concrete help or suggestions.

Talking to my father just makes me more depressed. I went to visit him yesterday evening and all he was concerned about was me getting his stuff done for him.

My lease ends in three months and the housing office has put my unit up for reallocation. I don't know where I am going to go; signing a new lease wasn't possible because to live here I have to be a student. I've been looking for a roommate without success.

It feels as if I may have no choice, if I can't find help, but to give away my cats and belongings and just end it. I am so depressed and so afraid.

May 28, 2007
9:28 am
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CS,
Don't give up hope....you sound like a very intelligent thoughtful woman who is being tested to the max in life.Who knows why these extreme circumstances happen ie.financial hardship,loss,....But I believe there must be a reason just we can't see it yet!!

I know it is hard to be positive and hopeful when you feel everything is falling apart around you but try and focus on what can be done like you are- applying for jobs,chasing up what you are intitled to (benefits),and never forget your cats they will be so comforting in times of need(mine is!).

What goes up must come down and visa versa.... it's your time to come up!!!Ra

Kind thoughts
Rewind

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