Blog

Welcome to the London Poverty Research Centre @ King’s Blog. This blog is intended as a community space to get dialogue and present various perspectives on poverty in London & Middlesex. The LPRC has the following standards for the use of this blog.

  1. This blog and its content is not to be seen as an endorsement of organizations, initiatives, opinions or individuals by the LPRC, King’s University College or the Board members of the organization unless explicitly stated, but merely a space to allow conversations to happen.
  2. The operators of the blog reserve the right to refrain from posting material that is personally offensive or contains verbally abusive language aimed at pointing blame or causing hurt.
  3. The blog comments are intended to encourage healthy dialogue and misuse of the comments section will result in action to remove commenting privileges.

The Female Face of Poverty

I had the privilege of participating in creating “London For All: A Roadmap to End Poverty”. Although of course I think all the content is important, I particularly value the following lines: “Poverty impacts everyone, but it impacts people differently and for different reasons. The recommendations are about ending poverty for everyone; this means we […]

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A Job is (or was) the Best Social Policy

By Douglas Whitelaw At one time, most farms in southern Ontario had a Beatty Brothers windmill, along with their other farm implements. A little later, many homes had a Beatty wringer washing machine. Their water pumps were famous, too.  All of this came from my home town, where Beatty Brothers Ltd. was a major employer […]

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Beneath the Surface

Submitted by Anonymous I was a full time graduate student and part-time research assistant. I was earning straight A’s and I had received prestigious funding to support my thesis research. I was married and owned a home. On the surface, I was in my element and I had a perfect life. Inside, stress and chaos […]

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Wrapping Up Seniors’ Month Through a Creative Lens

by Kathy Smith “It’s pretty sad, Kathy, when you can’t even afford to volunteer or go to the theatre. You start to lose your soul and spirit.” As Seniors Month comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on the amazing people I’ve met since we started the Creative Age Network. Since 2013, our generous, talented […]

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Innovation and Poverty Reduction Through an Intergenerational Workforce

by Anne-Marie E. Fischer, LPRC @ King’s Manager As a young person developing a career while working towards poverty reduction in London, I am conflicted. I am a millennial, which means that I am interested in London’s ability to attract and retain young people within London’s diverse and vibrant workforce. On the other hand, as […]

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Reflections on Seniors’ Poverty

Submitted by Karen Hernandez I work at the public library, and have met several seniors who have been dealing with poverty and social isolation. One of my patrons is over 90 years old, and agreed to share her thoughts with me. “As I get older, I feel more insecure. I don’t feel in control”, she […]

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Seniors, technology and social action

By Kathy Smith “To me, Radical Retirement is a positive and passionate attitude towards aging that encourages internet literacy and activism and other creative civic engagement strategies to involve and empower older adults. We become less isolated, more energized, and more involved with our communities, resulting in a feeling of connectivity, support, and sense of […]

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Statistics never tell the whole story: A reflection on seniors’ poverty

Submitted by Sheryl Rooth For three months in a row this year, February, March and April our jobless rate grew. And grew, to a whopping 7.3%. If you know anyone who is unemployed or under-employed and desperately looking for work, the disappointment continues. Statistics never tell the whole story. And they never reveal the human […]

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Taking action on affordable seniors’ housing

London has made a commitment to increase accessibility to affordable housing (City of London, 2016). They are adding new housing that meet the criteria for affordable housing (not more than 30% of income) and have added 1200 units since 2005. In these units, the cost to inhabit one of these units is market value or […]

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Will my struggles pay off?

Submitted by Anonymous in London, Ontario I will be 52 next week. I was trafficked for 8 years through the strip bars in Southwestern Ontario. Through the process, I lost any savings I had and all of my possessions. I escaped 7 years ago with the clothes on my back. Through sweat and tears have […]

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It’s time to eradicate structural violence in London

by Anne-Marie E. Fischer, LPRC @ King’s Manager The social services in Canada are there to be the safety nets we need when our options run out, or we can no longer find the resources (financially, mentally, physically) to protect our own well-being and that of our family’s. As a citizen who has needed to […]

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Reflections on a Life in Poverty

Submitted by “E.R.” I am a woman and I’m getting “up there”. I am/was a single a mother of 3 sons and now I’m a grandmother. I am blessed.  But back then, did I know poverty! Being a hard working and struggling single parent sounds a bit cliché to me. So many had it worse than […]

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Today’s seniors facing complex problems

by Teresa Armstrong, MPP London-Fanshawe I was honoured when my leader, Andrea Horwath, asked me to take on the role of Critic for Seniors Affairs on behalf of Ontario’s New Democrats. When I made the decision to enter into politics, I wanted to ensure that I could focus my efforts on vulnerable members of our […]

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Systems supporting seniors in poverty need an overhaul, and quickly

Submitted by Anonymous I found out about this blog and want to add something about a sector of this group which does not get much publicity and which I’m sure is growing: those between 60 and 65 who have lost their jobs, are unable to get work, and are not yet eligible to receive the full […]

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Old Mother Hubbard Went to the Cupboard…

Old Mother Hubbard Went to the cupboard To get her poor dog a bone; But when she got there The cupboard was bare, And so the poor dog had none. For some reason, I started thinking about this childhood nursery rhyme.  It was probably triggered by a recent visit with my neighbour who provided an […]

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June is Senior’s Month – Time to Raise Awareness about their Concerns

by Kathy Smith June is Seniors’ Month in Ontario.  It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of our seniors and raise awareness about some of their concerns.  I have been blogging about “at risk” older adults and issues of concern to older women since 2008 when I first got involved with London area seniors’ organizations […]

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Poverty, Prostitution, and Human Trafficking

by Anne-Marie Fischer On Wednesday evening, I went to an event that I found very upsetting. Working in the area of poverty, I am always trying to gain insight into why things are the way they are for our city, so it was a natural fit for me to attend the “Poverty, Prostitution, and Human Trafficking” […]

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Looking at Poverty Through the Lens of People with Disabilities

by Joe Henry Canada has much to be proud of when it comes to addressing the inclusion of people with disabilities within society. From legislative efforts to human right protections , clear and positive steps have been taken over the last half-century that have increased access to many goods, services and supports that can have […]

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King’s Students Reflections on Poverty Through a Global Lens

In March 2016, King’s University College students from the departments of Political Science and Social Justice and Peace Studies traveled to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and surrounding area to learn about the role that Non-Governmental Organization’s (NGO’s) play in aiding poverty and development in Africa. The trip was organized by Political Science professor Dr. Thomas Tieku, who […]

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One Hand Gives, One Hand Takes

by Douglas Whitelaw True story. Recently, an individual in dire straights came to our attention. Due to recent illness, he is blind. His wife is in palliative care. Hydro to his place had been disconnected three weeks previously, on April 1. Seeing his vulnerability, someone robbed him which meant he was unable to pay rent. […]

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Social Determinants of Health and Poverty – A Medical Perspective

by Dr. Frank Warsh To close out my first week of medical school, the class was treated to a talk by a stuffy but soft-spoken lecturer on the relationship between poverty, education, and poor population health. Social Determinants of Health, he labeled them, a clunky and unwieldy term if ever I’d heard one. In those […]

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Bridges out of Poverty – “AHA! Again!”

by Wendy Lau, CEO, Leads Employment Services A day with Dr. Ruby Payne, the founder of Aha Process Inc. and the author of A Framework for Understanding Poverty, on 27th April at Lamplighter with 200 participants was another few Aha moments for me, even though this was my 5th Bridges out of Poverty session. The […]

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When the People Speak and Governments Listen

by Abe Oudshoorn I reflect back on the budget process for the City of London in the spring of 2013. At the time City Council was pushing a 0% municipal tax increase, and as part of this proposed removing a $1 million contribution to the affordable housing reserve fund. This funding is in place so […]

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Poverty is a complex issue, but why?

Submitted by Anonymous Poverty is a complex issue but why? As a lone parent in poverty I often wonder why is poverty such a complex issue? I think of myself as a Human that has rights and responsibilities just like other Londoners.  But I keep thinking to myself “are others without lived experience making things […]

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NECC Reflection: Starting The Conversation: Exploring the Diverse Experiences & Issues Among London’s Sex Trade

by Jacqueline Fraser, on behalf of the North East Community Conversations (NECC) You cannot really understand another person’s experience until you have walked a mile in their shoes – this wise saying resonated with many of the 43 participants who attended “Starting The Conversation: Exploring the Diverse Experiences & Issues Among London’s Sex Trade”, held […]

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Is your work working for you?

by Robert Sexsmith There is a growing number of working people who are stuck in jobs that don’t earn enough to pay the rent and feed their families. The question, “Is your work working for you?”. There is growing job creation, some growth in real wages and household savings, yet the facts are that we […]

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Housing Resources as a “Social Service”

by Robert Sexsmith Instead of blaming everyone else for the historically low numbers of new affordable houses over recent decades, supporters of social housing should concentrate on demanding that some actually get built. Social housing might have rebranded itself as “affordable”, but one precondition for all rents to go down would be to end scarcity […]

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Understanding Food Security

by Roberta McClelland, MSW Candidate, King’s University College In the wake of Mayor Matt Brown and London City Council’s release of its poverty report entitled: “London for All: A Roadmap to End Poverty”, a singular recommendation to “support the development of regional food policy council charged with developing food security” (Richmond, 2016) remains potentially undefined […]

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The enormity of the task – but let’s not let the size defeat us.

by Gil Clelland of Sanctuary London (This was originally a talk delivered at the Multi-Faith Coalition of London’s Rally to End Poverty, on February 22, 2016) Over 9 years of working downtown with people affected by poverty every day – those who are homeless and street involved. When I got here, I thought it was […]

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The Widening Wealth Gap

by Jaclyn Seeler The wealth gap is a term used to describe the phenomenon of inequality amongst classes of people.  In Canada, class is determined by one’s income, assets and overall wealth accumulation and then one is categorized into high, middle or lower class. Those living in lower class or poverty can also be considered […]

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Seniors’ poverty rates on the rise in Canada

by Talya Madden Before beginning to do my research to develop the content for this post, I was under the impression that Canada was doing pretty well in the area of seniors’ poverty. The number of seniors living in poverty in Canada declined steadily over the last 35 years through the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) […]

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The Changing Face of Poverty: The Rise of Automation and the Gig Economy

by Kelly Barnes What does the face of poverty look like?  Of course there is the poverty we all recognize—-people sleeping on the streets or visiting the local soup kitchen.  It goes without saying that the people in these dire situations should be our first priority. However, there are other, less obvious, faces of poverty […]

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The proof is in the pudding…

by Anne-Marie Fischer (LPRC Manager) Yesterday community and mental health advocates in London & Middlesex breathed a collective gasp as the London Free Press announced that the London Health Science Centre had pulled the funding from a transitional support program run by Connect for Mental Health, designed to help mental health survivors leave hospital and […]

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It’s The Only Thing That Ever Has…

By Anne-Marie Fischer As the new Manager of the London Poverty Research Centre, I have had a few weeks to settle into this role, get acquainted with colleagues and partners, work with the Board to confirm our ongoing priorities, and make plans to kick the already existing work of the LPRC into high-gear. This time […]

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