This morning I read this article, and although it relates to the use of food stamps in the US, I really felt that it applied to assistance in Canada as well. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/02/onion-article-food-stamps_n_5254036.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000054
I can't tell you the amount of time I have heard someone talking about the people on welfare, who are "abusing the system" I will admit, when I was younger, I even nodded my head and agreed. But after I had children, got a little older, and a little bit more mature, my eyes opened up a little wider. Obviously, I don't have actual numbers. But, I'm willing to bet that the number of people misusing the system (and, I'm sure there are a few) is quite lower than you think it is.
The majority of people using assistance, no matter what type, are just average people trying to feed their children, clothe them. And maybe trying their hardest to shield their children from knowing just how bad the situation is.
I hear people commenting a lot about things that people on assistance have, or wear...or drive. "Look at that! She's driving a nicer car than I am, and she's on welfare! She should get a job, and stop having kids!" I hear that a lot, too. I usually keep my mouth shut, because I really don't have any desire to get into arguments with people, when I know it probably won't change their minds anyway.
So, let's look at it this way. Maybe that woman with the nice car, got it before she was in the rough financial spot. Maybe she realized that it would cost her more to get out of her lease, than to just try and make the monthly payments. Maybe she doesn't even pay the car payments? Either way, it's none of our business! Judging someone when you don't know their story is not only pointless, but it's dangerous. That's what leads to the ridiculous Facebook shares that I've seen....like this one. Fucking disgusting.
I think the one thing that bugs me, is the attitude that if you are struggling financially, then you don't deserve anything nice, whether that's a new pair of shoes, a night out with friends, or maybe just take out. If you have ever struggled financially, you know the stress, the absolute terror, or the panic attacks. But to suggest that people on assistance should just sit at home, eating their ramen, and reading, because you know, cable is an expense that they just don't need, is kind of ridiculous, and offensive. Everyone deserves a treat every now and then. And people on assistance, in my opinion, are no exception.
So, all I'm saying is, be aware that not everyone is out to scam you, and take your hard earned tax dollars on a trip to Disney. Treat people with kindness, maybe assume that they are nice, hardworking people that just fell on hard times. Try to imagine what it's like to live that uncertainty everyday.