Protect the Community Startup and Maintenance Benefit, July 11, 7-9pm

Wednesday July 11, 7-9pm, Protect the Community Startup and Maintenance Benefit

Speakers, Discussion and Mobilization,  part of the Poverty and Health Series, presented by Poverty Makes Us Sick
When:      Wednesday July 11, 7-9pm
Where:     Queen Street Commons Cafe, 43 Queen St S, Kitchener
Wheelchair accessible, Kid-friendly space, Gender-neutral washroom
Why:        Cutting these vital benefits will ensure that people are thrown into an endless cycle of poverty,
                violence, houselessness, isolation and Institutionalization.
                Resisting austerity / harmful cuts to social programs. Love.
Who:        Poverty Makes Us Sick (PMUS) with John Clarke, co-founder of OCAP
                Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Background:
The Ontario Governments budget for 2012 calls for the cancellation of theCommunity Start-up and Maintenance Benefit and the Home Repairs Benefit (CSUMB).
The cuts are scheduled to take effect in January 2013.
CSUMB provides funds of up to $800, once every two years for people onOntario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) to maintain their housing.Essentially, this is a homelessness prevention benefit.
It is also about offering people the necessary economic mobility required to keep themselves
and their children in safe living conditions.The CSUMB helps the nearly 900,000 people on OW and ODSP pay for things like first and lastmonth’s rent deposits. It helps people buy or replace furniture. It helps people put down deposits on utilities or pay overdue utility bills.
The need for this program, like that of the Special Diet Allowance,further highlights the fact that OW and ODSP currently offer despicably low monthly rates,which are already far below the poverty line.
The people who will be hurt include:
Women and young adults who are fleeing violence where they live or are trying to move from
transition shelters into permanent homes after experiencing domestic violence.
It will hurt people trying to move from shelters into permanent homes.
It will deny people transitioning from prison into society.
Without housing the likelihood of re-arrest grows exponentially.
It will hurt people leaving psychiatric units and attempting to resume life on the outside –
often with inadequate supports.
It will hurt new parents who need to move into a living situation that
the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) will not attack them over.
It will hurt people dealing with unhealthy barriers to an adequate quality of life,
such as insufficient insulation and roofing, bedbug infestations or mold.
And it will hurt people who cannot afford the rising cost of energy.
Currently, about 16,000 Ontarians rely on these benefits each month.
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