What Our Clients Are Saying

    excerpts below from the 

In our work providing direct service to lowincome families in Renfrew County (Laura is a staff lawyer at the RenfrewCounty Legal Clinic and Lyn is the coordinator of Renfrew County Child PovertyAction Network – CPAN), we have both been witness to the depth and desperationof poverty in our rural community. 


“I was in receipt of Ontario Works, howeverOW insisted in taking my monthly child support off my cheque....With myworking, I was lucky to even get a cheque for $25.00 to $100.00.  I feel that people who are on any type ofassistance are pretty much doomed. You work your ass off to provide the ‘finer’things in life for your children, and OW/ODSP penalizes you for it.  It’s a ‘no-win’ situation.  Now living off just baby bonus and childsupport, I now control my life.  Not OWor the government controlling me. I’m now going back to school, without thehelp of OntarioWorks.”  

“I would like to be ableto live with dignity and to be able to afford the simple pleasures that mostother people take for granted; i.e., to have money for a cheap meal out once ina while, or to have something left at the end of the month to buy my grandchilda gift if I want to.  It is embarrassingto have to turn down social engagements because I can’t afford it, or to not beable to relax and enjoy life.   I thinkthat all the topics are important to us, but it boils down to giving us enoughto live on without having to rely on friends and community organizations forvouchers, etc.”


 “More money – means thatI don’t have to spend evenings and weekends baking from scratch so my kids havesomething to eat – we could be doing other things on weekends; means I don’thave to watch the clock to see when I can do my laundry at thelowest hydro rate - means I don’t have to get up before 6 or end up in bed bymidnight - means I don’t have to spend a couple hours or more going over localgrocery flyers to see what I can afford and create a menu plan, using couponswhich I had to take the time to cut out or find on the internet - means I don’thave to worry about gas money so I can make it to work - means my children canparticipate in sports and activities that their friends or cousins do, insteadof sitting home and being left out - means I can afford the over the counterdrugs etc that CHEO recommends for my daughter - means my children can haveregular dental care instead of being referred to a dentist by the Health Unitonly when a cavity is visible - means my kids can have both the inside andoutside shoes required by the school. My children get embarrassed - I’d have anemergency fund for when my car or fridge, etc breaks down - I’d be able toafford better food for my kids - I wouldn’t worry about how bills are going toget paid - I wouldn’t have to tend a veggie garden, on top of my job, thebaking etc., so we could have veggies for a few months (my garden is not big enoughto supply more than that) - I’m often embarrassed to go to social events suchas weddings because we can’t afford nice clothes, shoes, etc., or a gift - Iwould be able to get my kids haircuts instead of doing it myself - I wouldsleep better, making me less grumpy and more happy and home life better.”  


“I feel terrible when Icannot afford a bag of chips for a treat, and that my children cannot havefriends over because I cannot afford to feed an extra mouth...I am not askingriches, but there has to be a resource available for families so this does notimpact them for the rest of their lives.  The children see NO HOPE; they see a life of hardships and no one toturn to except home and that has become a hard place to be considering there isnothing for them here.”


© 2008 Renfrew County Legal Clinic


 Renfrew County Legal Clinic