Home

Comox Valley Record

Back

Don't be surprised about homeless people on our streets

February 14, 2013 · 5:41 PM
Comments

Dear editor,

When should I shop for the box I am going to be living in?

I am sitting in my home contemplating where or what will happen in my future. Will I even have a home, where am I going to get the kind of income I need to keep going?

My husband and myself have moved a lot in the 31 years of our marriage, following the work, renting homes wherever we needed to go, raising two wonderful kids along the way.

My mother passed away in 2003 and my father joined us as we kept on moving around. In 2008 we ended up in Comox, loved the area and finally decided to use our savings and buy a home, which we did in August of 2011. Both of us are in our early 50s.

Unfortunately, my husband had his first heart attack that same month, which again unfortunately for us was when our banker, that helped us with our mortgage, asked us if she had told us about the mortgage insurance we could have had on our home.

When we told her she didn't, she apologized and informed us that it was  now too late because we were no longer eligible as now there were health issues and could we sign a paper stating we would not have bought it anyway, which we did because we had enough to deal with, as my husband was just recently home from surgery.

Well, he passed the end of October of that same year. He only lived in his new home for two months. He left no large life insurance policy, just enough to have a small service and a cremation.

I am eligible for 30 per cent of his old age pension, which is $453. A month. Well it's obvious I can't afford a mortgage, taxes, utilities and groceries with that. So now my dad helps and my daughter has moved back home (which she probably would have had to anyway because her so-called full-time/part-time job is a dead end  when it comes to giving her enough hours to earn a decent living).

I had a little savings but knew I would have to find a job, which so far has been really difficult.

I have to have a full-time job that pays a decent wage to maintain the necessities (which, believe me, include no frills) but most jobs out there for people who are in customer service are these full-time, part-time positions that just don't give you enough hours because they want to avoid having to give their employees benefits. Seriously though, even if a full-time, part-time job gave me the whole 37 hours a week for four weeks at $10.50 an hour, I would earn not quite $1,400 a month, which does not even pay my mortgage and leaves nothing for my utilities or food.

I'm guessing that one of the serious flaws in my interview for jobs is that I request full-time. So far I have been told on just about every interview that the company is only looking to fill part-time positions.

I guess my whole point is that trying to find employment in B.C. for someone like me is very difficult and people shouldn't be surprised that we have homeless people my age out on the streets.

Leslie Seymour,

Comox Valley

Commenting Rules