‘Solutions’ to help poor provide little in terms of results

NANAIMO: Re: Homeless week raises awareness, Oct. 11.

To the Editor,

Re: Homeless week raises awareness, Oct. 11.

In response to a few opinion letters in the past month regarding the homeless, food banks and cold weather shelters; everyone would probably agree that many poor people would prefer to help themselves.

But the community comes up with solutions such as increasing welfare, creating temporary shelters and providing food banks. These services are great but on the other hand do not morally boost those people who are put in a position of begging.

How do we help those people who are on welfare or social services who want to help themselves? Many poor people feel the need to volunteer their labour to repay society as a morally and correct idea. On the other hand, volunteering their time and labour does not add money to their income. Volunteering is proof that these poor people have the ability to work.

Everyone would probably agree that a person’s time has value. And every business owner would agree that people need to perform tasks in order to validate their worth. Our government rules that nobody is allowed to be paid less than minimum wage.

Minimum wage is a discrimination against poor people who are disabled for qualifying reasons.

There are examples of poor people who are elderly, mentally ill or challenged or physically disabled are not being hired due to performance.

This leaves a population of continuous welfare recipients who could be working if business owners could qualify disabled workers with a per-hour value.

A person on welfare gets the equivalent of approximately $4 per hour if you do the working man’s math. If you subtract that $4 from the current minimum wage of $10.25 the difference is $6.25.

If the government were to continue to support the $4 welfare plus allow business owners to employ disabled workers at $6.25 per hour, we would see some results.

We would see less people looking for additional help if we were to allow the poor people to qualify their time. Everyone deserves to paid money for their time. Turn the word volunteer into assisted employment.

Putting food banks and cold weather shelters in select religious venues does not treat everyone with equality.

It could be viewed as discrimination if another church applies for similar financial support from the City of Nanaimo. You either give every church the same or have a written agreement with them all prior to gifting.

Matt James


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