Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 4 Clean Underwear, Empty Pockets

I truly never thought I would say this but dirty underwear have broke the bank.

Since beginning this challenge I have spent a lot of time writing, talking and thinking about our homeless population and the impact poverty has had on them, most likely because these are the folks I have been interacting with the most. What I haven't spoke to much is the population of our community that lives below the poverty line but has a "permanent" roof over their head.

I started this challenge with $56.00, I already had a heated roof over my head, a bed with clean sheets, enough clothes, running water, toothpaste and a toothbrush, toilet paper, dishes and dish soap... among 500 other things that I have used in the past few days without considering their cost.

I have spent 33.75 on groceries, some items I have regretted purchasing, like almond milk as I now realize it was not an essential item (though 4 days ago I thought it was). I spent .50 on a cup of coffee on Friday, 11.65 on my cellphone as I quickly realized I would need a source of communication to problem solve things like broken teeth and to plan things like where to find my next warm meal. Lastly, and the true kicker was the 12.00 I spent last night washing my socks and underwear.

Options for laundry services in Kenora are extremely limited and so unless you access programming like, the Emergency Shelter or Challenge Club, you will be left with not much other choice then to access public laundry services. Looking in my sock drawer last night I was filled with dread when I came to understand that this would be the case for me.
With 14.11 left in my pocket I had no choice but to wash a small load (a large load costs 14.00), this cost me 7.00, 1.50 for detergent, 3.00 for the dryer and .50 for the dryer sheet. Totaling 12.00 - leaving me with 2.11 left behind.

When I originally considered living on the full Ontario Works basic needs monthly amount of $330 I thought it would be tight to eat a healthy variety of food. I can honestly say I didn't really think about things like doing laundry (for a minimum of 12.00 a load!?), buying toilet paper or needing new socks or shoes. There really is only so far you can make money stretch.

With $2.11 left in my pocket and a challenge card of needing to buy socks today I am going to see what I can do.

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