Table of contents

Introduction: The Work of Hundreds of People

1 “As Sharp As You Could Cut Them”

2 Back to the Future? The Choice Is Ours Armine Yalnizyan, with Jamie Swift

3 Working Harder is Hardly Working

4 Precarious Work: How Lax Employment Standards Perpetuate Poverty Mary Gellatly

5 Ontario Works: How Did This Happen to Me?

6 The Disorienting Disability Support Maze

7 The Affordable Housing Deficit: Out of the Cold

8 Housing Strategy on the Brink: The Time Has Come Michael Shapcott

9 The Cost of Hunger: Food Security and Health Issues

10 Food Insecurity: A Source of Suffering and Ill Health Elaine Power

11 Poverty and Health: “I’m One Stumble from the Street”

12 Poverty Makes Us Sick Dennis Raphael

13 Families Matter: The Catch-22 of Poverty

14 Ontario’s Push to Early Childhood Education and Care for All Laurel Rothman

15 “It’s Not My Country Yet …”

16 Rural Poverty: Hidden in the Country?

17 Theological Reflections on Poverty Bhante Saranapala, Sister Doryne Kirby, Rabbi Larry Englander, and Imam Shafiq Hudda

18 A Pebble in the Shoe





?It?s a very short trip from the limousine seat to the curb. ? Jim Mann never missed a payroll for the dozen men who worked for his flourishing landscaping business he built from the ground up. Now he lives hand-to-mouth. His pockets are empty long before his next social assistance cheque arrives.

In early 2010 over two hundred civic and faith leaders fanned out into thirty Ontario communities. Their goal? To explore how the least fortunate people in one of the world?s richest places are faring.

The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition?s latest social audit exposed a tattered social assistance system run by volunteers desperately struggling to fill the gaps. There can be no papering over the savage inequalities and suffering exposed in this compelling look at life from the margins.