GUELPH POLITICAST #239 – On COVID-19 and Local Poverty

Eliminating poverty has been made more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increased number of people who have found themselves jobless, and the difficulty in delivering services to people when physical distancing being a priority. But no matter how complicated you think your life is now because of the pandemic, it’s made the life and routine of people living in poverty in Guelph almost twice as hard.

The plight of the homeless was cast in stark relief when the order came for everyone to lockdown in their homes. How do you lock down when you don’t have a home? Where do you get clean water when public facilities are closed? Where do you get out of the cold for a cup of coffee with nowhere allowing dine-in service? How do you know what’s open and closed, or if the Consumption and Treatment Site was open and safe to use? The pandemic isolated people that already feel isolated, so how have they coped?

The complex series of issues facing the homeless and those living with poverty is what we’re talking about on this week’s podcast with Dominica McPherson, the Co-ordinator for Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination. We will go down the list of issues faced by those living in poverty during the pandemic, and how the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing concerns about people in poverty. We will also talk about how the pandemic had a positive effect at raising wages and treatment for low pay workers, at least for a while, and why solving poverty needs to be a priority in any economic recovery effort.

So let’s learn about more about how the pandemic has affected those living in poverty in Guelph on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

You can find out more about the work of Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination at their website. And if you haven’t already, check out last week’s episode with Drop In Centre executive director Gail Hoekstra, and the recap of last week’s town hall about supportive housing.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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