We are not all made equal, we are made unique. Having your own special flavour in the world creates its own set of challenges. For vulnerable people that often includes social assistance.
Too often people who live on social supports are made to feel ashamed, are marginalized, and segregated. Working in the supports industry I guarantee you’ve heard them. People who believe that benefits are no benefit at all. There’s not many of them, but the wounds created by snide comments, sarcasm and all variations of the put down take away from the respect people deserve. It damages people’s self-esteem, their pride and motivation to keep on keeping on.
That’s not okay.
Everyone needs help. We’ve all had a time when it was necessary to lean on a fellow human being. We’re a tribe, a pack animal. We take care of our own. That’s why we have benefits in the first place. In an imperfect world it’s a government attempt to see that people don’t slip through the cracks.
Our current system may not be perfect, it may not yield the most altruistic vision of life lived in perfect independence for people with developmental disabilities but it’s better than the one we had 10 years ago. Every day there’s more education, better awareness, and more out there for people living with developmental disabilities. We’re all working towards a bigger picture!
The British organization, We All Benefit, has a mission to share the stories of people that have received assistance in some way and how it changed their lives. How it made them better, stronger, and safer when they needed it the most. It’s a mission I believe in.
Almost all the people I know who are vulnerable receive some kind of assistance. It allows their families to remain families, not overburdened caregivers. Benefits give people the opportunity to find work that is safe. It prevents employers with shady morals from taking advantage of the desperate. It allows people to truly heal from injury and illness, explore opportunities, and get education.
So who benefits? We all benefit.
Do you have a story to share about help you received in a pinch?
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