I recently listened to a podcast by Elizabeth Hames for CBC Radio. The podcast series is called ‘Slumtown’ and it consists of five episodes, the first title is ‘The Neighbours.’ I thought the episode would depict not only the not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) point of view but also the homeless, addicted and mental health folks who reside in those neighbourhoods. It did not.
Sometimes people in marginalized or impoverished situations get invited to participate in surveys, group sessions and focus groups. What I wonder is, who are these data collection gatherings actually for? In theory, the basis is to help the marginalized and/or impoverished to receive better access to the necessary services. Of course, these services are in fact defined by social and government designs. What does this mean? Well for me - being considered "marginalized" or “living in poverty,” I get to participate in the process that will inevitably help me maneuver through the system. A system designed with bias.
The majority of the North American population are not required to live in constant survival mode and likely do not understand what true survival actually is. The average person usually thinks of survival as the most obvious and basic items such as clothes on your back, stay close to food and water, have a place to get rest and find a way to get from A to B. There’s much more to survival.
Until last September, Billie MacFarlane found herself stuck in an untenable child care situation. The exhaustion and stress took a toll. “My depression increased and I had to change medication to help cope… Being with children five and under 24/7 created extreme loneliness and resentment. A simple outing to pick up groceries or get the mail is a big deal… Grocery shopping online has become my friend.” Billie also had concerns for Sophie, then four years old, and triplets Logan, Ericka, and Naomi, then three years old, because her only other choice would be low-quality out-of-home care.