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Living in a van for 2 years...

chico2
December 23rd, 2006, 04:55 PM
I've told this ladys story a couple of years back,she,through a bad divorce was left with nothing except her 9 cats and an old van.
One really cold winter 2 years ago,the owners of my local Pet-Value found out and generously offered their store to the cats,to stay for a while,until the lady found a place to live.
We all know finding a place to rent with 9 cats is next to impossible,so she's still in the store,she sleeps in her old van and the cats are nice and warm in the store.
I met them again today,I was getting treats for my grand-doggies and I left the store with a very heavy heart.
Her cats are absolutely beautiful,most longhaired and all colours,she herself looks like "heck",but her love for those cats is very evident,they are all under veterinary care and healthy.
Humane Society know about the situation and have offered to adopt the cats out,so she can get a place to live,but she refuses to let her cats go.
The lady herself is not all that well,lives on a measly disability-check..
I was thinking of asking her to sleep at my house,but hubby refuses and in a way I am greatful he did,because the owners of Pet-Value regret what they did 2 years ago,not because of the cats,they love those beautiful cats,but because of the lady who is not even trying to find a solution.
She is perfectly happy as long as her cats are safe..
I don't want somebody living here for 2-10 yrs,if I had a place to rent for her,I would not care if she has nine cats,but I don't.
I feel sometimes she is using her cats for charity,although I can understand she loves them very much,as I do my cats,but sooner or later she'll have to leave the store with her cats:sad:
It put a real damper on my X-Mas spirit and I feel a little Scroogie,not beeing able to help.
Any opinions??

wdawson
December 23rd, 2006, 05:14 PM
chico2
while this is a sad story there are options for this lady.
#1..adopt the cats out and make a life for herself.
#2..rent a place then collect the cats...i don't believe you can be evicted for having pets in ontario.

just my thought

don't let this ruin your holiday spirit.
have a super holiday
cheers

~michelle~
December 23rd, 2006, 06:10 PM
you cant be evicted but landlords will call if you exceed by-law limits. also on disability she cant afford 9 cats and rent.
its very nice of you to offer her aplace to stay howver if she is on disablilty she would be first in line to get gear to income/subsidized housing. depending on her dis, she may be able to find a place to home her until something more stable comes alng. she sounds somewhat suspicious.
its sweet that she doesnt want to let her cats go but if the store is housing them and have been doing so for the last 2 years then they are now the store's cats. im all for helping people through hard times but 2 years is excessive and shes now abusing it. i know i sound as if i am being rude and i dont mean to be I am really for helping all of those who need it, but they need to help themselves as well
the cats (or most of them) IMO should be rehomed. or belong to the store, if they chose so, this lady needs to focus on getting herself better and giving maybe a couple of cats the best lives theycan have (in a home with their owners to have love and affection at all times (not just store hours) then giving a mediocre life to many cats

santos
December 23rd, 2006, 06:34 PM
nice effort but she's the crazy cat lady.

Frenchy
December 23rd, 2006, 08:40 PM
Don't feel bad Chico2. I'm sorry but this lady had it coming, you can't help someone who's not helping herself ! I heard on the news this week,a lady living in filthy condition in her house with 12 cats. People offered to help by taking the cats (a couple at least) but she refused. Tonight I saw on the news some volunteers went to clean the house. It's all great but it will all go back to "normal" (for her) in a couple of months.

joeysmama
December 23rd, 2006, 10:48 PM
This is very sad and I don't want to come off sounding as though I'm sitting in judgement but there are some people who don't know when to make the most of the help they've been given. I think this lady may be enjoying the best of both worlds?? She gets to keep her cats--sort of. And they get free care. Maybe she isn't all that interested in finding a place. She could have used the last two years to get herself settled somewhere you know? But it's easier to just let the storetake care of the kittie and then she goes out to sleep in the van.

I think the problem may not be the cats. Maybe she neds to speak with a social worker. It sounds as though she could benefit from counseling, or a women's shelter. Someone who could help her put her life on track.

Prin
December 24th, 2006, 12:01 AM
I'm glad you didn't take her in. :o These days helping people seems to only get you burned in the end, unfortunately. :shrug:

And like they say, you can't help people who won't help themselves.

:grouphug:

rainbow
December 24th, 2006, 12:13 AM
I agree with joeysmama. Some people just need to have decisions made for them. And, in this case, it would be the best for both her, the cats and, especially the pet store owners.

chico2
December 24th, 2006, 08:14 AM
I know you are all right and Michelle,I did not offer her to stay at my house,I was only thinking of it,but decided not too.
In her defense,she takes care of her cats herself,buys food etc,grooms them every day and spends all day and closingdays with those cats.
However I agree,in a way she is selfish,these cats are highly adoptable,very beautiful and still young,except a 13yr old longhaired orange female.
They could have better lives with a loving family,but then not many people would bother with her and she knows it.
I know the storeowners would like her out of the store,but they have a huge dilemma,they love those cats.
Living on disability,since she has no rent to pay,gives her about $600/month,if she had rent to pay,she would get $900+,even then she could not find anything affordable and keep the cats.
Subsidized housing has a waiting-list of 76.000 and single people are at the bottom of the list...I know,that's not my problem,it's just sad..

Maya
December 27th, 2006, 09:49 PM
In my experience you can't find a place to rent without a reference from your previous landlord. It would also be very difficult to arrange viewings without a phone and being unable to keep herself up it will be hard to compete with other prospective tenants. Also you need to put half a months rent down to secure a place. She wouldn't have enough for that on top of food, medications any basics like T.P. toothpaste etc. keeping a vehicle running. Thats not even including all the cats which is basically feeding a second person. She's not eating if the cat's are.


It's very difficult to get on disability so whatever her medical condition is it has to be quite serious. It may not be obvious to see but it does have to be severe in order to be recognized. The rate in B.C. for a disabled person is $860 rounded up. If you are "lucky" you can get another $40-50 dollars with an illness like Tuberculosis or Cancer. It is less money outside of B.C. from what I understand. You can't get the full amount unless you have an apartment and of course you can't get an apartment without the money.

Chico2, The only thing I can suggest is that you call around to find out if there are any organizations/advocates in the area that could assist and try to connect her with them. We have one here that assists people with the confusing application process for social assistance. Many people are turned down for various reasons like not being able to replace I.D. or not having an address or phone they can be reached at. Some people are unable to fill out application forms. You are right about low cost housing, I know a disabled woman who can barely read, write or maintain meaningful relationships and she was on the list for 7 years before she was offered a place. She only got in because her mother arranged it for her, she didn't have a phone and didn't have the ability to explain to people why she was in the situation she was in. No one from social services was willing to help her and even her parents expected her for many years to figure it out for herself even though she couldn't. Trying to help her was frustrating because she couldn't remember directions or names of people she was supposed to talk to. She'd cover up her disability by making up stories/excuses for not doing things she needed to do.

When we lost power for two days after the recent storm we had here it was really awful not having anything warm to eat or drink and not having any heat or hot water. All I could think about was how I was going to get from point a to point b without freezing, it wears you down. It would be much worse living in a van.

The way our government treats the less fortunate is inhumane. Every person deserves the right to healthy food and adequate shelter regardless of their circumstances. People need those basic things before they can even begin to get healthy, find a job or place to live. It's a catch 22.

Her only choice is to give the cats up or lose them over time because she is unable to take care of herself or them. However, even without the cats she will unlikely be able to change her situation much if at all. She may or may not know that but it would be difficult to explain because I don't think anyone wants to imagine we live in a world that allows and even forces others in need to suffer without the minimum essentials for living. Unconditional love is another basic need everyone should have met on some level, it sounds like that is the only basic need she is able to meet right now through her cats. The cats may be the only thing in her life that keeps her going at this point, so it may be difficult for her to step back and think clearly. Some are dealt a bad situation and as nice as it would be to think everyone has the ability to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, it isn't always possible. Humans are very similar to other domesticated animals in that they require a safe secure environment (including social) in order to thrive and participate in society, if they have special needs they require more. This is a very sad story, I really hope things work out for her so that she can at least find a place to live on her own. If anyone is interested I'm posting some links to organizations that may at the very least provide some leads to resources that could help in this type of situation. Sometimes just having some crucial piece of information or connecting with the right person can make a difference.

http://www.povnet.org/

http://www.wise-bc.org/index.html

A very good article that helps explain the cycle of low income living: http://progecon.wordpress.com/?s=510


The odds are that someone who visits pets.ca will find themselves in a similar situation at some time in their life. So thank you for taking the time to bring this issue up, you are helping by talking about it. Hopefully we will help someone today or maybe even this lady.

Best wishes to everyone!!

CyberKitten
December 27th, 2006, 10:13 PM
I too would not want to be too tough on the woman. Obtaining a disability of Any kind is not that easy (Trust me, I have done it for [patients who need it and I serve on a Premier's Disability Org). So, clearly she is needy.

I guess while I understand her love of her cats, nine is a lot and if she somehow get extra help from other orgs and also make some determinations about knowing her cats were being looked after and be in a position to keep a few. We all have to make choices in life - alas none of us gets out of life easily. I know my own life sounds cosy but I have had to make choices I have not liked (mostly die to medical issues of my own and such is life, you come to terms with it even if it sometimes still haunts you in the middle of the night.)

It might help to know the disability - psychiatric? (and I do not mean to suggest she is the crazy cat lady here because I loathe that term.), a physical disability. There are a myriad of groups and I do know that disability groups themselves (except perhaps those for the visually impaired and others who see animals as therapeutic) do not really take animals into account as much as they should. It is a particular issue of mine when I sit around various political tables.

(Maybe Laureen Harper will take in her cats. <g>)

I do not think it would have been wise for you to take her in because you do not know the whole history - or maybe you do and it is more confidential than you can put here. I just know if I took home every person or child I wanted to help, I would need an army base - so I try to do what I can in my small part of the universe.

Not sure that helps this woman but surely there are social service agencies in Toronto that can help her - I used to have a book of the list of agencies in TO (when patients had to go to Sick Kids, it came in handy) - but it is lost amg my myriad of books and I use the net more. I know disability pensions but there are innovative programs for housing and other needs that might be able to help her. (if only one could find around to helping her with the cats.)

Catzig
December 27th, 2006, 11:35 PM
Please don't judge the woman too harshly. Some people collect shiny, sparkley things - pop cans, glossy magazines, shoe boxes, whatever, and some collect animals. Animals offer a big payoff for a little food and affection. Some people just cannot make one more decision for themselves. If they find themselves in a safe place, they'll stay put. It's easier than change. It's easier than having to make a tough decision. If they have the affection of a pet or 10, what could be better than that? Just please hope you don't ever reach a state where you feel so helpless you let your life turn into this woman's.

This story makes me so sad for all involved.

Maya
December 28th, 2006, 01:27 AM
I did a little bit of searching on the povnet site and found this list:http://www.povnet.org/advocates/ont_map.html#toronto Maybe someone knows more about the individual organizations and could offer some suggestions/opinions on which one might be helpful for her to connect with. :fingerscr

chico2
December 28th, 2006, 08:12 AM
Maya and others,thank you for all the info,although this lady knows the system and how it works,has been on TV,in newspapers etc..
People have helped,fixing her van for hundreds of $$$,collected money,offered accomodation(without the cats)..
She has a grown daughter,who has given up on her,mostly because of her cats.
I am not sure what her disability is,but she is defenitly not
"a crazy cat-lady",she is very articulate lady,with an average intelligence.
Her cats are what keeps her alive and they are better cared for than many others we read about here every day.
I am not judging her,there are thousands of"forgotten"people sleeping on our streets in our affluent society,many suffering from mental illness or other disabilities and many others who are only a paychecck away from beeing homeless.
I myself know how difficult it can be,living in a hole you cannot climb out of.As a child I grew up on wellfare,knew my mothers struggles to keep food on the table,her beeing to sick to work.
So no,I do not judge people because of their misfortune,I can also understand her unwillingness to give up her cats,just as I would never give up on my own cats.
She is currently staying at a womens shelter as the weather is getting colder and hopefully from there she can get some help with better accomodation,but then again,the cats cannot stay forever at Pet-Value.

papillonmama
December 28th, 2006, 09:22 AM
While I feel for this woman, I do think she has the syptoms of a serious hoarder. Yes it's nice to have cats, but when you have cats beyond your means of caring for them, it's time to find them a good home. And yes, she is beyond being able to care for them, she has no home for them, to me, that's beyond what you can handle. It would have been fine for her to let petsmart take them on temporarily, she should have made every effort not to abuse that kindness. I just want to clarify, there are homeless people with pets, one or two, and I don't feel that thtat is beyond a persons needs. I am not against homeless people having pet companionship.

There are thousands of Canadians who live in their vehicles, many of them with their families, including children. It's not like she had ot take her nine cats with her to an interview for housing. And yes, it is difficult to rent an apartment when you don't have a phone number, but everyone and their mother has a cellphone, she could get a pay as you go and deal with it.

Don't get me wrong, I have sympathy for homeless. In fact, I worked very closely with many levels of homeless, and have even been in a homeless situation myself, so believe me, I have compassion for some homeless people. But I stop feeling sorry for people when they no longer want to do anything for themselves. That includes non-homeless people. When someone just doesn't want to because they have something good going then that's not the way that it should be. When I was in that situation I had to work my way out I always had a job, one at a temp agency, I used to clean peoples' homes, I used to shovel snow, I worked in a shop, no one helped me, I did everything I possibly could to get myself out, I did all of this on my own initiative.

This person is getting so much assistance offered to her, and she gets disability 600, if you are homeless on welfare you 195. To say that this person is being selfish is an underststement. She's on disability so she can't work, but it doesn't mean she can't work at bettering her situation.

I know of a place here in Toronto where a person can rent a two bedroom apartment, hydro included for nine hundred. All you have to do is open a newspaper, and try. Trying is the important part.

JMHO

chico2
December 28th, 2006, 09:33 AM
PM,I agree with you on many points,$900 for an apt in TO is really cheap,but unfortunately it would take more than a disabilitycheck to cover just the rent..

Inisfad
December 28th, 2006, 09:49 AM
One of the differences between pets and people is that often pets cannot exercise their choice, while people can. I don't find the story terribly sad, as the cats are well taken care of, warm and fed, etc. The lady, on the other hand, chooses to remain in her van. She always has the option of finding a place to stay and allowing her pets to remain in the store, or putting them up for adoption in good homes. In a way, she is exercising a selfish choice, in that she is not choosing what is best for the cats, but what she feels is best for her. If she was really thinking about her cats, she would allow the store to find good homes for them. Ooh, do I sound too cruel??

Inisfad
December 28th, 2006, 09:59 AM
Just as an aside from this, when I moved to Ireland 10 years ago, I had 4 dogs and 15 cats. I was lucky to have my own place for them in New York, etc. However, at that time, there was no international passport for animals, and as Ireland has no rabies, all my pets would have to have been quarantined in Dublin for 6 months, before they would be allowed to come to me. Some of my pets were older, but even for the young ones, quarantine is not a pleasant experience. If I made a selfish choice, I would have chosen to take my pets with me, regardless of the hardship they would have to go through in quarantine. I found homes for them all, instead, and to this day, 10 years later, still miss them. I've returned back to NY only once during this 10 year period, and visited some of the homes where my pets were. At one home, my dog, Butch, a stray whom I had for about 8 years in New York, came and sat with me when I was visiting. But, when it was time to go, she went back into her bed, as though to tell me that she couldn't come with me as she had a new home now.
Often, you have to put your own feelings aside and do what is best for those you love.

papillonmama
December 28th, 2006, 10:07 AM
I know what you mean Chico, it seems difficult, but I'm pretty sure that her worker at disablility would give her money for first and last, plus extra money for setting up her apartment. When she has a promise to rent, she can recieve more than 1600, plus the regular 600 that she recieves now, so 2200 for start-up.

With the regular 600 she recieves now, she could rent a room and not have to live in her van.

I just wanted to say that if she has an apartment she would recieve 1500 a month regularly, that's more than some people make working minimum wage.

The reason this bothers me so much Chico is because there are people on welfare, or Ontario Works (whatever PC term they want to use these days), as an example, a single person on welfare with three children will recieve about 950 a month. that is including the money that they are to use for rent, which isn't supposed to be more than 600. All be it they also recieve child tax benefit which for three kids is about 7hundred something, about 350 dollars is taken back by the ontario government, who uses that money for programs which are supposedly for impoverished parents, I ask why does a poor family have to pay for the programs that they supposedly desperately need, but that most don't actually get to use? Sorry the government clawback kind of annoys me. So anyways this single parent, recieves about the same as the woman does, about 1500 a month. This is a bare minimum and only an example, so give or take a bit. ( A link about the gov. clawback http://www.handsoffnow.ca )

So what I'm saying is that a person with three children is supposed to be able to survive on the same amount of money that this 1 woman with nine cats must survive on. And that is why I have no sympathy for this particular case.

Belive me, I am a anti-poverty activist, but sometimes people really are using the system and peoples charity only for their advantage, and it really shouldn't be so.

I can't use my smilies, so, *shrug* JMO

Catzig
December 28th, 2006, 10:29 AM
This is a bit off topic but I wanted to say WOW! So many differing opinions, and all stated in a mostly thoughtful, diplomatic way. I'm so impressed. It's refreshing to read differences of opinion without the nastiness that goes along with them. Thanks all, as a newbie to this board, it's great to see that one can offer an opinion without someone else wanting to tear a strip off. Thank you.

Too bad the rest of the world couldn't work this way, huh?

badger
December 28th, 2006, 11:38 AM
Maybe this woman just enjoys the attention. This way she gets to keep her cats AND have some social contact and sympathy for her situation, without having to change anything. I hope the shelter will be able to offer her some options, although it's a golden rule in the 'helping community' that the person must ask for assistance, not an advocate or some other party (unless they are SRM). But the help is there.

I'm sure the pet shop made the deal for the benefit of the cats, first and foremost, and never dreamed she'd go on living outside after they had a safe place. An exercise in 'community sharing'?

SRM = stark raving mad.

Golden Girls
December 28th, 2006, 02:18 PM
Chico, I'm not surprised how bad you feel for this situation, your empathy always shows through all your posts whether it be animals or humans. I can feel how upset this makes you. It's almost like you feel bad not helping yet fell bad if you do :shrug: It's hard really trying to judge what's right or wrong but don't ever feel like a "scroogie" < -- those people can't feel!

Maya: Thank you for posting such an educational post. This issue is such an important one and like you said who know's maybe someone right here right now or know's someone living just 1 paycheck away from their van. Not long ago Dr. Phil had a show on this topic, it appears to be more common then what one might think.

It's also very interesting reading people's thoughts and feelings. The way I see it she's not asking for any help, really. Whether it's a physical or mental disability either way she has a right to live however she choses. I get the feeling she's not all that crazy - her cats are warm, she pays for their food, grooms them daily and spends a hell of a lot more quality time with them then say most people can with their pets then simply goes home :)

I think Pet-Value and her have a wonderful agreement. Since they don't sell animals maybe it does bring in more customers just seeing her beautiful cats walking around. I know if I lived near there and had a choice of where to purchase my pet stuff, just knowing this store homes the homeless I'd shop there :thumbs up

Who know's how and why she ended up in her van but hoarding would be the last thing I'd call her. It's obvious she loves her cats, maybe she just chose to give up on humans :confused:

Saying: You can't help people who won't help themselves I beg to differ. More then not the homeless are mentally unable to even know where to begin much less supply an address to just get welfare!

papillonmama
December 28th, 2006, 03:21 PM
It's also very interesting reading people's thoughts and feelings. The way I see it she's not asking for any help, really. Whether it's a physical or mental disability either way she has a right to live however she choses. I get the feeling she's not all that crazy - her cats are warm, she pays for their food, grooms them daily and spends a hell of a lot more quality time with them then say most people can with their pets then simply goes home :)

I think Pet-Value and her have a wonderful agreement. Since they don't sell animals maybe it does bring in more customers just seeing her beautiful cats walking around. I know if I lived near there and had a choice of where to purchase my pet stuff, just knowing this store homes the homeless I'd shop there :thumbs up

Who know's how and why she ended up in her van but hoarding would be the last thing I'd call her. It's obvious she loves her cats, maybe she just chose to give up on humans :confused:

Saying: You can't help people who won't help themselves I beg to differ. More then not the homeless are mentally unable to even know where to begin much less supply an address to just get welfare!

I also agree GG, she is not asking for help, therefore, why feel sorry for her situation.

I also think petsmart had the right intention when they allowed her to temporarily let her cats stay there, but she is abusing their kindness, and many people are less willing to be kind once someone abuses that.

You're right, maybe it's not called hoarding, maybe it's just going beyond her means. I mean seriously, would you think it fair for your cats to live at petsmart for x number of years?

Petsmart is providing her cats with one of the neccessities of life, shelter, this is something that right now, is beyond her means.

Mental instability aside, you don't need an address to get welfare, she's already on disability, she already recieves 600 a month, she doesn't need an address to recieve that ammount. If she was able and wanted she could have an apartment. All any person needs to get onto social assistance is to go into an office with I.D., lots of people who stay in shelters recieve a welfare cheque even though they have no address.

In Ontario it is illegal for a landowner to deny a person a rental apartment because they are on social assistance, but it doesn't mean they won't give some other excuse. All any person has to do in Ontario to recieve rent money from social asssistance or disability is to have a landowner fill out a form saying that they will rent to the person, how much, what the address is and for the landperson to sign it. That's it. The worker confirms it with the landlady/lord, and a cheque is cut for first and last as well as a start-up allowance.

I don't mean that you can't help someone who won't help themselves, I'm saying you can't help someone who doesn't want help.

And Chico I do think your heart is in the right place, it is sad. In all directions she knows that there are people who will help her, one day when she feels like it, she'll buck up and get her own place. But it is she who must decide.

Golden Girls
December 28th, 2006, 03:36 PM
The welfare comment was a general one regarding the homeless people.

And although I suspect she choses to live her life in a van I still think it's sad and I feel sorry for her situation overall. Regarding the cats living at petsmart o I don't know, I'm sitting here wondering about all the homeless out there with no food, nothing. I just don't see a problem with them living in a store. It's been 2 yrs and like Chico said the owners are getting tired of her presence but they are in love with those cats. She's not stupid, I'll give her that.

badger
December 28th, 2006, 04:05 PM
One can't collect welfare and disability at the same time, right? In fact the only difference between welfare and disability allowance is an increased amount (and they can also make a limited amount of money 'on the side') and the fact that it is considered long-term and the bureaucracy doesn't hassle you for evidence you are looking for work (people who collect welfare long-term here in Quebec don't seem to be hassled much. But I could be wrong).
So 600 isn't much (disability is over 800 here). And what are the chances of finding something suitable that would accept so many cats? She wants to keep what she has, so the obstacles must seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, I think the store has an absolute right to give her a deadline by which date she must place (or agree to let the store place) the cats, except for those she will be able to take with her (two, say). If the situation bothers them enough, they must be the ones to act.
Chico, I am sure you are very kind to her, but in your situation I would find ways to express it without inviting her to live with me. The odds of it ending badly would be quite high!

Golden Girls
December 28th, 2006, 04:37 PM
Exactly. I wonder if the YWCA gives free day passes, maybe just for a shower or so a week :shrug:

Maya
December 28th, 2006, 04:49 PM
That's true badger, you can't collect both. A single person in B.C. can collect 510.00 or 600.00 if they have an undiagnosed disability or difficulty finding work. disability is about 860.00 a bit more with very serious ailments. A person on disability is permitted to make 500.00 additional dollars. A link I posted earlier explains it a bit more.


When she has a promise to rent, she can recieve more than 1600, plus the regular 600 that she recieves now, so 2200 for start-up.

Social services will lend a security deposit of half a months rent if your lanlord to be is willing to fill out a form that you bring back to a worker. The shelter portion of a disability cheque is 325.00 so half of that is about the amount given. If a person could get more than this a worker would not likely tell you.

I can't say if she was able to accept the offers she's had so far because I don't know the details. However, it would be sad to assume she or people on assistance have access to this much money because they would be expected to pay money out that they didn't have. This is the reason advocates can help, sometimes they know what a person's rights are and can guide them to figure out what they need to ask for. People on social assistance do not always know how the system works. Often they are sent in beauracratic circles until they give up asking for help.

OntarioGreys
December 28th, 2006, 04:54 PM
I know what you mean Chico, it seems difficult, but I'm pretty sure that her worker at disablility would give her money for first and last, plus extra money for setting up her apartment. When she has a promise to rent, she can recieve more than 1600, plus the regular 600 that she recieves now, so 2200 for start-up.

With the regular 600 she recieves now, she could rent a room and not have to live in her van.

I just wanted to say that if she has an apartment she would recieve 1500 a month regularly, that's more than some people make working minimum wage.

The reason this bothers me so much Chico is because there are people on welfare, or Ontario Works (whatever PC term they want to use these days), as an example, a single person on welfare with three children will recieve about 950 a month. that is including the money that they are to use for rent, which isn't supposed to be more than 600. All be it they also recieve child tax benefit which for three kids is about 7hundred something, about 350 dollars is taken back by the ontario government, who uses that money for programs which are supposedly for impoverished parents, I ask why does a poor family have to pay for the programs that they supposedly desperately need, but that most don't actually get to use? Sorry the government clawback kind of annoys me. So anyways this single parent, recieves about the same as the woman does, about 1500 a month. This is a bare minimum and only an example, so give or take a bit. ( A link about the gov. clawback http://www.handsoffnow.ca )

So what I'm saying is that a person with three children is supposed to be able to survive on the same amount of money that this 1 woman with nine cats must survive on. And that is why I have no sympathy for this particular case.

Belive me, I am a anti-poverty activist, but sometimes people really are using the system and peoples charity only for their advantage, and it really shouldn't be so.

I can't use my smilies, so, *shrug* JMO

Where are you getting your figures from my mom recieved goverment disability my step mom worked for about 40 years and gets around $800 a month in goverment disability, she had tried to go through workers comp but that was denied, if on goverment disability you are considered unfit to work.... period there is no going back to school and learning a new career, like CyberKitten said getting the goverment disability is extremely hard to qualify for. if she was considered retrainable she would not be recieving it.

The incomes are no where even close to the same!
Welfare will only top her up if she recieve less from disability than welfare, welfare is about $900 in most areas of the country for a single person try to pay rent and eat for a month off. Try to find an apartment in TO that she would be able to afford and still have money left over to live off of, next to impossible
THere are 2 different assistance plans one is a family assistance plan which is meant for families with children, they offer more assistance like back to school allowances, help with purchasing furniture, childcare if working but not earning enough to go off the system, a medical plan that provide for drug dental and eyeglasses, start up like first and last, education assisance for parent, a certain amount of money is alloted for each child, much like the average child support payment, the child support is collected by the family courts paid to family allowance Dad may pay $500 a month but Family allowance may allot $300 a month per child, instead of getting the extra $200 for the child part of the base amount is considered paid for, that extra $200 then applied to another child on Family Allowances who does not have a supporting parent.so there is more income and benefit for families with children. Subsidized housing comes avaialble more frequently, mom find a boyfriend to move in with, she takes a job somewhere rent is based on what you earn, if she is earning a decent amount she may be able to find better accomodations for less else where, or the children grow up. My former daughter in law is on it one child , she is not even in subsidized housing the provide extra money to help cover the higher rent her rent is $800 an is managing quite well with the amount she is recieving far better than I was as a single parent working and raising my son, believe me she gets a lot more than $950 a month with one child ;) My son currently pays $650 in child support, he has tried to talk to her about going out and working as she would be better off financially, it lasted about a month she decided the effort was not worth the few dollars difference :rolleyes: even though she would have subsidized daycare for any overlapping hours where the child is not is school, so if anyone knows what net income is on a 40 hour work week at minimum wage a month plus tack on $650 according to the PC work figure thrown around here it would seem like working should be a major income difference that would be worth the effort, she has been in receipt of family benefits for 6 years now obviously she is getting enough of an income from family benefits that she sees no incentive in working, and there is no physical reason why she can't work or at least go return to school inorder to be able to earn a better income

The general welfare is for single people and the immediate stepping stone for those families entering the Family allowance program to provide immediate assistance, there is not a lot of extras for recipients in this progam, basically just the flat cheque and a very basic drug plan. I know my son had went on briefly there was no assistance for having last months rent, you either had to borrow from family or find a place that did not require. no where near the same aid as on family benefits



I know people who ended up as stay at home moms raising their children on Family allowance, suddenly their children are all grown left school and their are forced out of their subsidized home and have to switch to welfare for their check and on that they cannot afford an apartment, it is a major drop in imcome, they may be then put on the waiting list for another apartment but those are scarcer and the waiting list a lot longer some areas around 3 years, most when they get in do not move out openings come up when they pass away usually, most are forced to live with their children and moves from one to another as they get tired of her, some have no skills to find jobs , many do not have even high school diplomas ,they are older no one wants to hire them even for menial work.

While I feel for this woman, I do think she has the syptoms of a serious hoarder. Yes it's nice to have cats, but when you have cats beyond your means of caring for them, it's time to find them a good home. And yes, she is beyond being able to care for them, she has no home for them, to me, that's beyond what you can handle. It would have been fine for her to let petsmart take them on temporarily, she should have made every effort not to abuse that kindness. I just want to clarify, there are homeless people with pets, one or two, and I don't feel that thtat is beyond a persons needs. I am not against homeless people having pet companionship.



I have 6 pets 4 dogs and 2 cats, does that make me a hoarder? I currently can care and afford them, maybe something will happen 6 months from now and my life be altered where I lose my job and home would that change my designation to hoarder as a result


She obtained the cats while she was still with someone so at a time when she had the means , her life circumstances changed and she found herself homeless, she made a commitment to her animal when she obtain them to care for them till they passed , she has remained true to that commitment. It does not sound like she is taking additional ones off the street as well, some are complaining she is taking advantage of the pet store owner, maybe so but her main interest has been all along the comfort of her cats first and foremost without a place to go with them, she has to choose between taking them to live in the van or leaving them where they are where they can enjoy warmth and dryness, I am sure she realizes she is overstaying her welcome, but she is going to take advantage as long as she can, if winter lows minus 20 and even minus 30 it could mean her cats could die but definitely they would be very uncomfortable, so given her options it is not hard to understand why she is leaving them put as long as possible probably with a few prayer that he won't kick them out

Look around Toronto, it is filled with colonies of homeless cats that have no home many are picked up by animal control workers and euthanized on almost a daily basis, cat rescues already have their hands full of unwanted cats they are trying to place. If she decides to become "unselfish" as many here have quoted her as being selfish and turns them over to a rescue for adoption, then 9 other cats will die because that means 9 less openings in rescues for them. Being an intelligent, articulate woman she is probably aware of that, so has chosen to remain homeless inorder to be able to care and provide for her own cats that she made a commitment to. How many of us would have the guts to sacrifice our own comforts for the sake of our pets, if we were faced with the same situation???? I am sure most of us would decide to get rid of our pets inorder to have a warm dry private place to live, to get an idea of what it would be like, go crawl in your car and try to sleep tonight just blankets no ignition on, you can't waste fuel letting the car run to heat it, you can't afford it. I really doubt that I could be that strong :shrug:

chico2
December 28th, 2006, 05:29 PM
Badger,you can be sure,I would not let her move in here,we are retired and empty-nesters and no,I don't want her here,neither does my husband.
I just thought X-Mas would have been nice to invite her,but then,like with the owners of Pet-Value,it would be hard to ask her to leave..

All nine cats have the run of the store,but sleep in a store-room,furnished with cat-beds etc...dogs come in to the store,but the cats are not bothered.
The lady,pays for their medical-care and regular vet-visits and I don't think the cats are suffering,they get tons of attention.
Yes,the owners of the store would like her to leave,it was supposed to be a temporary arrangement,but I think they are more bothered by her presence than those beautiful cats.
As for showers etc..she looks after herself at a shelter in the winter.
Still,she does not look well,she looks like a homeless person,which she is,likes to tell people her troubles and I believe it bothers some customers and they do not come back.
There was a time,when she collected $195/month wellfare,this is what single homeless people are able to get in Ontario,if you have a place to live,you recieve $539/month for rent,food etc...since Mr Harris cutbacks.
I agree many people probably abuse the system,people who know how,but just as many people are living way below the standards any human beeing should in a"rich"country like Canada.

Golden Girls
December 28th, 2006, 05:36 PM
So the bottom line then is most of her disability $ is spent on her cats meaning she can't even afford to live in a rented bathroom if there was one available. She probably can't even eat :sad:

Golden Girls
December 28th, 2006, 05:41 PM
Maya's probably right - her cats might be the only thing that keeps her going, shoot that's sad because even then she has to like visit them only. I'm sure she's constantly afraid the cats will get the boot, then what?

papillonmama
December 28th, 2006, 06:08 PM
[QUOTE=OntarioGreys;343040]Where are you getting your figures from QUOTE]

I got my figures from what I recieve every single month. I am on Ontario works (which is not family allowance), I have three children a dog and two cats.



And I don't believe that you would ever leave your pet children in a store for two years.

Prin
December 28th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't. I love my dogs to bits, but part of that is making sure they get the best care possible and if that's not from me for whatever reason, it would be selfish of me to hang on to them.:o

Blathach
December 28th, 2006, 07:12 PM
This thread has run its course and will now be closed.