Wait­ing on fi­nan­cial sup­port

Mother/grand­mother says fund­ing needed for rent, bills, medicine and fam­ily

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS PORT HOPE SIMP­SON

Ed­i­tor’s Note: As of Nov. 9, the dead­line for this edi­tion of the North­ern Pen, the sit­u­a­tion was still de­vel­op­ing and Ward hadn’t re­ceived pay­ment.

As more in­for­ma­tion be­comes avail­able, we will up­date this story on our web­site: www.north­ern­pen.ca

Wavey Ward is scared she soon could be home­less.

The Port Hope Simp­son sin­gle mother and grand­mother says the pro­vin­cial govern­ment has been with­hold­ing her fi­nan­cial sup­port since Sept. 1.

Now, she’s strug­gling to pay her bills and rent.

Ward has epilepsy, other health is­sues, and a learn­ing dis­abil­ity, all of which pre­vent her from be­ing em­ployed.

She has four chil­dren and an in­fant grand­child. Two of her school-aged chil­dren and the grand­child live with her.

Fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the prov­ince helps her pro­vide for her chil­dren and pay for her rent, medicines and other bills.

Ac­cord­ing to Ward, her prob­lems started when she didn’t re­ceive her cheque on Sept. 16.

Af­ter ap­prox­i­mately a week, she called her so­cial worker in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay about the miss­ing pay­ment and says she was given a “run around.”

About three weeks later, still with­out pay­ment, she called back and was told a form had been sent to her in the mail in June. Be­cause she hadn’t com­pleted the form, her fi­nan­cial sup­port was be­ing with­held.

But Ward claims she never re­ceived the form.

“I don’t know if it got mis­placed, but I told them I never got it,” Ward told the North­ern Pen.

She looked around her home, just in case, but con­firmed she didn’t have the form.

The so­cial worker ended up fax­ing a copy to the lo­cal clinic.

Ward says she com­pleted the form and sent it back to the so­cial worker. But now she’s be­ing told they need in­for­ma­tion about her grand­son, which she did not pro­vide.

Her el­dest daugh­ter, Selina, lives in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay and has now de­liv­ered the com­pleted form to the of­fice there.

As of Wed. Nov. 8, Ward was await­ing ap­proval and hop­ing to re­ceive word soon that she’ll re­ceive her pay­ment.

How­ever, be­cause of the dif­fi­cul­ties with mail­ing this form, she has al­ready been with­out fi­nan­cial sup­port for over two months.

She stays at a New­found­land and Labrador Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion unit and says she’s re­ceived two let­ters al­ready be­cause she’s be­hind on her rent.

“I’m be­hind on all my bills, I hardly got any gro­ceries in the house,” added Ward. “It’s a hard bat­tle.”

The De­part­ment of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour told the North­ern Pen it could not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases, such as Ward’s, for pri­vacy rea­sons.

In its state­ment, the de­part­ment said it works with in­di­vid­u­als to en­sure they un­der­stand the types of in­for­ma­tion they may need to pro­vide the de­part­ment to de­ter­mine el­i­gi­bil­ity for pro­grams and ser­vices.

“Staff are avail­able to help in­di­vid­u­als who are ap­ply­ing for or re­ceiv­ing ser­vices from the de­part­ment,” the state­ment read. “For as­sis­tance, in­di­vid­u­als may visit a de­part­ment of­fice in their re­gion or call for as­sis­tance, toll-free, in­clud­ing af­ter-hours.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Wavey Ward is fight­ing for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for her­self and her fam­ily. Ward, cen­ter, and three of her chil­dren, from left, Selina, Ni­cole and Natalie are pic­tured dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son. Ni­cole and Natalie are school aged and live with their mother, along with her grand­son Daniel (inset photo).

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