Awareness of Low Income Voices

Alive Blog PhotoSocial Development Centre is pleased to be an ally for Awareness of Low Income Voices. We hosted the first ALIV(e) group meeting at our space on April 21st 2017. The topic for the meeting was the GRT new fare boxes and Easy Go Card. Gethyn Beniston, project manager for electronic fare systems for the Region of Waterloo, provided information and heard much from ALIVE(e) members. The group was vocal regarding the needs of low-income and persons with disabilities during the transition to the new fare systems.

There are a number of situations that require further attention such as registration of companion animals, tangible ways to show times on e-transfers, compatibility with mobility transportation services, proof of age requirements and discounted bus tickets for social service agency clients. The question was also raised about the transition to the new fare system fits with funding the Region has received for a feasibility study to increase access to affordable transit.

ALIV(e) GroupWhen they met on Friday May 19, 2017, the ALIV(e) group members discussed what they appreciated about the group, their peak experiences and ideas for change.

Members like being kept informed about what is happening in the community and in public policy related to poverty. They like meeting guest speakers and feel valued when they can contribute their knowledge from lived experience to improve services for everyone in the community.

​​It is important to speak out on issues related to poverty and to have decision-makers and politicians listen to them. Group members are especially proud to advocate for everyone on low income when they go out to meet with or make presentations to elected officials. 

In this group, you know you are not alone. Members are welcoming and treat each other with respect. Meetings are a chance to socialize and there is a sense of community. 

​​It is appreciated that the meetings are being held in accessible locations across the region to allow for everyone to be informed and contribute. 

Members do like the practical supports available to the group including bus tickets, gift cards and lunch that is provided at meetings. Those with limited incomes appreciate this assistance and, equally important, that they are being recognized’ for their time and expertise.

Some areas the group would like to see changed or enhanced are:

·         Interacting more with the public and being more vocal in the community

·         Having more people with lived experience of homelessness join the group

·         Doing more to support people living on low income

·         Helping to connect people to resources and to navigate the system.

Would you like to be a part of this group? Come to the next ALIV(e) meeting  held from 11 am – 2 pm (includes lunch), meet the people and help the group achieve its goals.  

RSVP to alivecommunity1@gmail.com or call the Social Development Centre Community HelpLine 519-579-3800 and leave a message.​


 If you like more information or to attend a meeting, please email alivecommunity1@gmail.com.