Participant bio – Kim Hearty
Name: Kim Hearty
Live: East Vancouver
About myself: I have a steady part-time gig as a mental health worker with the Portland Hotel Society, a non-profit housing provider in the DTES, doing mostly janitorial work. I make about 1800/month and this allows me to rent a small 1 bedroom apartment in Hastings-Sunrise by myself, after 8 years of living with roommates. I organize with the Vancouver Renters’ Union to get tenants to stand together against landlords’ abuse and exploitation. I also serve as corresponding secretary for the Coalition of Progressive Electors in order to challenge state power at the municipal level.
Why doing the Welfare Food Challenge: My work keeps me in contact with a lot of people who depend on welfare. I was also raised by a single mum, we were on welfare in Vancouver for several years. I know welfare is disgustingly inadequate – I’m not doing this to re-experience the physical and psychological damage such poverty creates. I’d really rather not. I just want to help the push to raise the rates. I’m very grateful to everyone who has organized this.