The following is the text of a speech given at the recent North American basic income congress, held in Hamilton. The author's first name is Jodi, and we are withholding her last name at her request.
You don't understand the feeling of shame until you have to call a family member to help you get to the hospital with your child because you don't have the money to park, cab or the ability to take a bus with a broken child.
I was a single mom to three amazing kids for many years: Two of them with special needs.
I was married and lived a comfortable middle-class life. We chose for me to stay home and be a full-time mom.
After my divorce I found it next to impossible to work and look after my special-needs daughter. Before children, I worked full-time while obtaining a college degree and I'm about to finish my second degree in social service work, which I have been doing for many years part time.
I have since remarried and we are now part of the working poor. My youngest daughter is now 11 and has a rare condition called osteogenesis imperfecta as well as epilepsy. She has many appointments each week in Hamilton and at SickKids hospital in Toronto. She requires treatment that takes us travelling to Montreal's Shriners hospital several times a year.
On any given day I can be called to pick her up from school and take her into the hospital for a broken bone or to bring her home because she has had a seizure.
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