Report – Salvation Army Launches the Dignity Project to Educate, Activate Public Support

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The Salvation Army believes that human dignity is a fundamental right for all. The Salvation Army has now launched The Dignity Project, seeking to engage Canadians about the reality of poverty in the 21st century.

With this in mind, The Salvation Army has also released a report (embedded below) that finds many Canadians continue to believe persistent myths about poverty and the poor. The study, based on research conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, is designed to educate and inform the public about the challenges facing society’s most vulnerable people.

 

12 Comments

John Newcomb

Thanks Salvation Army for this report – it will be a constructive addition to debating poverty policy in Canada. Perhaps a followup report might use similar questions and survey people who are in poverty, so the public may understand better how the poor think about their situation.

Robert T. Chisholm

This is a very useful start to educating everybody about what is really going on in Canada. See also my web sites at :-

http://www.exposethismuck.com

http://www.unempgeninfo.com

The problem of attitudes in Canada towards people out of work is particularly serious. This in itself would merit a survey and public education campaign. If you look at just the home pages of my two web sites, that will give you some ideas as to why. I could contribute to the design of a survey and to any public education campaign.

Robert T. Chisholm, Ottawa

Joanne Havelock

See the website “Low Income Women Speak Out through Photovoice Projects” in which women in Manitoba and Saskatchewan used photos and text to represent their views of poverty.

Shannon Brandt

I commend this project and those who have brought it about. The comment above posts an excellent and I believe a necessary idea of surveying people who live in poverty. So little is understood by the general public of how the stereotypes placed on the poor affects their view of themselves. A person who is thrust into poverty, once a contributing, educated member of society with integrity and values will, more than likely, begin to believe she/he is pathetic, worthless, a burden, or no longer valued. I have experienced this myself.
Poverty is a fine line that no one is immune to.
We all have value, but it is especially difficult to remember that when society places the highest value on those whose income is the most.

Robert T. Chisholm

Quote from Shannon Brandt’s posting above:-

“So little is understood by the general public of how the stereotypes placed on the poor affects their view of themselves. A person who is thrust into poverty, once a contributing, educated member of society with integrity and values will, more than likely, begin to believe she/he is pathetic, worthless, a burden, or no longer valued. I have experienced this myself.”

I have also experienced this. I also don’t believe the average working person has a clue about what is really going on and is interested in it even less. See also my two web sites referred to before, located at:-

http://www.exposethismuck.com

http://www.unempgeninfo.com

Quite apart from corruption in business, the legal profession and government that I found myself dealing with (and still do, after almost 30 years in Canada), I suspect the major problem liable to affect anybody – if they lose a job – is the popular disinformation circulating about people who are classified as having “dropped out of the labour force”, having “given up looking for work”,”taking a break from job hunting”, “discouraged workers”, etc. So far as I am concerned, none of these Stats Can DESIGNATIONS constitute valid DESCRIPTIONS of the people affected; my own research indicates that most people out of work are classified in this way and the so-called “official unemployed” constitute a relatively small fraction of the overall problem. And that is not all.

The other big problem area is the attitude of corporate C.E.O.’s and the Human Resources professionals whom they employ and control for the purpose of screeing out almost everybody who applies for a job. I have seen figures of between 70 and 5,000 quoted for the number of people who apply for every job posted on public web sites or in the newspapers.

Nobody has been doing any analysis of the implications of this for the economy as a whole – and the tax base. Quite apart from other considerations, in an era where we supposedly must be more concerned than ever about funding for health care and other things – on account of the demographic factors that we keep hearing about – this negligence equates to complete and utter incompetence.

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