Despite the best of intentions of parents, social workers, teachers, the entire village it takes to raise a child, poverty gets at some children eventually, magnifying all the challenges of growing up. This particular item, from Denver, Colorado renews the reality for us at suburban-poverty.com in a way that yet another piece about once middle class people demoted to food banks in depressive times would not. A teacher in a suburb of western Denver undertakes to teach a lesson in what homelessness might be like and discovers she has students already pretty much living it. Her school board now has a homeless liaison person on its staff and the numbers of families with school age children facing precarious situations in housing and employment there are way up.
Struggling in suburbia
Helping the homeless in school and out
Both items from tolerance.org – a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Mississauga, the muscular central-westerly expanse of the Greater Toronto Area, has been getting media of late. Architecture critic and urbanist Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star wrote the other day that he felt as if Alberta begins on the Humber River. Like others, Hume was reacting to the newness, the commerce, the construction, the hustle-and-bustle found where there was previously an unsatisfying incompleteness of place. Even those deeply critical of Mississauga’s unimaginative planning and the cozy relationships found there between developers and city hall are taken aback at the sheer scale of things now.
As for the poverty, well, it’s pretty much always been there. Mississauga is home to a fringe working class, many born Canadians not doing so hot and now joined by newcomers with their own difficulties. Some new data is available and it got mention in the Mississauga News recently. A publication primarily acting as a sleeve for advertising flyers is to be encouraged when it devotes even a few square centimetres to those not living in monster homes or ripping up and down Highway 10 in a Lexus SUV. Cooksville and Malton are the two worst parts of Mississauga if you want to know where the poverty is in this sizeable slab of real estate. Around the corner from this blog’s offices are neighbourhoods with child poverty rates of twenty and thirty per cent.
Malton, Cooksville among poorest communities
image: Ian Mutoo via Wikimedia Commons
It’s okay, don’t worry. Everybody go back to sleep, …just another report on child poverty in Canada. Everything’s fine.
Ottawa lacks plan to fight child poverty, coalition says Toronto Star
We thought we were reading The Onion without our glasses on late this morning when we came across a stunner of a news item about the newest muppet character …Lily the poor kid. What the hell planet am I on?
Sesame Street Introduces Poor Muppet Southern California Public Radio
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto released a report at the end of 2008 that makes for alarming reading. Really, child poverty is the worst kind. It would seem that Canada is not exactly like some small Scandinavian country with zillions of Krona to spend on sensitively applied, boutique social programs. Too bad if you live in suburban poverty, huh?
In areas such as Mississauga, Markham, Richmond Hill and Oakville, child poverty rates have soared since 1990, closing in on levels once isolated to downtown Toronto, says the report, which used census data from 2006.