Name: Elaine Smith

Occupation: Community Response Coordinator

Elaine lives in Kaslo. She enjoys the natural beauty of the area but admits there are a variety of barriers that come with rural living. She often has to drive great distances to access basic services. She worked as an early childhood educator for many years until her disability prevented her from continuing. She works hard to make ends meet and preserves her garden harvest so she can afford to eat quality organic produce. She also supports vulnerable adults in the Kaslo community as a Community Response Coordinator.

We support raising disability rates. At $906 per month, they are completely inadequate and have been frozen since 2007. The cost of food has increased by almost 25% over the last 10 years, and the average household needs about $1400 per month to meet the cost of basic necessities.

“I know people who struggle so much to get by…  The discrepancy between the haves and have-nots gets greater every year, I think. There’s less compassion and more judgement for people who are struggling.”