Name: Fraser Stuart

Occupation: Community Activist

Fraser is 60 years old and, after being homeless for a year, he now lives in a Single Room Occupancy hotel in Vancouver’s downtown east side. He has lived and worked in BC for 25 years, and has three children, all PhD candidates studying in Canada. He is unable to work now because of a variety of medical conditions but, despite having forms from a specialist, he still can’t get on disability. He is currently doing his best to get by on welfare alone. After paying rent, he lives on about $175 a month.  

We support raising welfare and disability rates, and making them accessible to those in need. The welfare system in BC is fundamentally broken. Many people are held in the wrong category for years. Those who face barriers to employment must have this status recognized quickly and be re-categorized. Although still inadequate, $906 for a person with a disability would make a difference after struggling on $610.

“If you’re homeless, you line up for an hour for your bed at night.  You line up to take a shower, another hour.  You line up an hour to do your laundry… You’re lined up about 6 hours a day.  That’s besides walking… So, it’s a full time job being homeless.”