Name: Jonquil

Occupation: Director of Non-Profit Organization

Jonquil is a 59 year old woman who lives in Surrey with her adult daughter. She has a rare form of severe arthritis and is now wheelchair-bound. Jonquil struggles to make ends meet on disability, in particular because of the expenses that come with having a disability. She volunteers as the executive director of the Surrey Urban Mission, a centre that caters to marginalized populations. She works between 40-70 hours a week overseeing the Mission, which she describes not as a work commitment but as a lifestyle.

We support raising disability rates and providing more accessible social housing. An income of $906 per month ($10,782 annually) is significantly below the poverty line. As housing costs continue to rise without a corresponding increase in disability benefits, those living on disability are forced to make difficult choices to make ends meet.

“Our apartment is very expensive..a lot of basement suites that maybe go for less dollar amounts aren’t accessible. I can’t get in and out because there are stairs – my wheelchair doesn’t do stairs. And because I have a lot of medical equipment…you need to have space.”