Name: Kenneth McLeod

Occupation: Community Volunteer

Kenneth lives in Victoria. He is involved with a group called AIDS Vancouver Island, who work to prevent infection, provide support, and reduce stigma. He tries to get by on disability, which he has been on for 1 year. He had a lot of difficulty accessing disability, and had to appeal the first decision. Kenneth experiences homelessness, and wishes the government had more programs to get people off the streets. He lines up for a few hours each day for basic services, and this brings him a great deal of stress and unhappiness.

We support raising disability rates. 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. People on disability have the right to live with dignity, without having to resort to charities.

“I’ve been homeless. I’d like to get off the street. [I get by] on binning and disability. I’ve spent my whole life living out of trash cans.”