Ben was referred to SSSBC’s Integrated Services program in September after experiencing income disruption over several months. His financial and health issues were causing his quality of life and housing stability to deteriorate over the Spring and Summer of 2022.

Ben is an older adult who lives in subsidized housing with an older cat companion named Frisky. Ben and Frisky both have medical conditions. Frisky requires expensive veterinary care and medication, while Ben has mobility issues that make it difficult for him to maintain his residence. After being unable to file his tax return on time this year, Ben’s GIS was suspended in July, which cut his monthly income by more than half.

Ben found himself unable to cover his monthly expenses for rent, food, and care of himself, his home, and Frisky, which was taking a toll on his mental health. He was having trouble putting the necessary documents together to file his income taxes and to meet his expenses. Ben cut back on buying groceries, putting his nutritional health at risk, and borrowed money from friends as a short-term stopgap. On top of this, the property owner visited his unit and insisted that Ben find a way to have regular cleaning done on the premises.

Upon his referral to SSSBC, our program coordinator made an in-home visit to complete an assessment and intake and was able to connect Ben to support and services appropriate to his needs. These included:

  • Completion of his 2021 tax filing and reinstatement of GIS with assistance from Service Canada
  • Enrolment in a pilot project providing regular light housekeeping services and,
  • Support in collecting documentation for an annual income review with his landlord to determine his subsidized rent amount.

Since his involvement with SSSBC, Ben is thrilled to have had his GIS income reinstated and his feelings of overwhelm dissipated. A major plus-point is the connection to practical support he receives through SSSBC will play a key role in Ben achieving success in improving his lifestyle and quality of living over time.

(Names have been changed to protect client -and feline- privacy)

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