LETTERS: Fed up with the lack of assistance

How many other people have gone in to social assistance for help and sit there all day and not see anyone?

The other day my mother and I had to go to the social assistance ministry to drop off a death certificate.

This being our first time there, we were not used to how the service was. There was no receptionist to answer any questions, we were not aware one had to take a number as the machine was around the corner from the entrance, other people in there showed us where it was. In the office there are quite a few cubicles and no one was manning any one of them. There was a waiting room full of people and one service person was doing the interviews.

We sat there for over a hour, with one number being called within that hour. We were speaking to a gentlemen and he told us he had been there the day before and sat there all day and never got to speak to a social worker. He had been sitting there for a couple hours before we arrived. He said he needed to see someone or he would be sleeping on the streets.

This really made me angry as I am a member of the South Okanagan Brain Injury Society and the workers there help the homeless. I have donated blankets, pillows and winter clothing to be given to the homeless.

My question is, how many other people have gone in for help and sit there all day and not see anyone?

This is a big office and only one person dealing with clients, ridiculous. I am all for saving money, but it is winter and these people going in for help are treated like no one cares, one person working and the waiting room is full. It is wrong! These are Canadians and some are seniors that have worked all there life. When you are no longer able to work, or there is no work, they are not receiving any type of counselling or help. I think the ministry needs to look at what is happening at the offices, at least there could be a receptionist instructing people how long the wait is, where to get a number and informing them if they are at the right office. I could not believe it when I went in there and never even seen a worker.

Charity societies are frustrated also with the way the welfare ministry operates. That ministry is lucky there are caring people volunteering to help these people that cannot sit in the office for the whole day.

I just hope that senior that had nowhere to go got some help!

Judie Johnson



Penticton Western News