Struggling every day
Carolin is a fledging entrepreneur. Baking bread is her passion. The aroma, the texture, the combinations of ingredients all delight her. Her mission is to develop healthier options for people who love bread. Carolin's world seems to be crashing in on top of her. As an entrepreneur, she is elegible to supplement her earnings with Employment Income from the province. Things were going along as usual until her file was changed to another district office. Last week Carolin came in seeking help. She hadn't received EI for two months now and was behind on her mortgage. She was frustrated and confused after a meeting with her worker because she was told her forms were filled out incorrectly. This was the way she had been trained to fill them out so she was at a loss as to what to do. "When I didn't get a cheque last month, I figured it was because my file moved and everything would be right this month. When I didn't get a cheque this month, I knew that wasn't the case." We set her up with someone who is an expert dealing with issues such as this. "I can't pay my mortgage, or buy ingredients to make bread. I need to find a commercial kitchen to use because my time allowed at the community kitchen is up."
The next day Carolin was back. When asked if she was getting the help she needed, she broke into tears. "Assiniboine Credit Union called this morning. They are foreclosing on my house. I told them about the problem I'm dealing with and expect it will be resolved soon. They said I had two choices. Get a realtor and have a for sale sign on my property tomorrow, or they will foreclose on the 22nd." Her house makes her feel safe she said. It brings her joy, even though it needs some work, it is her haven. "If I have to let it go, I will." Carolin is a survivor.
She was hungry and went off to get something to eat. A while later she was at the table participating in the Lumosity program and she shared a few laughs with the volunteers and guests. Soon she came back to the earlier conversation. She asked for a couple of pages of realtor numbers to be copied out of the phone book. She said she felt better and was glad she came. She went over to the phones to tackle the next stage of her journey.
This is Carolin's community. At Oak Table, we are here for Carolin to provide a listening ear and a helping hand. Everyday Carolin and many others try to navigate confusing government and business systems. We are here to help.
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