A Profile of Income Assistance Recipients in Winnipeg’s Inner City
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Sheldrick, Byron M.
The objective of this study is to examine the experiences of welfare recipients with the welfare bureaucracy in the city of Winnipeg. For many inner city residents some form of income assistance is a vital part of their overall income and necessary for basic subsistence (food and rent). Consequently, the decisions of welfare officials are tremendously significant for these individuals and the treatment they receive at the hands of those officials will help structure their attitudes about the state, their conception of their place in society as citizens and their own sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Through a series of structured interviews with welfare recipients this study attempts to provide a picture of the nature and experience of those inner city residents that make use of the welfare system. It documents who these people are, the types of problems they experience with the welfare bureaucracy, their understanding of the welfare system, and the need for improved advocacy programmes to better enable them to navigate the system. Finally, it provides a glimpse at what welfare recipients understand to be the barriers and obstacles they face in moving away from welfare and into paid employment. To many, the results of the interviews will not come as a surprise. However, it is important to document in these results in a systematic way in the hopes that they will have an influence on policy makers.