A last resort

Authority Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Alana fled her home in a hurry. She had been threatened with violence and police told her to stay away. Fearing for her safety, Alana left without taking anything with her including most of her assistance money. After arriving at her friend’s in a nearby town, she went to the local ministry office for help. Staff offered money for a hotel, but only for a few nights and a food voucher but said the maximum crisis funding for food was $20. Alana would have to wait a month for another regular assistance cheque. She didn’t know how she’d feed herself. She called us.

Alana told us she only had the clothes on her back. She said she’d explained her situation to the ministry but no help was offered for clothing. We looked at whether the ministry had unreasonably delayed assessing her emergency needs. We contacted a supervisor who confirmed our understanding was correct and that a decision should have been made regarding whether Alana was eligible for a clothing crisis supplement. We asked the supervisor to call Alana to discuss a clothing crisis supplement. As well, the supervisor agreed to inform Alana she could request another food crisis supplement as of the first of the new month which was the next business day.

We followed up with Alana, who confirmed that ministry staff contacted her and offered a $100 clothing supplement. She also said the ministry told her it could help her with rent. She told us she’d be okay for now and was aware that she could request an additional crisis grant for food if necessary.

Category Income and Benefits
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2013
Location The Lower Mainland