Solutions worth celebrating
I am entering my fourth year as MLA for Fredericton South. One of the best things about my job is when I’m able to help a constituent in need.
Over the last three years Taeyon Kim, my constituency coordinator, and I have created more than 500 files for constituents who have sought assistance for everything from affordable housing to help starting a community garden.
We’ve had a few successes in recent months that are worth sharing.
– There was a single mother with multiple sclerosis (MS) whom we covered in a previous newsletter. Shortly thereafter, she was able to get a Portable Rent Supplement (PRS). There are only 27 of these in our region, and they are harder to come by than most affordable units, but by drawing enough attention to her situation, she was flagged to receive a PRS by NB Housing.
– A constituent was told by his doctor that he needed a special cushion for his wheelchair to alleviate a serious sore, but his request had been denied by Social Development. When we alerted Social Development, someone there recognized that his medical needs were not being met, and that his health would seriously deteriorate. They approved his cushion.
– Another single mother had been denied assistance because of a misunderstanding. As a result, she and her children were living with no electricity in the winter, huddled in the kitchen around an area heater. When the Regional Manager at Social Development was made aware of the situation, he made exceptions and arranged for temporary, emergency coverage. After a number of meetings, we were finally able to clear the matter up.
I am thankful to the managers and case workers in Social Development, Health and other departments who have worked with Taeyon and me to find solutions for these and other constituents over the last three years when the system has failed them. I do what I can for every person who comes to my Constituency Office, but these individual problems require a systemic solution. What we really need is for our government to rework the system so it fails fewer people.