Rental Crises & Lack of stability

27 05 2016

A lot of BC is having rental housing crises of one sort or another, mostly stemming from a lack of new rental stock being built, and long term rentals being sold and left empty by foreign investors, or torn down and pricey condos built, or other land development, and in places like Vancouver Air Bnb is also taking up rental stock as people not so legally rent out suites by the night instead of by the month.

We just moved 4 months ago because we had no other choice as we were priced out of the rental market in the previous city, and we were an hour away from Vancouver, now we are are about 90 minutes or so from Vancouver, and again the rental market is super tight with very limited rental stock, and what is available is high rent.

Now the building where we live is up for sale, and while we have 8 months on the lease, once that lease is up, we can be told to leave or stay month to month which then requires a 2 month notice of leaving if the unit is sold and no longer going to be a rental.

The stress of renting these days is high, there is no long term stability anymore, but houses and condos to buy are so out of control high, those in our price range are completely pushed out of the housing market and rental market.

I know of more than 1 person who works full-time but is homeless because rents currently exceed what they can afford, working homelessness is also common in Vancouver, but most don’t notice the working homeless as they work, and well blend in to the rest of us easily.

Most regions of BC also have limited to no social housing, most if situated in Vancouver, and area but wait lists are so long places don’t even accept new people onto the wait lists anymore.

The province also feels the 375 and 570 per month they provide to the disabled and those on social assistance is sufficient to provide housing, maybe 15 years ago, but its not adequate anymore so its becoming more and more common to see people on disability using 90-100% of their monthly disability just for housing.

Sad state of affairs this province is becoming, and nobody seems to care.

We would leave but because we are on disability we are tied to BC since disability (unless on CPP disability) is tied to province, and well BC stands ahead of the pack as to what is provided, so moving likely would not of be any benefit, as other provinces either have very limited or no real disability, or like Ontario have disability, but restrict what the disabled can earn from working which would mean less income, and not actually any better off.

I don’t know 100%, but from what I can find online and if I understand correctly Ontario allows the disabled to earn up to $200 per month before they claw back disability, where BC is on an annual exemption and not monthly, so a disabled person who can and chooses to work part-time can earn up to 9,000 a year before disability is clawed back, which averages to $750 roughly per month.

Atlantic Canada has the lowest housing, but the worst disability supports so its out entirely, the middle part of Canada is very vague on what they offer, and hard to research it.

Of course there is the entire matter of just because your disabled in one province does not mean another province will say you are, every province has different rules and moving and reapplying could mean a year or more without any real income and support, and before one can even apply, one needs to find a doctor in the new place who also believes your disabled and willing to fill out the paperwork.

Oddly, the US is looking more appealing, larger selection of places to live with a far greater option of choices and career options, but downside is lack of disability supports which is still an issue, and of course healthcare costs more there, so in the end savings in housing may be eaten up by increase in healthcare.

 

Stability is an important factor in maintaining good mental health, and stability in housing is even more important and if housing isn’t stable, nothing in ones life really can be stable, and this is one of the biggest issues for me, lack of stability.

For reference, I have on average moved 2.8 times per year over the last 10 years, and this lack of stability does affect my well being.

 

 

 





Via Rail trip on “The Canadian” Train 1

12 02 2013

Via Rail trip on “The Canadian” Train 1.





Via Rail trip on “The Canadian” Train 1

7 02 2013

Parts of this blog entry was written after the fact, and some was written in present, so you may find a switch from present tense to past tense because of this reason, and why the entry may flip around a bit.

 

 

Saturday Feb 2. Day 1.

 

Toronto was not as I imagined. Granted I admit I did not see much of it, just the area around CN Tower and Union Station. It was too busy, and too many people for me. I was expecting a city more like Vancouver and less like Los Angeles.

 

Union Station is under construction so there was not much to see there, everything was behind scaffolding or plywood barriers, but it looks like it was a most awesome building, and I hope whatever they do to it doesn’t ruin this historic awesome.

 

I was overly impressed with Union Station, especially the fact there is nothing in the Via Rail departure concourse, you have to walk a good bit to get anything to eat or drink, and I could find no water fountains at all, so ended up having to buy drinks for Mcdonalds each time.

 

The train arriving from Vancouver was late, so we departed late. We were scheduled to depart at 2200 from Toronto, but we didn’t actually depart until 1230am, so 2 ½ hours late.

 

The rest of this day was spent sleeping, and trying to find the most comfortable way to sleep.

 

Day 2

 

Day 2 I awoke early before most other passengers, and decided to take this opportunity to freshen up since all the bathrooms were available.

 

Then I went to the dome car and took a seat and waited for the sun to rise, although we are going west, the dome car allows you to see behind you and above and to the side, its an awesome way to see the passing country side.

 

For lunch I bought a ham sandwich for $6, it included a small bar of cheese, and small bag of carrots. The sandwich was decent and tasted good, I felt the value was there for the price being charged.

 

After lunch I went back to my seat and took a brief nap and then the rest of the day was spent between my seat, the dome car and walking around the 3 cars coach passengers are permitted entry to.

 

For dinner, I had a turkey sandwich with all the same on the side as lunch.

 

I will say this, Ontario is huge, as I write this at 7:00pm, we are still in Ontario but nearing the Manitoba border, but we still have a couple hours before we get to Manitoba which we do sometime tonight as we wake up in Winnipeg at 8am if we are on time.

 

This part of Ontario is the land of frozen lakes, trees and snow this time of year, the landscape doesn’t change much and there are no large towns, just small towns some very small with only 1,500 people. I now see why the train is important to these towns, its the only way out for some since there is no large city near any of them with an airport, its also a very remote and desolate place in these parts. The train follows a path where most towns are there because of the early days of trains and the need to have places to service them in between large city’s.

 

 

Day 3

I woke up early before the sun to find that we were still in Ontario, Sioux Lookout, Ontario to be exact. Here I decided to use a water bottle and wash my hair, and it worked, when there is no shower available gotta improvise.

 

I had rice krispy’s for breakfast. Yum.

 

They made an announcement at approx 9am to inform us that we had departed Ontario and were now in Manitoba. By this point we were still behind schedule 3 ½ hours and would not have a 4 hour break in Winnipeg. We got into Winnipeg around 1130am and departed at 1pm, a bit later then scheduled.

 

In Winnipeg I decided to buy a sandwich and have lunch since the sandwiches looked nicer and were the same price as the train. It wasn’t too bad, I enjoyed it. Winnipeg station is a bit of a dump, there is not much there at all. Outdated and needs some improvement, but appears to be right downtown which is nice, but unfortunately because we had such a short time there, I was not able to venture out of the station and see much of the city.

 

Manitoba is flat, and white this time of year there is not much to look at, and I have a feeling this portion of the train ride will go a bit slower.

 

We are currently waiting for a freight train to pass us so we can continue. Most delays on Via Rail are caused by waiting for freight trains, Via Rail doesn’t own the track in which it operates, so the Via trains are at the mercy of the rail road who happens to own the track. Our next stop is Portage La Prairie.

 

So far here is my take on taking a train across a country this size.

 

Via Rail does its best to keep the trains on schedule, and to be honest if your taking the train time is obviously not of great importance, and no reason to be upset when the train is late, and from my fellow passengers I have not seen anyone upset over the train being late, the train is the trip, its not the transportation to the vacation, the train is the vacation, and if you keep that in mind, the train is a wonderful way to travel.

 

Travel by coach is not horrible, the seats are comfortable and leg room is ample.

 

Then dome car is nice way to spend time, it provides an awesome view, and plenty of possible options for those who want to take photos.

 

The staff has been up to this point has been wonderful, friendly and announce places and things of interest such as provincial borders, rivers, lakes etc.

 

Food in the cafe car is not bad, 6 bucks for a sandwich, the dining car is more, dinner starting at 22 dollars and lunch around 15, which was too much for me, so I did not try the dining car.

 

The coach cars are comfortable and offer basic amenities such as electric outlets for lap tops, cell phones etc at each row, at least the car I was on. (Car 8104).

In the skyline car for coach passenger use is the dome car, as well as the snack car which is basic offerings such as sandwiches, cereal, soda, beer, chips etc. Don’t expect a full meal from the snack bar, for that you must eat in the dining car.

 

Lunch in the dining car starts in the $15 range for a burger, drink.

 

Dinner starts in the $22 range with soup and sald.

 

The offering is limited, and since I haven’t eaten in the dining car, I will not go into detail regarding the basic.

 

Going through Ontario can be a bit tedious, it seems as if your never going to leave. But you do, and into Manitoba the landscape is boring,currently its flat, and covered it snow, mile after mile looks the same, there is not much variety in this part of the trip and you can tell people are more easily bored, as more are sleeping then have been in other more exciting segments.

 

If going all the way from Toronto to Vancouver or vice versa the first part of the trip and last part are the nicest scenery wise. The middle part is flat, and mostly boring in winter.

 

Via has some on-board entertainers and on this trip we had the singing group The Blue Warblers, they were good and I passed some time and passengers seemed to enjoy the show.

 

We have behind schedule for the entire trip and just have not much of a chance to catch up much time, we had left Toronto 3 hours behind schedule, but as of this writing, we are only 2 hrs 15 minutes behind right now, so we have a chance not to be super late tomorrow into Jasper, but our 1 hour 45 minute stop might be shorter.

 

Since leaving Toronto the theme of this train has been delay, delay delay. We have for the most part been 3-5 hours behind schedule. We arrived into Saskatoon in the middle of the night, 3am or approx 4 hours behind schedule, we woke up this morning still 6 hours from Edmonton and currently sitting in a small town, we should have been in Edmonton at 6:37am and its currently 12:15pm, so approaching 6 hours late. But it is a train, and everyone is taking it easy, and nobody seems overly upset. Via didn’t cause these delays and have no control over them, we have had to wait at points over an hour for a freight train to pass.

 

 

Today (Tuesday) I decided to eat in the dining car for breakfast and the cafe car is running out of food, and I can’t survive on just snacks. The price for breakfast was $12 which included juice and coffee. I had the stuff french toast, it was some of the best food I have ever had, no complaints at all. For the price the portion was well worth the price, and it was nice experiencing the dining car.

 

You may have notice little mention of Saskatchewan, this is simply because we passed through this province completely in the dark, so I was unable to see anything. I venture a guess its flat.

 

We arrived into Edmonton at approx 1345 local time, 7 hours and 15 minutes late. Edmonton train station is very well boring, nothing there around it. Its right off the Yellowhead Hwy in an industrial rail area, the whole part of coming into Edmonton is all industrial and not really a good impression for the city if one has never been there.

 

We were scheduled to go through the Rockies during the day, but due to the delays we are now very likely going to be passing through in the dark. The most scenic part of the trip, and it will be completely dark. Oh well, hopefully we get a glimpse of some mountains in the morning before we get to the lower mainland, but only time will tell.

 

We did end up through the Rockies during the night hours, but we got a special treat as we started down the Fraser Canyon at dawn and got to see an even better sight and scenery in my opinion, so in the end it was worth the delay.

 

The last morning of the trip as we had been running behind schedule for so long, Via provided everyone in coach breakfast in the dining car without charge, I thought this was a very thoughtful thing for Via to do, and it made pretty much everyone on the train happy. Overall a few people were upset over the delay but in the end we got to Vancouver, had an excellent time and trip, and made a couple new friends along the way.

 

 

My thoughts on Via Rail Canada.

 

I have to say despite the delays which I do not blame Via Rail for, they did everything they could possibly do to keep us on time, the service on-board the train was excellent and the staff friendly and they certainly went out of their way to make sure you had a pleasant experience. Both crews that we had went above and beyond and show what customer service should be.

 

Travel by train is the most leisurely and stress free way to travel, you get to a point where you don’t want the trip to end.

 

You meet people you would otherwise have never met. I met several people and had several wonderful conversations, we had a musician on board who played some wonderful music for us, (find you tube eugene smith.) The was an older couple who were taking the train to spend a few days in Vancouver, nd then taking the train back home. There was a lady who sat across from me who just recently discovered trains, and is taking the train and spending 2 days in Vancouver before taking the train back.

 

People from college students from other countries, to retired seniors enjoying retirement and everyone in between, all enjoying a train ride across Canada.

 

People on trains will talk, have conversation, its the complete opposite of flying, where people are stressed, don’t talk to one another, and certainly don’t take a delay easily. Those who take the train are not concerned with time, we take the train for the train itself and seeing places that we would otherwise never see. The train went through towns that were 100+ miles from the nearest highway, places you would never see by driving across the country.

 

Via Rail is reliant on the Government of Canada for a good chunk of its funding, passenger fares cover the remaining costs , but its not possible for passenger trains to be operated at a profit, and why we don’t have private railroads operating passenger trains, but we should not allow passenger rail to ever die in this country, I would urge everyone in Canada who reads this to tell their MP to support Via Rail funding, and every Canadian should take the time, and take the wonderful 4 day trip across Canada, on Via Rail’s “The Canadian” train number 1 going Toronto to Vancouver and Train # 2 Vancouver to Toronto.

 

They also operate Montreal to Halifax on the “The Ocean” and of course if you love Polar Bears they also have Winnipeg to Churchill where in the fall, polar bears can be seen in their natural wild environment.

 

Take time to take a rail adventure, make the train the vacation, not the destination.

 

There is a fare and budget for just about everyone, and if you catch a sale, its not unheard of to be able to travel across this country one way for under 200 dollars for a coach seat.

 

I know some might be wondering how coach is for 4 nights, 5 days since coach passengers have no access to a shower, my answer is simple, its doable and its not hard to stay fresh.

 

Baby wipes are your friend, and they can provide a refreshing way to cleanse and keep up on personal hygiene. Take a small water bottle with you, and its possible for most with short to medium length hair to wash their hair in the bathroom sink. I did this on day 3 and it worked just fine. And bring extra clothing and change clothes, and when all this is combined, you will be just fine without a shower.

 

Sleeping in coach is not all that hard, the rocking and sound of the train literally rocks you to sleep. Everyone in coach seemed to sleep find, walking through the car late at night to stretch and everyone is sound asleep. The seats are comfortable, recline a decent amount, and of course have ample legroom, even at my height 6’4, I found that I had more then enough space.

 

If looking to save money, bring your own snacks, and no perishable foods. Via ail is very liberal on their baggage policy, free of charge they allow 3 checked bags up to 50 pounds each, and a carry on plus personal bag such as a back pack, bring just one change of clothes in the carry on, and you have plenty of space for food and snacks.

 

There is no internet available, and cell coverage for the majority of the trip is non-existent, but the trains do make stops in a few stations that do have free wi-fi (Winnipeg, Edmonton for example) and when in towns if you have a smart phone, you can probably check email in the larger towns that have cell coverage.

 

So pack your bags and don’t hesitate and take a trip you will not forget and take Via Rail for your next vacation.

 

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Imageda,





Lonely.

18 01 2013

How do you deal with loneliness?

I just dont know what to do. Nobody can deal with me, and dont want to be around me, but yet I am unable to cope it seems with being alone and having nobody around.





Rough day.

18 01 2013

I am having a really rough day today. I can’t stop crying. Things were not supposed to turn out this way.





Being alone and small town isolation.

18 01 2013

No matter how much I hate being alone, I have to learn how to be alone. I am not fit for a relationship or friendships and it’s best for all involved for me to stop trying to make friends, because in the end, I push them out of my life, and then I feel worse about it. Happens each and every time I make a friend or am in a relationship so until other things change in my life, being alone is likely the best thing for me.

I can say for sure now, small town living is not for me. Its a very isolating experience and certainly not a healthy environment for someone who already feels isolated and alone.

I now understand what people mean by they care but just can’t handle my issues, and I know I have a handful of them.





TW: Not a good week

17 01 2013

I posted this earlier, and then a short while later posted another entry, and this website deleted the original. So this is not the original and is a shorter version as I cannot remember word for word what the original post was.

I have left parts out of what happened to respect the privacy of others.

 

Monday night was horrible, I felt rejected and abandoned and I started an argument, and in the end I was in the hospital as I overdosed on Effexor as I could not handle life at that point anymore. In an instant I went from feeling rejected, abandoned, and hated and being angry, to suicidal and not wanting to live anymore. 

I spent Monday night, Tuesday and part of Wed admitted to the ER and medical floor. The local hospital has no psychiatric unit.

I never saw a psychiatrist, but I did see a GP who was assigned to me, and we talked for a bit about things, and how personality disorders work, and he explained some things about the disorder and said my Abilify dose was far too low and really doing nothing for me, it was apparently well below whats considered therapeutic.

The GP talked to a psychiatrist at another hospital, and the psychiatrist there said there was no reason to admit me, the crises had passed and the type of disorder I have doesn’t require inpatient care. How many times have I heard that line?

I also talked to a social worker at the hospital who was surprised the doctor was releasing me, as she thought I should have more inpatient care so I can get some stable housing, and stability that I dont have currently, but I guess the doctors didn’t agree.

I am not fully sure if the doctors even take personality disorders as a true disorder, or if they see us just as crazy people or something. I am not sure. 

I also realize no matter how much I hate being alone, I can’t bring anyone into my life until its more stable. Its not fair to the other person and I know any friendship or relationship that is close, will result in chaos in both mine and the other persons life. I need to be in treatment and create a stable life for myself first and learn how to cope with things better then I currently do, learn the life and coping skills needed to survive in the world which I currently do not have, or I would not be failing at life so miserably.

I have no self confidence in anything I do, I second guess everything I do. I care deeply for those around me, but how can I create so much chaos in their lives?

I want nothing more then to be in a bpd treatment program and its the one thing I have been working on for a year to do. I just need to find the right large city to settle in, and go from there. I know I need to be in a large city with the proper resources that can help, and I wont get the help I need in the small city’s I have the tendency to choose to live in.

I miss my friends and I understand why they can’t be close to me at this time, I simply create too much chaos and stress, and nobody needs to be stressed or live a chaotic life because of me.

I know i am a good person, and would do anything for my friends, but I also know I have psychiatric issues that need to be resolved before I can truly be a good friend to everyone.

 

 

 

 








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