Sunday November 26, 2017

'I've decided to stop eating': After her rent is paid this woman is left to live on $130

"I’m just going to wait it out until my money runs out because I don’t know what to do," Carol Tysoe called into Checkup during the show on housing the homeless.

"I’m just going to wait it out until my money runs out because I don’t know what to do," Carol Tysoe called into Checkup during the show on housing the homeless. (Marcelo del Pozo/REUTERS)

Listen 4:29

Carol Tysoe called into Checkup from the apartment she's rented in London, Ont. for the past three years. She told host Duncan McCue that she's worried about losing her home.

As a 62-year-old woman Tysoe said that no one will hire her because of her age, but she won't be eligible for any senior's benefits for another few years.

She explained that in order to keep her apartment for as long as she can she is on a strict budget of just $130 after her rent is paid.

When listeners heard Tysoe's story, many of them reached out through Checkup's email, Twitter and Facebook to ask how they could help.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with homelessness check out the list of resources available through the Homeless Directory


Carol Tysoe: I have experienced homelessness myself. Now I have a nice apartment. It's really very, very reasonable and nice, but I'm going to lose it in a bit under a year.

I'm going to run out of money. I would work for $5 an hour washing dishes and cleaning tables, dusting, sweeping, anything but people look at me and say you don't look strong enough.

I'm 62 years old so I'm just that little bit too old for anybody to really think I could do the job, but just that little bit too young to be eligible for help.

So I have this nice little apartment, it's been my home for three years and I'm going to lose it in less than a year. And I don't know what to do.

I think it's absolutely insane in a country as prosperous as Canada that anybody should be without a roof over their head and a room that they can go into.

Duncan McCue: The national housing strategy is making a point of targeting women and seniors, in particular, in terms of some of the investments being made. You said you have been homeless yourself Carol?

CT: I have in the past. Not recently, but I have experienced both sides. Now I have this nice little place that's been my home for three years, and I'm getting to that age where I'm not so able to cope if I had to move. I don't know how I would do it now.

DM: What will you do?

CT: I've decided to stop eating. I'm on a budget of my rent, which is very reasonable, plus $130 a month. So I've pretty much stopped ... I don't have any other choice. Rent is the one thing I'm not going to fool around with. I'm going to take it out to the last possible week, that's how it is for me.

I'm not just talking about myself, I'm talking about other people. I see people on the streets all the time when I go walking back and forth. I think it's just wrong for any human being in a country like Canada. There's no reason why they can't have a room, and a bathroom, and a shower, and a door that they can close. 

I could move if I got offered a place. I've asked around but the waiting lists are so long. The whole system is just overloaded, I don't know what to do. So I'm just going to wait it out until my money runs out because I don't know what to do.

All comments have been edited and condensed for clarity. To listen to the full interview, click on the audio link above. This online segment was prepared by Ieva Lucs on Nov. 27, 2017.