Perpetuating the Problem of Poverty

How Saturating a City with Employment Agencies

Facilitates Social Degradation and Financial Hardship.



That's a very bold statement, isn't it! And, in the words of Dr. Carl Sagan, a renowned astrophysicist and humanitarian of our time: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” I know that the 48 employment agencies located right here in the city of Barrie will agree; and, I plan to do that. This article is not about assumptions, speculations, or probabilities though; it's about first-hand facts, gained through lived experience, of an important local and global issue. Poverty being that issue, and the direct correlation Employment Agencies have to it, being my focus.

Identifying a cause, or in the case of poverty- its plurals; isn't always as apparent to someone who doesn't work or participate in the field of social services. But it is essential in the planning and implementation of strategies to prevent, alleviate, or resolve such issues. If just one single cause can be identified within a community, then we are all one step closer to addressing that issue. And when a cause can be identified that is a significant contributor to an issue, then we can make leaps & bounds! And, since I have participated and interacted in almost every social service within the city of Barrie, I have come to see the direct correlation between low income employment, and the ripple effect on our community and social services.

But I am not a caseworker. Nor am I a paid consultant, or even a special interest group. I am a resident of Barrie. More to the point, I have lived at street level on a daily basis for the last 2 years in the downtown core. And because of my proximity and participation, I have become an unwitting observer of what life 'downtown’ is actually like. And no, the city of Barrie is not on the brink of collapse or calamity- far from it. Barrie is a beautiful quaint city with so much to offer its residents and visitors. It really is a great city to live, work, and play. It is also a city that we entrust to be active, and proactive, in addressing the inherent issues that come with being a city- and that’s the citizens that get left out, down-trodden, or pushed aside as it grows.

This is where the 48 employment agencies in Barrie come into light. And yes, I said FORTY-EIGHT agencies- right here in this small, but growing city of about 160,000 residents. A city with a labour force of about 113,000 people, and of which a StatsCan 2012 census report lists 9,000 residents as ‘unemployed’. But just how many job openings are there in Barrie/Simcoe County?

Given the saturation of employment agencies in this city, there must be an over-flow of jobs pouring out the doors of local businesses to warrant such excessive private intervention to help corral all of these jobs for our benefit!? But there isn't. There isn't an over-flow of jobs; and there certainly isn't a benefit to having private enterprises scooping up a very large majority of limited good-to-high paying jobs in our region, only to sell them back to us at minimum wage. It's absurd. And, as the title of this article claims, it's 'Perpetuating the Problem of Poverty'.

The End

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