October 13, 2015 8:22 pm
Updated: October 13, 2015 8:28 pm

Facesofnswelfare: Fighting welfare stigma through social media

Actor, writer and documentary maker Jackie Torrens, who initiated the Benefits Action Reform Group.

Benefits Action Reform Group

HALIFAX – Local poverty activists are launching a social media campaign tackling the stigma associated with receiving social assistance.

The Benefits Action Reform Group are using the hashtag “#facesofnswelfare.”

The social media campaign will feature photos of people known in the community who are (or were) on welfare or disability.
Each picture will also include a brief write-up of a personal experience with social assistance.

Those behind the campaign say the purpose is to break the common misconceptions some people have.

“These stereotypes are damaging. They undermine someone’s self-esteem, someone’s sense of belonging and attachment. And having to get by on $550 or $790 a month is difficult enough than when you have social attitudes of folks in your community. In terms of attachment and feeling part of a community, it’s isolating,” said Evan Coole, a member of the Benefits Action Reform Group.

The campaign will be in full swing leading up to the Halifax march to end poverty on Oct. 17.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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