Article: "Poverty Has No Easy Answers" / by Robyn Rapske

"“What is the root of poverty for women on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside?”

I was asked this question recently, because I am an outreach worker in this Vancouver neighbourhood. I have some pretty strong feelings about being asked this. It’s similar to how I feel when I am asked these other common questions:

Why do addicts keep using drugs when they know the risk of dying from fentanyl overdose?

Why don’t women leave their abusive partners?

Why don’t people just get a job?

Sometimes I’m glad people ask these questions—it’s an act of acknowledging they don’t have the answers and are seeking them out. However, whether it’s because I’m burning out, or because I am experiencing what everyone goes through when they work in social services, below are my honest feelings when I’m asked these types of questions...."

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