thoughts on vulnerability as more cuts announced

Michael Shapcott at the Wellesley Institute has written a backgrounder detailing how the Ontario government will remove 21 million dollars from the provincial homelessness prevention funding which was to have been given to the City of Toronto as of January 1, 2013. Included are cuts to the Hardship Fund, and the Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit. Hardest hit are citizens of Toronto who are either living in precarious and insecure housing or shelters, and experiencing disability. If you want to read more go to Homeless and precariously housed Torontonians targeted in $22 million cuts to vital services

In regard to this I have been thinking of the ethics of encountering those in our culture that are considered as other, and the intersection of otherness and vulnerability.

The meaning of vulnerable includes: “Having power to wound; wounding,” as well as “That may be wounded; susceptible of receiving wounds or physical injury“. Vulnerability is a state that any of us might experience and encompasses wounding and being wounded. To wound is to be wounded – the other within. The vulnerable do not only exist as those citizens that are most wounded – they also exist amongst those and are internal to those who wound. The security of difference aches, unravels. The categorization of vulnerability as an absolute binary begins to be contested  and undone in our encounters.

“vulnerable, adj.”. OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. 7 October 2012.



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