For those battling poverty, securing the necessities of food, clothing and shelter, can force other concerns, such as a hearing problem, to the back burner.

A certified hearing instrument specialist and owner of Provincial Hearing Halifax, Cole Crouse donated his time at the Halifax Centre of Hope to perform nearly 20 hearing assessments. If hearing devices were recommended, he interviewed each patient to see if they qualified for assistance under a number of existing programs, such as workers compensation or social assistance. If they did not qualify, Crouse had donated and refurbished hearing devices available.

For Crouse, helping people in need of hearing assistance is a good thing. “I'm here to help as many people as I can,” he says. “We want to find if there's a system in place to help them, and if not, we want to be that support for them.”

Hearing devices vary in price, but Crouse says $1,000 to $3,000 per ear is a fair estimate.

Paul Clarke was one of the men who signed up for an assessment. He knew he had some hearing impairment, and was quick to thank Crouse for his time.

“There are a lot of people walking around who have a hearing problem and don't even realize it,” he said. “It's good that he came here to donate his services and help people like me.”

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