There is a lot of opinions about Public Assistance, and the people who have to utilize the system to provide for their families. Most of them come from people who have never been poor enough to need that leg-up. Wonderful for you. This lowest income bracket is blamed for a lot of monetary problems. We are not. Public Welfare exist at less than 3% of the total federal budget. There is a lot more money being spent in the name of a lot worse things than poor people.
It’s easy to hate poor people because, “They did it to themselves” or the prevailing Protestant mind-set that “Poverty is God’s curse for not living a more Christian life”. It’s not true. Not at all. I want you to meet me. I want everyone to see that a person can be poor. They can live completely dependent on welfare; and then get a career that allows them the opportunity to reinvest themselves into the global capitalist economy. Better yet, let me show my kids how to live, and how you can change any situation if you work hard enough.
This is the very beginning of the middle of a journey. I am still on welfare, still being a mom without help from the bio-dad. I am still enrolled in the University full-time. This may be my last semester because I don’t have a car, and there isn’t public transportation. I feel guilty because I a receive public assistance to live. I also feel blessed, because I know that my family couldn’t exist in the clean, new, healthy, home that we have without it.
I hear so many stories of “Welfare Queens”. Everybody has a story about that one lady with 7 kids by 9 daddy’s, and she’s just sitting on her ever widening ass, eating Hagan-daaz bon-bon’s that she bought with food stamps. She’s supporting a bunch of able bodied men…Really? Where? I’ve lived on welfare a good portion of my life and I’ve never seen such a thing be legal.
Ever since Clinton took office, Welfare to Work was implemented. It has been impossible to receive any sort of cash assistance, or food assistance without proof of employment. When one signs up, if you are not employed you are required to sit in a room with supervisor’s and computer’s. You are required to attend a series of job search classes. You are required to document all progress towards finding employment. That means you are required to provide signatures from every person you turn your application into to prove that you are indeed trying to get your lazy ass off government tit. In Welfare Detention, as I like to call it, I watched a girl spend two weeks trying to teach herself Microsoft Word so that she could create a resume for a waitress job.
You are required to be there at least 40 hours per week if you want to keep receiving assistance. Good luck with daycare. The last one I took my girls to, she is still owed over $4,000.00 that the government never paid her for daycare services while I was trying to get and keep a job.
I am not complaining. I am merely illustrating that welfare does not equal lazy, or even jobless. Now, Unemployment on the other hand…