So we were visiting some friends last night and man did I get fired up! Our friends have fallen on some hard times recently. They went and applied for food stamps and cash aid. They have been living in their truck for almost a month and just recently have found some work off of craigslist. So they tell us that their food stamps were reduced from the original amount they qualified for and they were not given any cash aid because he has a job (temporary, found off craigslist – but put on payroll for a few weeks).
Now you’re probably wondering why this irks me —
You see, if a family is only making $10-$12 bucks an hour and they are on payroll, that means their having taxes taken out. That doesn’t leave much left for a paycheck (my guestimate would be maybe $300 / wk. after taxes). With this they (a family of 3) are supposed to find housing and pay for gas to get to and from work everyday – remember, this is just a temporary job for a few weeks. I just don’t think you can find housing for 3 for less than $200 a week (if you go to a sleazy motel – and trust me those don’t even exist near where this guy is working) and then you have $100 left for gas and incidentals that food stamps do not cover. Sounds fair, so far.
My beef is how in the heck does this family ever get out of this situation?
Those people that run these programs have never been in their shoes and don’t have a clue. This system is designed for those that rely on the system and get rewarded by the system. It does nothing to help someone get back on their feet. It only keeps them down and constantly struggling.
Things need to change already – trust me, I know – I’ve been there. At least I didn’t have a small child to take care of when I went through it. Yes, you can prevail – but it sure takes a lot of unnecessary effort due to all the rules and regulations that are put on you. Driving to weekly classes on how to get a job, get job retraining, signing in daily at a job office and showing back up in the afternoon to sign out. Especially for people who have college degrees or have had successful past employment – this just doesn’t make sense. Classes on how to fill out a job application, how to dress for an interview, etc. – yes, these were all required classes I had to take just to get assistance.
Finally I just gave up – there were no jobs. I moved away and started my own business. Yes, it can be done. For a mere $22 investment, and using my own knowledge, I have built a small but thriving business. Not everyone is capable of accomplishing such a feat, but why degrade someone because they cannot find a job. I really think they need to reclassify people that come into the welfare system in some different way than they are currently. If you want to help these people who have recently lost their job, lost their home, moved their family across the country for a promised job that never transpired – help them – don’t degrade them and give them just enough help to keep them in the system. Help them to get back on their feet and they will become productive members of our society once again. They way our system works now, once your in “the system,” they pull you down till you have no self confidence left.
Any thoughts on this topic?