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Have any of us here been helped by welfare?

 
 
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 07:39 pm
I have heard for decades about welfare scammers and read some articles about people who get dependent on it. I don't reject all that out of hand, but I think there is another side.

I'd like to read about people welfare helped kick start, or programs for how to get going - that worked for some.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 4,315 • Replies: 77

 
Arella Mae
 
  6  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 07:46 pm
@ossobuco,
I can tell you from experience had it not been for welfare I don't know what my mother would have done when my dad was put in prison and she divorced him. She had seven kids and had never worked a day in her life. I can also tell you that she hated being on it. She did it for us kids. She went out and got a job. Today, she is a Quality Control Supervisor at the very same plant. She got a Bachelor's Degree in Administration when she was almost fifty. She paid off every bill my dad had left her with. She saw to it we had a roof over our heads, food on the table, and even at Christmas, though the presents were few for awhile, we knew what my mom had done for us. She has come such a long way and it was a hard road but she, herself, would tell you that if it had not been for welfare at that time, we had no hope.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:07 pm
Thank you for that post, Arella. Seven kids and then a BA, wow.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:12 pm
@ossobuco,
Sort of -- I was on SSI for about a year between graduating with my B.A. (and actively searching for a job the whole time) and going back to school to get my master's.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:14 pm
@ossobuco,
We are all very proud of her. Here in Louisiana, it's really common knowledge of how much the welfare system is being taken advantage of. It's sad.

Sozobe, it's kind of ironic that you posted that. I hope you will take this as it is meant. You have always kind of reminded me of my mom. Not that you are her age, but you sure got her spunk. What is your master's in?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:23 pm
@Arella Mae,
Hi Arella Mae,

Thanks! My master's is in Deaf Education.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:25 pm
I found out not long ago that I could have been disabled all this time. I was put off by a friend who had breast cancer and lupus that they would just say no to me.. when I asked, us driving in a car. Which might have been true.

Anyway, many years later I met a guy with my diagnosis (or likely less) who had been disability worthy for.. decades.

What can I say - I'm not the least sorry I was me all those years.
I figure, looking back, I might have gotten some help. As it was, I cut out city meetings in the evening, and so on, and that was a career downer.

Never mind me, more about the rest of us..
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:37 pm
@ossobuco,
You certainly have a very good outlook. I don't know if it's this state or just that everyone knows everyone here in Louisiana but I do know quite a few people actually very angry that they can't get disability. Of course, these are the very same people that are out there riding four-wheelers, hunting, riding horses, sitting on the computer all day, etc. If someone is sincerely disabled then I say they should get help. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? Helping those that need it? People pulling their own weight when they can?

It's actually kind of shocking - today's work ethic. My husband is the TLE Manager here at Walmart. He wouldn't miss a day of work unless he was dead. Be late? Ha! He's up two hours early everyday. But, he tells me all the time about these kids that don't show up, constantly call in sick, etc. You would think with the economy the way it is people would really appreciate more what they do have.

If it's okay with you I'd like to keep you in my prayers. I don't need to know your disability but I would like to pray for you.

Sozobe, that's awesome.
Green Witch
 
  7  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:44 pm
When I was more involved with doing literacy volunteer work in the 80's I often had students who were bouncing back and forth on various welfare programs. None of them wanted to be on it, it doesn't give you much, and the people running the show don't make things easy on the recipients. Mostly people were embarrassed to admit they were receiving the funds and all wanted off of it because as one woman said to me "poverty sucks". The program is less helpful and stricter now than ever. It gives people just enough to keep their nose above water but it does little to lift them out of the deluge of poverty. It penalizes them if they get a slightly better job or if they even take in a roommate to help with expenses. The requirements makes it impossible for them to put aside any assets that might really get them out of a bad neighborhood situation. I always hear about people abusing the system, but it's usually some woman with a kid who works part-time for Walmart on the books and then cleans houses on the side for cash. When the cash part becomes known she is labeled a welfare thief, but the extra money usually is going to pay for things like childcare. None of the cases I ever saw or heard of involved people getting rich off of the public dole. I would prefer to see the program more focused on helping people get basic skills like learning how to do simple math so they don't get ripped off at check cashing places or teaching them basic job skills that they never learned at home or in school. These people don't want to be poor, but they don't know how to get out of the trap. For most it's all they have ever known. The ones who do get out usually did not start out poor and have at sometime seen or learned the skills to pull themselves up and out. I find the people most likely to condemn the needy are the ones who have never experienced their lack of resources and even romanticize it as some kind of freedom.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:51 pm
@Arella Mae,
You may remember me, Arella, I'm a flat out atheist, on the atheist threads, not posting often, though adamant.
Prayers are fine, I remember those, so thank you.
Arella Mae
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:55 pm
@ossobuco,
Okay so how about I just pray that you have all you need and keep the positive attitude that you have?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:55 pm
@Green Witch,
I've read that about the troubles with it.
I think of it as swimming through mush, but I'm from the outside.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:57 pm
@Arella Mae,
That's good.
Arella Mae
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 08:58 pm
@ossobuco,
Okie dokie!
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  4  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:01 pm
osso, I think you already know my story; my mother raised four kids without a father for the longest time, and our family survived on welfare. To make a long story short, my older brother eventually earned his law degree, and was an administrative judge in California. My younger brother earned his MD, and specialized in Ophthalmology, became a legislator for three terms in California, and was mayor of his town of Lodi, and my sister was an RN.

I'm sure many families were like ours, especially after the Great Depression, and made it by the grace of welfare. My two brothers and I all served in the US military, and have raised successful children.

maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:02 pm
@Arella Mae,
Quote:
We are all very proud of her. Here in Louisiana, it's really common knowledge of how much the welfare system is being taken advantage of. It's sad.


Common knowledge is quite often wrong. People tend to greatly exaggerate the negative and will focus on a couple of examples that don't give a true picture of reality.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:03 pm
@Green Witch,
So... the need is the skills teaching..

Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:04 pm
@maxdancona,
And in most cases, I would agree with you. People told me Louisiana was a whole different world when I was moving here. They were right.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:10 pm
@Green Witch,
I've just had a total plotz reading the Sartorialist.com, since the fellow posted a photo of a guy with boots and pants ducktaped, in New York City in the snow. It turns out the fellow was a concrete type construction worker with good reason for doing that, but the posts about that not being stylish went from merriment to me, to sad. Like now: total class disconnect.

We are raising petunias.. with power.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2010
On the Street....East 13th St., New York
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  4  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:12 pm
@ossobuco,
Yes, skills of the most basic kind like how to open a checking account and how to get a GED. I think even more important is not to penalize people if they make progress. Someone can be disqualified if they acquire a car worth more than a couple thousand dollars - even if it is given to them or they inherit it. Benefits are determined by household income, so if a teenage child gets a job in fast food place their earnings can get them thrown out of the program, so the teen does not work. Poor couples often don't get married or even live under the same roof because even a modest income from a man will have a woman losing food stamps and healthcare for her children. It's the classic Catch 22.
 

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