by Marsha Rizzo Swanson
I am writing on behalf of myself and others I know who live in poverty. We know that when we sell the homeless paper, the Grapevine, in freezing weather that the people we sell to and buy the paper from us have an understanding about how we feel. Some don’t have an idea of what is happening or don’t want to know (COME ON) the world that we live in.
This is a serious situation that our vendors and the homeless are going through. It is not easy to live in poverty. The mental health system, health care, and housing are not what they should be. Our tax dollars and the government are not doing their jobs. Their promises to give to the people are such lies. Our government lies to the people, then take an oath to serve and honor we the people that puts them in office.
There should be a law that if the party voted into office lies they should be impeach. When you make a promise that promise should be kept. The law should serve the people and if not then an impeachment should follow. I believe that we the people will get what we vote for and the government will think before running for office. When running for office it is for the people and not to see how you can embezzle the government.
Nice people have good intentions when running but sometimes power goes to their heads. We just say, “Well, they’re politicians and what do you expect.” But they don’t have to be just politicians. They need to be for the people and end the evil of being a politician. They need to work under the guidelines of In God We Trust, as it says on the money we spend. They need to live the way people should, love, honor, and know that we are the people of America, not aliens from Mars where George W. Bush wants to invest our money.
We should invest our money to help people. We are the richest nation, and we should not have our homeless and impoverished freezing in zero temperatures, and the sick suffer and die because they have no money to pay for prescription-drugs or to pay to go to the hospital. My mother went to the hospital, and the doctor talked with my mother and asked her if she had insurance. Mom said no, so they sent her home. Nice job our nation is doing for the people.
I’ll give you another example. I went to the doctor, and he gave me a prescription for congestion. I went to the drugstore. The druggist knew me. I always get my prescriptions filled at the same drugstore. But the economy does not mean a thing to the pharmacy people who fill the prescriptions. It is not their responsibility to know what we need. I did not have $26 to get the prescription that my doctor gave me, so I had to stay sick longer and wait to get what I needed. I was so sick that my doctor thought I had pneumonia.
It scared me when they sent me to the hospital. I had an x-ray. When I left the hospital, it was after hours, so it was another three days before I got my prescription, so I was sick much longer.
What is this nation coming to? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Our minimum wage is $5.25 an hour. A family of four cannot get food, housing, medical and live in a normal state of mind to take care of their family.
We need our minimum wage to be $12 an hour. We need to vote and hold politicians accountable for what they say to the people poverty is very hard on. The mother who works every day and one day gets sick and has no hospital insurance because it is hard to support her children. It doesn’t mean a thing to the politicians because they don’t live in poverty, a little word that is life threatening to the single mother that has children.
I have Jesus in my heart, and I know what it is to live in poverty. I just serve my God and hope for the best because the word of my lord is better then what the politicians can tell me. When you say, “God bless you” to your nation, it is time to search yourself and see what you mean about poverty. Open your hearts to your nation. God bless America is a big phrase to say unless you mean it.
The meaning of poverty is when you have a low income but have a roof over your head and exist from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. What is the meaning of poverty? People existing on a hairline of a string that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the Republicans do not think can happen. They don’t want to know. They say that there will not be a child left behind. They need to know that we the people know that they mean their children won’t be left behind.
The people know that it is not the rich who suffer. It is the poor. We know that they mean their children will not be left behind while the federal government is holding millions of dollars, cutting our benefits, such as food stamps. While our utilities skyrocket so the people cannot afford to even have adequate housing and adequate education. It is a lie that no child will be left behind.
Workers who have not worked for 15 months have nowhere to turn because their unemployment has run out, and they stop looking for jobs, stability. If you work at McDonalds don’t think that will take care of a family; it will not.
Our factories have been exported to other countries for cheap labor. What is our nation coming to? The war has made our families unhappy; their children are being killed. We have well over 500 men and women who were killed in Iraq. In the United States, 3,000,000 jobs have been lost and 252,000 jobs have been lost in Ohio alone. It looks like Washington is passing a budget they have no idea about. America is living with homelessness that it accepts.
Copyright to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and the Homeless Grapevine Cleveland Ohio 2004 Issue 64