Don't Criticize Poor People for Needing Help

Commentary by Delores Manley  

      I am writing this story because people on welfare and/or Medicaid cards and collecting food stamps are tired of being called “lazy.”

      I have to work 80 hours a month or do volunteer work for 20 hours a month and that's just for a single person. I don't get a Medicaid card because I am “single.” So if I get sick I would have to stay home and risk losing my job at a temporary service that only pays $5.15 an hour (with no benefits). I think Temp services should be put out of business and the factories and businesses that use them should just give the employees $12.00 an hour instead of giving it to the temp service.

      If I was lucky enough to still have my child, I could have a Medicaid card and more benefits, but I would have to work even more and be away from my child. If my child got sick and had to see the doctor, the doctor would pad the fees because the taxpayers are footing the bill.

      I know years ago people on food stamps did get them for free, but unless people are sick or just had a baby, you have to work for your stamps, even if you're six months pregnant. In areas where a lot of people are on food stamps, stores increase their prices from the 1st to the 15th of the month. The food also seems to be fresher after the 15th

      So, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, if you have a complaint go to the main source: the pediatricians, the store owners, etc. because we poor work for our food and shelter. Also, Section 8 pays landlords $900.00 a month in poor neighborhoods, but someone could almost live in Pepper Pike for that amount of money.

      Personally, I would just like to have a decent job, like years ago when the teamsters and other unions were still strong. My mom and dad had good-paying jobs. They worked for more than thirty years and retired with their pensions. But there aren't jobs like that anymore. Presidents like Bush and Reagan screwed this country up. I do agree that people who are in good health should pay their own way, but it would be nice if business owners and the government didn't take advantage of people in desperate situations, and criticize them for it at the same time. 

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 75 March-April 2006 Cleveland, Ohio.