Assistance Hardly Assisting

Commentary By Dolores Manly

Grapevine Vendor

I am on SSI and SSDI.  I get $610.00 a month.  I also have worked for the Grapevine as a vendor for 5 years now.  My $610.00 per month budget includes $160.00 a month for food.  People like me have to pay more money for garbage food like Save-a-Lot and Aldi’s and pay just as much as we would at regular supermarkets like Giant Eagle, Heinen’s, etc.  These supermarkets are way out of my reach.  Also, the better chain supermarkets give people bags and have a bakery department.  We poor pay this because we don’t have cars to get around and if we did the gas would limit travel to the grocery store.  Thank God I have a friend who is also on a fixed income.  He takes me to Giant Eagle.  The nearest one is in Garfield Heights.  My friend is complaining to me he can’t take me to the Giant Eagle because his insurance man wants to catch this poor man having any other passenger.

Also when cable came out in the late 70s or early 80s my mother always told us kids eventually we will pay for T.V. in the future.  George Bush made it into a law about 3 yrs ago. 

The rich can have good food because the better supermarkets are in their reach and they don’t have to go far.  Also, if we poor people need medical assistance, we have to go to St. Vincent Charity Hospital or Marymount in Garfield Heights now.  The nearest hospital around me used to have been 5 minutes away.  The United States is getting to be like Russia.  You are limited by your income as to what neighborhood you live in, what kind of food you eat, how much travel you can take.  If you make a little more money and have a little ambition SSI and SSDI will cut you off, and believe me I can’t get cut off right now.  When you are on SSDI or SSI you can only make $60.00 a month before they cut money out of your check.  Who can live on $60.00 a month, especially when you apply for the money and it takes them 3 years to determine you are eligible for the money.  They always deny you, and when you get denied you have to hire an attorney to get your money.  I am tired of being told where I can live at or what I can eat or the medical treatments I can have because of my income.

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #85 in July-August 2008 Cleveland Ohio.