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Social Services: Listen to People Who Have Experienced Poverty


Social Services: Listen to People Who Have Experienced Poverty

James Abro

In 2009, after caring for a terminally ill parent, I became homeless and destitute due to circumstances beyond my control.


In Kansas they implemeted a law that would limit the amount a person who was on any form of social assistance to 25 dollars per day at ATM machines

If a person limited to 25 dollars a day INEVITABILLY they are going to try and get other sources of cash income. This could be anything from begging for spare change to selling “contraband cigarettes” to petty theft, drug dealing and the like. It can also involve choosing to sleep in an alley or eating out of dumpsters so as not to spend some of that cash.

At the same time lawmakers make homelessness a crime wherein one subject to arrest if they go through dumpsters, beg on street corners or sleep on park benches. This helps keep those prison beds filled and now those same people in many of those same municipalities are charged a daily fee when incarcerated. There are actually people being arrested for feeding the poor or for taking food out of the back of stores that has reached its expiry date and is to be dumped.

Hundreds of thousands of homes in the USA sit empty. More food in the USA is tossed away than is consumed. Trillions of dollars are used to prop up corrupt banks even as trillions more spent on the military developing airplanes that can not fly.

It utter LUNACY.

There is no lack of resources to feed and clothe and house the poor. The issue is the system and what the system makes its priority .


All of these policies supported by the prison industry lobby no doubt.


Didn’t you get the message? If you are poor in America, you just did not work hard enough.

I know this because the CEO who sent my job to China said so.


I appreciate all the insightful comments to my article. The only thing I would add, as a general perspective, is that the problem with Social Services is a top down one. People working in thew field, who worked and helped me out, know what works and doesn’t work. When they relay the info up it is either ignored or the executives improvise policies to make up for the unrealistic fed requirements imposed on them, like finding work when there is no work to be found, or finding permanent affordable housing within a certain time frame when affordable housing isn’t available, period. As I’ve said in previous articles – and every one of you commentators picked up on is that we need a paradigm shift away from thinking that poverty is a pathology, rather than a civic problem to be deal with civilly. Thanks for reading and commenting. Please keep them coming.