Monday, December 8, 2008

Adventures in Welfare...

After spending @ least an hour getting all the required documentation together, then about another hour or so going down to the registrar recorder to obtain another piece of documentation, (purchasing a copy of dd birth certificate, which we had never gotten & a copy of our marriage license, which has disappeared, of course, but will arrive in the mail within 2 weeks), we headed over to the "Welfare office".


The small parking lot was filled to capacity. DH thinks they purposely chose a small parking lot as a deterrent. All the street parking in the immediate vicinity is red curbed--no parking. So we had to park about a block away.

The place was kinda packed but there were still plenty of seats available. There were quite a few small children, babies & toddlers, many crying. & conversation fluent in cuss words. {sigh} I knew enough to bring a book & some crochet to work on. I finished a scarf.

So about 1.5 hours after that, & numerous pre-interview pieces of paperwork, we are called to the interview booth. Here we go....

"What are you currently doing for income?" Well, my dh just lost his job. "Do you have your letter of termination?" No. "Oh, well I need to see it, there is nothing I can do unless we have that letter."

The *ONE* piece of paper we did NOT bring!!! What a waste of time! I swear! Well can you @ least start the process w/ all the other things we have? "no."

SO we have an appointment on really makes no sense. She looked @ DH final paycheck stubs & said we do not qualify for cash aid because we've already received too much income this month. WoW! What year were the poverty limits set @? 1952? I mean the income DH has received this month, (for a fmaily of 5) after some people's RENT...for like a 1 bdrm! I asked her what the income limits was...but she did not answer.

Ok, but how could she determine that if she was unable to determine what programs we would quaify for w/o the letter of termination? Contradiction?

She asked me 2 times if I worked or was employed. I know she heard me the first time.

I just kept thinking to myself...uuuhh..hello? I'm 35 years old, & I've never been here before, I obviously have NOT needed it. AND I totally wanted to say:uuuhh, no I do not work, I have not *needed* to work. duh! AND do you *see* that I am pg? Have you been watching the news? Know about the current economy? duh!!

But then I realized...NO. she prolly did not *see* that I was pg. I don't think she ever really looked @ me once. I know she was trying not to make eye contact.

I do not know how people really get services, it is a lot of hassle & trouble to go through. OR maybe it's seems like alot because we have children & I'm not a single mom w/ 1 kid. kwim?

But seriously, the documentation is ridiculous:
Birth Certificates for every member of the family.
Bank statements for every person w/ a bank account.
Social security cards for each member of the family.
Pay check stubs.
Rental agreement.
Utility bills.
Car registration & loan statement including balance due.
Documentation proving CS obligation.

Plus, they said they need DH letter of termination & a report/statement on if he can cash out his 401k. All $770 of it! Which after taxes would prolly amount to...oh...$300? ha!

Plus, one of the pieces of paperwork for some program said it was a *requirement* for a social worker to come to your home & have a walk-thru. What for? I have no idea, but if you do not agree to it, you can not receive assistance. Nice. They *really* want to be in your business don't they? IF it weren't such desperate times...well that'd be enough to deter ME for sure!!!

AND...if we don't qualify for 'cash aid'...I have *no* idea how we will pay our rent for Jan. I will think about it when Jan 1 rolls around I guess. For now, I'm a little more focused on dish soap, toothpaste & toilet paper. Seriously.


I know God has certainly given me a heart for the poor...maybe it's where I *came* from as a child, I don't know...which by the way, history most certainly *is* repeating itself here, isn't it?
I am expecting this to grow that part even more now. What better way to be able to understand & *relate*, then to actually be there & experience it yourself, right?

I left that place feeling quite crushed & hopeless...but only for a moment & only a few tears.
The day goes on...the world keeps spinning & there's always laundry to do. :-)

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