When Will It END!!!

My child has multiple disabilities, currently on home instruction after a 3 year battle to have him placed out of district. The school system finally admitted their inability to meet our son’s needs and need to place him in another setting. My husband and I have lost a total of 5 jobs because of disciplinary actions taken against our son, causing us to have to leave work without notice or call out because of early morning bus issues. We no longer have our own means of transportation.

Our son has been denied SSI a couple of times, the last denial was over a year ago, I just gave up. The school’s and doctors were asking me why wasn’t he getting it and it turned out it was because of SSI/SSD not having the school’s and the doctor’s records. Our family is extremely low income and the snowballed effect of Ayden’s disability has caused us to lapse beyond 2 months on our bills. I make below minimum wage, as a waitress overnights (best shift, considering our circumstances) and make 30$/night, at times, and spend 14 of it to travel to and from work for the night.

We have a housing voucher that doesn’t consider transportation, phone, internet or new clothes and laundry a concern. They make me pay 30% of my income as my portion of rent. They have figured my rental portion to be an amount based on my June wages, the peak in the restaurant industry. Currently, I work 40-45 hours a week and get 2.13/hr. from the employer, which turns out to be nothing, it pays my taxes, and tips ranging 12-20%. This past work week, for example, I worked 42 hrs. and made about 250$ in tips over 5 days. 70 of that went to transportation.

My husband had a job and lost it, only to get another one and lose it, again, when an outburst couldn’t be resolved correctly regarding our son. We begged for help along the way. We were told of so many services that were going to be offered for years.  Now we are suffering hardships almost beyond repair. The state is slow at handling our affairs and their policies are outdated, a car is NOT a necessity and my son is only ‘disabled’ if he gets SSI in some instances. Basically if there is no value on his disability, he doesn’t have one.

We have a lockout date of 10/10/14, and correspondences dating back to mid-August asking for an income adjustment. The state is forcing me onto the streets by not adjusting my income accordingly or giving us the chance to obtain a vehicle to save the 30% of the gross wages I spend on cabs and busses.  I don’t even want to go into detail about how I pay my electric as “other rent” that isn’t considered with regards to my voucher.

Times, like these, are hard as it is for anyone, and having a child who is incapable of understanding the need for us to work and him to go to school is an additional stressor that can be avoided with proper attention. We need help in finding security in whatever school system we end up with, assurance that our son is going to get the same quality education by people who are trained to meet his needs. I feel that his disability should have been the approach we took the entire time.

We struggle through poverty and are barely keeping our heads above water, at the moment. We are told by some agencies, like PHA’s, that we make too little to qualify for their low-income programs, and then we are told by government agencies that we already get a rental subsidy through an agency and can’t get anything else but the food stamps that run out mid-month because of the convenient stores being more expensive and having no transportation. We even have to pay surcharges on purchases under a certain amount in town’s local stores.

I do not have a car because when I did, it needed repairs that totaled 2 months living expenses. I couldn’t get any help from local churches, I don’t have any friends. My son is 7 years old, he still comes in to our bed at night and needs help wiping himself. He is a blessing, none the less. His potential could be reached if opportunities weren’t missed, like, helping me get my car fixed so I didn’t become a social problem. If some of the policies were adjusted to suit a modern day society, it would be less of a struggle.

My husband now has to stay home with our son, until further notice. We need help for families facing the hardships of having a child with Autism. We are raising underprivileged and disenfranchised children because cheerleading isn’t free and little league has a fee and the games are 10 miles away. Help that isn’t going to tell us we are too broke to be poor. Help that is more than just another intrusion into our lives. Getting tired of being placed under the scope and passing all views and still not in receipt of any services. We have a team in place, a case manager, a family therapist and mom and dad. Additional outside services, like social networking and extracurricular activities are not available in our area. We need help with branching out to people just like us, who have been through our issues. We need help towards self-sufficiency and resources to help get us there.

I have called agencies like Kars for Kids and have found that many of these car ‘charities’ are part of a loop of charities who all eventually lead to a different non-profit who needs you to create a profile and get votes to basically win a car. I can’t ask social services for a mere 2k to get a cheap car to get by and these agencies and corporations can rob thousands of people under a ruse. It seems like humanity is lost. The great depression never ended, wealth inequality was created. Class discrimination and services for privilege started.

I need help with the trials of raising a child with autism, its effect on the family and home and I need to be linked with services that help low income families of autistic children, it’s THAT simple. It’s NOT that easy. 100’s of emails and inquiries over the past few days- nothing. I am not down and out, yet, I still have hope for the Apocalypse to happen!

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Top down view

You want a new couch? You can’t, you’re supposed to sit on the floor

You qualify as low income, you know, cuz you’re poor

You get food stamps, so you don’t deserve a phone

You can’t have the internet or a home to call your own

You’re not supposed to entertain or do activities with your kids

You’re supposed to stay underground, and keep your poverty hid

Your teeth need fillings, its ok, you can’t afford them, too

But we’ll pull them all and get you dentures, and that’ll have to do

You want a ride?! Oh well, that’s too much, now you’re looking greedy

You’re supposed to make it happen no matter what and stop being so needy

The problems of the poor will never meet to that of the rich

Do you know what it is to have a starbucks bitch fit?

When they’re out of mocha choca latte and I can’t get my half-calf fix

The line’s too long and I can’t sign onto my iphone 6

Beggars! That’s all you are! How dare you ask for more!

How dare you want the same as me, you can’t, cuz you’re poor.

The pains of being underprivileged

When I was a child, I had many aspirations- family, house and a car, boat and a well paying job after college. Things didn’t go the way I planned. I never thought that at the age of 14 my parents would lose their home to forclosure. I never thought that their problems would roll over into my own adult life, but they did.

After a long, tedious battle through poverty with my parents, my adulthood became effected in many ways. Because of the constant moving around during my teenaged years, I acted out through behaviors and actions. I was what was known as a ‘problem child’. I then became pregnant by 16. At 18, college wasn’t offered to me, I had a child and parents with bad credit. I also had a GED which limited me in some ways. We didn’t have money for my SAT’s or college application fees. College was not an option.

I started working waitressing jobs, a revolving industry I was warned against. The money was good, at times, but had no benefits or pensions. Also, because of the rapid turnaround of money in the industry, it is almost impossible to save. My first time homeless was at 19. Me, My parents, my son, my brother and the dog lived in a motel for 6 months.

Throughout my 20’s, I had 2 more children, was married once and struggled through Clinton’s economy a little better than my parent’s with Daddy Bush. I was still oblivious to what was happening. I was the working poor, my parents were the working poor and we were slaves to a system that is set up to keep us down. I was never able to build my credit, I did not have a responsible upbringing with regards to bill payments and credit cards, which I have never to this day had.

My youngest child is autistic, My eldest is currently in college. Our poverty level has struck again. Currently I go hungry 2-3 times a week. While I work at a restaurant, I have to pay half of my meals, sometimes it isn’t busy enough for me to eat even a 5 dollar meal. My family is currently facing hardships due to injury and job loss. My autistic son is lacking services that would benefit him and ensure a better future and expedite his potential. My daughter wanted to dance, cheerlead, play an instrument and even have an art set to work on her artistic talents. Simple things that someone in poverty cannot afford.

My eldest son hates me, he hasn’t had new clothes in years and I can’t help him with anything, literally… anything. My other 2 children will eventually fall in line with the feeling and only through the grace of God, maybe not continue the cycle.

I wish i had more to offer, I wish there was someone to help us, sometimes I wish for it all to end….

Social inequality and prejudice- A ground up perspective of being poor in America

The poor and working class citizens in this country have been your work horses for far too long! We have been blamed for the root of all problems and the cause of the entire economy’s lack of progress. The Welfare State needs to end. Does it, now? Let’s look at this from a different perspective, let’s call it Citizen Street View.

First, let’s take the issue of taxes into consideration. For every person who earns 26k, around 21$ goes to food stamps. To understand the inequality a little better, you must understand a little about the credit ‘tier’ system and tax brackets and their effect on the American people. There are certain rewards for making more money, like credit and loans that aren’t usually extended to the lower classed citizens. Its costs more to be poor than it does to be rich. Explain? Kindly! If the same person making 26k doubles his salary to 52k, would his payout to SNAP double as well? NO! It’s around 29$, a mere 8$ more. As the salaries increase beyond that, the tax rate at which earnings are taken for social services decrease. Essentially, this means that the poor are paying for themselves.

It is a common misperception that poor people do not work and are on drugs. That may be so in some cases, but not all. The lower classed citizens, working poor and welfare recipients do not get the same offers in housing or schooling as our rich counterparts have become accustomed to. Without luxuries like cars and cell phones, we are forced to shop at convenient locations within our traveling reach. Usually at a higher markup than your Wegmann’s or Whole Foods. Our substandard living falls in urban areas designed for the lower wealth population. Unfortunately, these are also the areas that are targeted for gang recruitment and drug sales. People in these areas eventually cannot help but to fit the prototype of a person on welfare. Some find themselves in a downward spiral because environmental and societal stressors cause a person to seem to ‘need’ more. When it comes to job search in today’s America, technology plays a big part in obtaining employment. People on assistance are treated as 2nd class citizens. We do not deserve computers, smart phones or nice clothes. We are supposed to miraculously find jobs in a hard hit economy and then a find 2nd one to afford the cost of living in it.

Many social services have a work requirement, SNAP being one of them. GA, or general assistance, as well as TANF are temporary programs. While some may phase onto the disability track, the ultimate goal is self-sufficiency. This is hard with a system that uses income guidelines placed by the federal government and not by state. As soon as someone starts to work, many services are terminated immediately, without a proper transitioning into the functioning society. There is no case management or contingency plan in place.  The more money we make, the more taxes are taken out, until the next tier is reached or tax breaks are offered. It is very deterring when we live in a society in which 70% of our gross earnings go to the cost of living and 17% is taken for taxes. This causes many people to return for services when faced with the aggressiveness of economic slavery.We work harder in longer shifts to supplement our loss of income through taxation. The more we make, the less services we become eligible for, the less services we become eligible for, the further into debt we go.

Welfare recipients shouldn’t have certain things, according to an opinion shared by many. Does it really bother you that I care about my appearance that I spent 20$ for my nails? Or went to Walmart and got myself some costume jewelry for 8$? I work 40-50 hrs a week. Rewarding ourselves helps add to our self-esteem. It boosts our esteem which boosts our focus, our productivity is raised in the workforce as a result. We are less inclined to notice the inequality in the world when we are happy with ourselves. Going to school raises confidence and leads to better opportunities. A person on welfare is believed to not ‘need’ a car or a cell phone. Some social service agencies give bus passes, however those that do not also do not consider the cost of one into expenses. We are told that the Safe Link ‘Obama’ phone with 250 minutes a month is enough, and then get told we are beggars when we run out of minutes and our job searches are halted. A person can render themselves useless without communication to the outside world. And when their case worker happens to call and they do not have a working phone number, the first of the month will bring on a onslaught of problems that isn’t conducive to self-sustainability.

We are a class of citizens without a voice, ill represented and underappreciated. For over a century, we have been funding the wars and the bailouts and taking the blame for the rest society’s entitlement issues. Our opinions do not matter. We are supposed to accept it and pay our taxes! There is no one for us on Capitol Hill taking a stand against the gaps of inequality. Our congressmen and senators are bred into their positions, they talk about the struggles with the economy and the GDP and the unemployment rate instead of creating jobs and stopping the outsourcing of American infrastructure. We now have to welcome the ‘new poor’ as the scales of wealth take a shift due to this crisis. The well never seems to run dry when it comes to the salaries of our politicians and their exclusive benefits only when it comes to the people sector of the government; austerity is always the first choice for expense cuts.

What happened to no taxation without representation? The working poor can basically stop paying taxes, because the rocket scientists on Capitol Hill are not representing us accurately. What do they have in common with us? Have they ever felt struggle or debt at great magnitude? They represent a populous, to which I am not part of and society has cast us out of. The middle to upper class Americans that are complaining about the economy won’t complain about their tax amnesty or their fringe benefits and corporate kickbacks. It’s going to take a loud cry from a silent class of citizens to change this.

America has become an economic battlefield. The distribution of wealth in the country is from the bottom, up. Its about time we wage the right war, like, the war on poverty, the war on homelessness , or the war on hunger in America. A different perspective needs to be understood. The opportunities are not as readily available as many would like to assume. The process for social services is harder than you think and believe it, or not, many of us aspire to go to college and get off of these services. Unfortunately, many people in the lower classes do not have the good credit or the means to build it without being able to have a car or a cell phone, which is against the rules placed by society. The system is therefore, keeping us down by not allowing these luxuries to us. The stereotypes are hindering our economic growth and on a personal level its insulting to think that your 40 hours of work are more important than mine.

We don’t want any hand outs, we want a hand up. A  change in policy allowing us the simple luxuries in life would suffice. One that allows us to utilize modern necessity, like, cell phones and internet. We are not greedy in asking for a living wage, but maybe we are going about it all wrong. Maybe we should ask for fairness and equality in taxation and make the rich pay just as much as the poor.