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poverty and protective services


mtomom
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Given some volunteering I do, I come into close contact with women whose children have been removed from the home by protective services. In our area of the US, most children are removed due to drug use in the home. And in my volunteer work, these are the families I see almost exclusively.

 

I just finished reading the Glass Castle. And the thing is children are generally removed when mom has contact with authorities due to drug use. However, often these women have other issues that become apparent after removal--mental health, domestic abuse history, and often generational poverty.

 

Many of them that I work with have homes that DCS won't return a child to even if the drug use is handled. We try to find alternate housing, and sometimes this is hard due to drug convictions and just generally how the system works here. And the patterns that come from this life that make it hard to maintain housing--pay rent/utilities--even if programs or protective services steps in to try to help and we get placement. Often these women have housing without electricity or water, for example, and other issues with cleanliness and major disrepair. Some are living in vehicles. The descriptions in that book---I've seen similar. All of it due to poverty, and the long standing mindset and lifestyle patterns that can bring even outside the addictions.

 

But I struggle. What should happen with a child whose parent can't maintain housing for whatever reason? Here it's neglect....it's poverty though! Most of these moms want to give their kids the world. I'm struggling. (my volunteer work has nothing to do with deciding what kids are removed or returned...but I think about these kids a lot, and their moms. All of it is traumatic and sad for everyone).

 

Thoughts? I'm sort of a muddle. I found that book hard to read, given the families I see.

 

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In theory, there should be programs that step in to mitigate poverty factors....like Section 8 housing vouchers, etc.  Reality is it really depends on where you are and what is available.   Poverty should not be a reason for somebody losing their children, but it is.  Just as poor people who come into contact with DCS are already at a disadvantage.  I wish we had better solutions in this country.  

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No real contribution at this point. As I noted in another thread, mulling takes longer than it used to.

 

That said, I, too, found Glass Castles a difficult read...but somehow beautiful. It defies the perception of our time that financial success is what it is all about. And it also made my heart ache for kids in a wacko environment. And it amazed me at the resilience of these kids.

 

My grandmother had 4 kids in the Great Depression. Her husband was killed in a freak accident. She said in her 90s that her greatest accomplishment in her life was keeping the family together. Each of those kids bore emotional scars from it...but they all lived fruitful lives. Who knows what would have happened had they been broken apart?

 

It's easy to look at a tough situation and say "This stinks." And an awful lot of the time, it is hard to say you really know what would be better. Very often, you just don't know.

 

When I understood more of my dad's background, I became a lot more compassionate toward him...and proud of what he had done to overcome his less-than-ideal past.

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They need a complete support system and this is where the church needs to step in and wrap their arms (and finances) around these families.

 

They need stable, safe, affordable housing, affordable quality day care, access to good public transportation or a reliable vehicle, respite care for emergencies, etc.

 

Just a slight breakdown can spiral out of control quickly. In our area if you miss even one day of work at most factory jobs in the first 6 months you are fired immediately. Think of a single parent with a child who gets the flu...can't go to school or daycare. If they leave them home alone they can get hit with neglect but if they stay home they lose their job. Same thing if their car breaks down.

 

Many of these parents don't have adequate support systems....a friend to call for a ride to work, a grandparent to stay with a sick kid, etc.

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Removing children from a loving, non-abusive household does them more harm than good in the long run. New studies are increasingly showing that the best intervention, if the issue really is nothing more than simple poverty, is to simply give the family money. Poor people know what they need better than the bureaucracy does.

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Because of so many who abuse the system as well as, and I know people don't like to look at the elephant in the room, but refugees and people illegally here, the system meant to help people is so overloaded that people cannot get help. Housing assistance was shut down here years ago. People in the system stay but no one new can get in. Childcare assistance is also not available. Women who are in abusive situations cannot leave so they stay and make even more babies. Everything is just awful overall. And there is so much waste in this society. No one should have to be homeless.

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Because of so many who abuse the system as well as, and I know people don't like to look at the elephant in the room, but refugees and people illegally here, the system meant to help people is so overloaded that people cannot get help. Housing assistance was shut down here years ago. People in the system stay but no one new can get in. Childcare assistance is also not available. Women who are in abusive situations cannot leave so they stay and make even more babies. Everything is just awful overall. And there is so much waste in this society. No one should have to be homeless.

 

So if a refugee is abused, they shouldn't be able to get help? Our priorities aren't straight if we don't help those in need, regardless of their background.

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So if a refugee is abused, they shouldn't be able to get help? Our priorities aren't straight if we don't help those in need, regardless of their background.

I agree.

 

But how we help is sometimes not an obvious thing.

 

Not meaning to be contentious but in agreement-toward-help. From wherever help can come.

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Children who come to the US as immigrants as well as children born in the US of immigrant parents outperform native-born Americans.

 

https://hub.jhu.edu/2012/09/13/immigrant-children-study/

 

"Researchers Lingxin Hao and Han S. Woo tracked nearly 11,000 children from diverse backgrounds from as young as age 13 into their early 30s. When comparing children with similar socioeconomic status and school conditions, Hao and Woo found that the best students, and later the most successful young adults, were born in foreign countries and came to the United States before reaching their teens. American-born children whose parents were immigrants followed closely in terms of achievement.

Hao and Woo found that the advantages were comparable for both Asian and Hispanic children. Their study, "Distinct Trajectories in the Transition to Adulthood: Are Children of Immigrants Advantaged?" appears as part of a special section on children from immigrant families in the September/October 2012 edition of the journal Child Development."

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Because of so many who abuse the system as well as, and I know people don't like to look at the elephant in the room, but refugees and people illegally here, the system meant to help people is so overloaded that people cannot get help. Housing assistance was shut down here years ago. People in the system stay but no one new can get in. Childcare assistance is also not available. Women who are in abusive situations cannot leave so they stay and make even more babies. Everything is just awful overall. And there is so much waste in this society. No one should have to be homeless.

 

Wow...

 

You seem to be unaware that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for almost all welfare programs.

 

If you are in favor of a better safety net, campaign and vote for politicians who consider this a priority. Yeah, not likely to happen in your state...

Edited by regentrude
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Removing children from a loving, non-abusive household does them more harm than good in the long run. New studies are increasingly showing that the best intervention, if the issue really is nothing more than simple poverty, is to simply give the family money. Poor people know what they need better than the bureaucracy does.

 

But often, "simple poverty" is not "simple".  There are often underlying reasons why people cannot hold jobs: mental illness, physical illness, learning disabilities, executive functioning issues. Better mental health programs and health care in general would produce more sustainable solutions. As would mentoring/training programs that prepare young people for jobs, and programs that assist and mentor young parents. A teach-a-man-to-fish approach better than giving them the fish .

Edited by regentrude
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In the last few years an increasing number of my close friends have become foster parents and some now adoptive parents from fostering. I hear, often from the children themselves the horror stories of their FOO. Heartbreaking. One of my best friends just finalized adoption. 20 of us were there for the adoption ceremony. I can't tell you how conflicted I felt knowing the bio mom had relinquished custody because she knew her child would have a better life with my friends. She loves her DD......but in spite of a years worth of all sorts of help she went right back to drugs. When she is using she can not be a proper mother. Period.

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My husband tutors at a Christian homeless shelter. They have apartments for single men, single women, and families. It is not a drop-in shelter, but a two-year program, which really gives people time to get help and get back on their feet. Many of their residents are dealing with addictions and mental illness. I can't say enough good about it. Residents are provided with health care (physical and mental), addiction counseling, a safe place to live, all their meals, job training, tutoring, Bible classes, a preschool for their kids, and much more. I would like to see the church provide more of this long-term type of help. I think it could help families stay together. 

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They need a complete support system and this is where the church needs to step in and wrap their arms (and finances) around these families.

 

They need stable, safe, affordable housing, affordable quality day care, access to good public transportation or a reliable vehicle, respite care for emergencies, etc.

 

Many of these parents don't have adequate support systems....a friend to call for a ride to work, a grandparent to stay with a sick kid, etc.

 

We know several families who are involved in Safe Families for Children: https://safe-families.org/

 

Volunteers provide a role similar to an extended family for those in crisis before Social Services is involved.

 

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One of my passions is helping kids who have kids. They literally have NO idea about resources available let alone how to research them. I try to help them advocate for themselves, but it's hard when you've spent so long being told you're worthless, just shut up.

 

I have definitely done what I can for anybody I know, not just young people, but I'm only one person who just knows people who knows people. I saw a job opening in Boulder once for a paid position that does exactly this, but I wasn't qualified. But at least that's something, somewhere.

 

I think it would take an entire shift of general thought processes to help. It's not just THEIR mindset, it's everybody's.

 

Ftr, I don't think poverty should be a factor in removing kids.

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Wow...

 

You seem to be unaware that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for almost all welfare programs.

 

If you are in favor of a better safety net, campaign and vote for politicians who consider this a priority. Yeah, not likely to happen in your state...

If the information I have is correct, refugees aren't eligible, either. Their sponsoring organizations are to meet all of their needs. Not only that, is hey are required to pay back the expenses of bringing them here - to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

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Yeah, it's difficult.  Compounded by the fact that many kids in the foster care system are taught to hate money.  They believe it is evil, that "being rich" is evil, that we as a family should be giving money to their parents instead of keeping the kids, or that we're doing it for the money (despite spending much more on them that we ever would get for their care). Yet this never stops them from wanting ridiculous status symbols that show they are more interested in flash than in wealth.

 

Unfortunately in our area those churches that do serve the poor also seem to be stuck in a poverty mindset, so people never learn to break the cycle and be responsible for themselves.

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Because of so many who abuse the system as well as, and I know people don't like to look at the elephant in the room, but refugees and people illegally here, the system meant to help people is so overloaded that people cannot get help. Housing assistance was shut down here years ago. People in the system stay but no one new can get in. Childcare assistance is also not available. Women who are in abusive situations cannot leave so they stay and make even more babies. Everything is just awful overall. And there is so much waste in this society. No one should have to be homeless.

 

 

Yes, many social programs are  overloaded, but that's only one side of the issue IMHO.   I've been working for the last few years with a program that  deals with addicted moms and their children.  What I've seen over these last few years is that getting your life back together or just digging out of poverty is a HUGE task and a thankless one.   I'm a firm believer in personal responsibility and working hard, but I'm beginning to see that many parts of our society, especially our system of dealing with criminal offenses and driver's licenses, is setting people up to fail.    I really wish that I had to time for a long in-depth discussion.  Unfortunately, my week is jam-packed so I'll need to be brief.  

 

Some of the things that have caught my attention are: 

 

Public transportation in the adjacent city is horrible.  All routes run into the city's core, and then you must change busses at the center and take another bus route.  There aren't any cross town routes.   This can literally add hours to someone trying to drop a child at daycare and go to work.  

 

One of our program's goals is to redeem or obtain a driver's license if possible.  The fines added to redeem a license are large and take time to pay.  Also, there is no time limit for a county to report to the state a driving offense.   Even if the person goes to the state and pays in good faith all of the fines, past fines can suspend the license again and trigger the additional suspension fees.   It's like a kick in the gut to someone who is getting things straight.   It's the paying of the additional admin fees that really hurt.   

 

There is sometimes no firm date of a person's release from jail because of administrative factors.  It can vary by days or weeks.   What we usually see  is earlier releases based upon time served.  Release also usually takes place in the early morning hours since the prison system begins processing at midnight -- at least in our state.   Then a phone call is not allowed until the paperwork for the release is completed, and the person literally sits outside the facility waiting for a ride or begins walking.  I don't think anyone can argue that this release  procedure sets anyone up to succeed.  

 

When folks start getting their lives together, another thing they do is to turn themselves in for their outstanding warrants.  They want to take care of these matters.   That can turn into an all day process in itself when someone has to be booked, processed ( including medical ), and often housed overnight -- even when they showed up at 7am -- and then transported to court.   Not to mention that they can and do lose their jobs because of the hours spent waiting.   Surely, we can come up with a more time and cost effective way to deal with a nonviolent offender turning themselves in.  Our sheriff's office would probably be relieved too.  

 

I'm not saying that people shouldn't have consequences for their actions.   What I am saying is that as a society we need to be more supportive in helping people reclaim their lives and become independent.  Before working with this program, I had absolutely no idea that any of these hurdles existed.  It's been an eye-opening experience. 

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The answer is probably a universal basic income. 

 

It would never work.  The bleeding hearts who believe people just need "more" help won't stop taking to give.  In order for a minimum income to work....you really have to be okay with the fact that some people just make bad decisions and stop shielding them from the consequences of those bad decisions.

 

Stefanie

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It would never work.  The bleeding hearts who believe people just need "more" help won't stop taking to give.  In order for a minimum income to work....you really have to be okay with the fact that some people just make bad decisions and stop shielding them from the consequences of those bad decisions.

 

Stefanie

 

I beg to differ. I live in poverty. Pretty darn deep in poverty. A universal income? Would allow me to stop relying on a patchwork safety net of programs. It'd mean covering my bills without worrying I'll lose my state healthcare {because no insurance means no meds which means hospital stay which means my child goes into foster care because I have no one to watch her}. 

 

Are there people who'll make bad decisions? Sure. Just like there are now - people who sell their benefits to buy drugs and cigarettes. But if anything they'll be weeded out faster with a universal income, if it's enough to truly cover basic needs. But if charities know that people should have enough because everyone gets XYZ amount monthly, then they can change how they administer aid. Change it to only with an emergency. Change to non-monetary forms of aid, like clothing, transportation vouchers, etc. Make the aid change towards work goals. 

Edited by frugalmamatx
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They need a complete support system and this is where the church needs to step in and wrap their arms (and finances) around these families.

 

They need stable, safe, affordable housing, affordable quality day care, access to good public transportation or a reliable vehicle, respite care for emergencies, etc.

 

Just a slight breakdown can spiral out of control quickly. In our area if you miss even one day of work at most factory jobs in the first 6 months you are fired immediately. Think of a single parent with a child who gets the flu...can't go to school or daycare. If they leave them home alone they can get hit with neglect but if they stay home they lose their job. Same thing if their car breaks down.

 

Many of these parents don't have adequate support systems....a friend to call for a ride to work, a grandparent to stay with a sick kid, etc.

If people are getting fired for missing one day then the labour laws need to be rewritten and the unions more active.

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If the information I have is correct, refugees aren't eligible, either. Their sponsoring organizations are to meet all of their needs. Not only that, is hey are required to pay back the expenses of bringing them here - to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

I hope that is not right - official refugees are supposed to be provided for by the country taking the . We have a refugee centre then people are relocated to certain cities where a refugee resettlement charity arranges housing and basics and a support person for a while to help with shopping, school enrollment. There is a small grant for household stuff but most of it is donated.

Edited by kiwik
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We need to get people to build more flexible and more lasting support systems outside "the system."  How can there be not one person in a neighborhood who can help with occasional child care so a mom can work when her kid is sick etc.?  Public libraries / schools and other existing community-focused entities should be helping to set up neighborhood networks.

 

And I think the focus on getting each family into a separate home may be misguided.  Those four walls tend to shut us off from people who could help us in our times of need.

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They need stable, safe, affordable housing, affordable quality day care, access to good public transportation or a reliable vehicle, respite care for emergencies, etc.

 

 

 

Many of these parents don't have adequate support systems....a friend to call for a ride to work, a grandparent to stay with a sick kid, etc.

 

 

But often, "simple poverty" is not "simple".  There are often underlying reasons why people cannot hold jobs: mental illness, physical illness, learning disabilities, executive functioning issues. Better mental health programs and health care in general would produce more sustainable solutions. As would mentoring/training programs that prepare young people for jobs, and programs that assist and mentor young parents. A teach-a-man-to-fish approach better than giving them the fish .

 

There are certainly people struggling who don't have mental health issues, but people with mental health issues (etc.) are MUCH more likely to struggle financially.

 

I worry about family members constantly because of the combo.  They limit the help they seek out of fear for what might happen while working toward better conditions.  You don't just get mentally healthy with safe living conditions, transportation, child care, and a job overnight... if there are even adequate services to be had.

 

And while I do think it's important to target young parents who may be more at risk, my personal experience is more in the 30-somethings range, with people who have, or at least had, personal support systems they could not maintain due to the underlying issues.

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It would never work. The bleeding hearts who believe people just need "more" help won't stop taking to give. In order for a minimum income to work....you really have to be okay with the fact that some people just make bad decisions and stop shielding them from the consequences of those bad decisions.

 

Yeah, this isn't true. Believe me, I'd be happy to pay more taxes in order to have a properly-functioning society with a decent social safety net. Most nearly all liberals I know feel the same way.

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If people are getting fired for missing one day then the labour laws need to be rewritten and the unions more active.

 

My parents worked for one of the big 3 car manufacturers in the USA. They were in the union the entire time they worked there (approx 25 years each).

 

They had to leave me when I was 7 years old with no family in the hospital because they would lose their jobs if they didn't show. Fortunately, this was before nurses had too many patients. I only remember a nice lady sitting and reading me books since she stayed with me for hours (my parents worked nights); my mother still talks about the stress and guilt of leaving her sick baby alone. When I was in boarding school in high school and ended up hospitalized, my parents were late to my emergency surgery because the policy was "show up to work & hope we can cover you so we can send you home". I remember the nurses gossiping about it outside my door as I was in pre-op. 

 

It has gotten better at the factory since then, but it isn't necessarily different in the low income service arena (fast food, CNA, retail). And those people usually aren't union. A story from the recent hurricane in Florida regarding "miss a day, lose a job": http://fortune.com/2017/09/12/pizza-hut-employees-hurricane-irma-evacuation-policy/

 

Edited to correct link

Edited by beckyjo
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Color me stupid. I'm not being facetious. How does this differ from welfare?

 

For starters, everyone gets it regardless of income. No stigma. Secondly, it is actually enough to live off of. No hoops to jump through. No separate food stamps/section 8 housing/heating help/etc. Just money to cover the basics. This would of course need to be paired with excellent mental health, drug addiction counseling, etc. 

 

Another option is just to actually have safe, available housing for low income. Not a waiting list that is years long. Housing first has been shown to help more than making people jump through hoops in order to "earn" housing. Maybe even a set up where there is someone that lives in the apartments or what not to provide help finding other assistance, etc. 

 

I'd love to see set ups with apartments where one of the apartments is used for tutoring/daycare/parenting classes/cooking classes/money management classes/resume help/job search help/etc. And you could stay there for one year or 6 months or whatever AFTER getting a job, so no worries that you would be kicked out before building up a safety net. Could charge a small percentage of income as rent, but not enough to disincentive working or keep them from saving up money. 

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For starters, everyone gets it regardless of income. No stigma. Secondly, it is actually enough to live off of. No hoops to jump through. No separate food stamps/section 8 housing/heating help/etc. Just money to cover the basics. This would of course need to be paired with excellent mental health, drug addiction counseling, etc. 

 

Another option is just to actually have safe, available housing for low income. Not a waiting list that is years long. Housing first has been shown to help more than making people jump through hoops in order to "earn" housing. Maybe even a set up where there is someone that lives in the apartments or what not to provide help finding other assistance, etc. 

 

I'd love to see set ups with apartments where one of the apartments is used for tutoring/daycare/parenting classes/cooking classes/money management classes/resume help/job search help/etc. And you could stay there for one year or 6 months or whatever AFTER getting a job, so no worries that you would be kicked out before building up a safety net. Could charge a small percentage of income as rent, but not enough to disincentive working or keep them from saving up money. 

 

Another benefit to Basic income is it doesn't get yanked from you if you start making too much. There isn't that dip in actual income/benefits where you're worse off if you start to earn just a little more money.

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I think it's horrible that poverty can result in his being unable to stay with parents.  It can happen in different ways too.  I read a long-form article the other day about a women who was a FT fast food worker.  She lost her apartment because the building was upgraded, and couldn't fid another.  She was sleeping on someone's couch while her kids stayed with a friend's family across town.  She hadn't seen them in a month because she couldn't afford t fix her car, either.

 

It reminds me of my great-grandparents.  After the husband took off to Canada, his wife back in Scotland had to put all her kids except the baby (10 of them) in an orphanage.  By the time he sent for them years later, some of the kids were grown.

 

That kind of thing doesn't serve anyone.  It's awful to think a modern country is in much the same place generations later.

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Another benefit to Basic income is it doesn't get yanked from you if you start making too much. There isn't that dip in actual income/benefits where you're worse off if you start to earn just a little more money.

 

And then these people get blamed for not working! Well, they'd mostly like to work, but talk about a perverse incentive structure!

 

 

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I hope that is not right - official refugees are supposed to be provided for by the country taking the . We have a refugee centre then people are relocated to certain cities where a refugee resettlement charity arranges housing and basics and a support person for a while to help with shopping, school enrollment. There is a small grant for household stuff but most of it is donated.

We live near a large resettlement area. The ones that come here absolutely have to pay back the government for their plane tickets here. They are given 3 months rent that they don't pay back, but after that, they are expected to be self supporting.

 

We have chicken processing plants about 1.5 hours from here. It's hard for them to find workers, so they send vans to the largest apartment complexes. They are big employers for our refugee community.

Edited by Zinnia
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The answer is probably a universal basic income. 

In Iowa City, the minimum wage was raised to $15/hour. The landlords then raised all the rent prices.

 

Later, the state passed a law against city-wide minimum wages, so the minimum wage in Iowa City was lowered again. The rents didn't go back down.

 

My sister and her hubby were considering investing in a rental or two before the minimum rate hike, but afterward, the sale prices of places they had been looking at went up by so much they could no longer afford to do so. 

 

I think a Universal Basic Income would be about as successful as Iowa City's attempt to help people with a higher minimum wage - it would go to rich people's pockets as the prices on things like housing went up.

 

There's a group around here that puts children in foster-type homes at the request of their parents that are not state affiliated in order to give the parents a chance to get back on their feet or to deal with their problems without the added pressure of parenting. (So, let's say a parent needs to get cancer treatment but doesn't have someone to care for their kids during that time, they could request help from this agency.) It has been interesting to talk with people who have volunteered with this group.

 

I'm going to add that I live in a very mixed-income neighborhood and have friends across the income scale - we live next door to a $2 million dollar house and across the street from HUD housing - so I probably have seen more of this than most suburban ladies. But I have never personally lived in poverty.

 

Emily

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This is an interesting thread. I'll have to read Glass Castle. I don't know as much about the subject as some here, but I wanted to share some recent articles that made an impression on me.

 

Live in a Poor Neighborhood? Better Be a Perfect Parent, an opinion piece by an attorney who represents low income families.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/opinion/poor-neighborhoods-black-parents-child-services.html?_r=0

 

An article about diaper banks. Children in day care must be sent with a certain number of diapers. No diapers, no day care, according to the article. So no day care, miss work, no job.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/diaper-banks-child-poverty_us_5983538ae4b00f0084ae8687

 

A hopeful note. NYC is scrapping 644,000 old warrants for petty crimes. There have been many articles about poorer people languishing in jail because they could not pay small fines. The Bronx court system had years-long backups.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/nyregion/644000-old-warrants-scrapped-for-crimes-like-public-drinking.html

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Yes, many social programs are overloaded, but that's only one side of the issue IMHO. I've been working for the last few years with a program that deals with addicted moms and their children. What I've seen over these last few years is that getting your life back together or just digging out of poverty is a HUGE task and a thankless one. I'm a firm believer in personal responsibility and working hard, but I'm beginning to see that many parts of our society, especially our system of dealing with criminal offenses and driver's licenses, is setting people up to fail. I really wish that I had to time for a long in-depth discussion. Unfortunately, my week is jam-packed so I'll need to be brief.

 

Some of the things that have caught my attention are:

 

Public transportation in the adjacent city is horrible. All routes run into the city's core, and then you must change busses at the center and take another bus route. There aren't any cross town routes. This can literally add hours to someone trying to drop a child at daycare and go to work.

 

One of our program's goals is to redeem or obtain a driver's license if possible. The fines added to redeem a license are large and take time to pay. Also, there is no time limit for a county to report to the state a driving offense. Even if the person goes to the state and pays in good faith all of the fines, past fines can suspend the license again and trigger the additional suspension fees. It's like a kick in the gut to someone who is getting things straight. It's the paying of the additional admin fees that really hurt.

 

There is sometimes no firm date of a person's release from jail because of administrative factors. It can vary by days or weeks. What we usually see is earlier releases based upon time served. Release also usually takes place in the early morning hours since the prison system begins processing at midnight -- at least in our state. Then a phone call is not allowed until the paperwork for the release is completed, and the person literally sits outside the facility waiting for a ride or begins walking. I don't think anyone can argue that this release procedure sets anyone up to succeed.

 

When folks start getting their lives together, another thing they do is to turn themselves in for their outstanding warrants. They want to take care of these matters. That can turn into an all day process in itself when someone has to be booked, processed ( including medical ), and often housed overnight -- even when they showed up at 7am -- and then transported to court. Not to mention that they can and do lose their jobs because of the hours spent waiting. Surely, we can come up with a more time and cost effective way to deal with a nonviolent offender turning themselves in. Our sheriff's office would probably be relieved too.

 

I'm not saying that people shouldn't have consequences for their actions. What I am saying is that as a society we need to be more supportive in helping people reclaim their lives and become independent. Before working with this program, I had absolutely no idea that any of these hurdles existed. It's been an eye-opening experience.

This, x 1,000. I should have quoted this in my post, above. Edited by Alessandra
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I live rural. Money is not the issue, its lifestyle. Recently the towns have passed social host laws and laws to evict drug users from rentals...great if your neighbor didn't have his adult child and friends move in as a result and continue partying. Or buy his child a house and support the lifestyle. I would like to see continued enforcement of substance abuse laws, and the resulting damage from abuse paid for out of seller profits or tax at sales point, similar to tobacco use.

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In Iowa City, the minimum wage was raised to $15/hour. The landlords then raised all the rent prices.

 

Later, the state passed a law against city-wide minimum wages, so the minimum wage in Iowa City was lowered again. The rents didn't go back down.

 

My sister and her hubby were considering investing in a rental or two before the minimum rate hike, but afterward, the sale prices of places they had been looking at went up by so much they could no longer afford to do so.

 

I think a Universal Basic Income would be about as successful as Iowa City's attempt to help people with a higher minimum wage - it would go to rich people's pockets as the prices on things like housing went up.

 

There's a group around here that puts children in foster-type homes at the request of their parents that are not state affiliated in order to give the parents a chance to get back on their feet or to deal with their problems without the added pressure of parenting. (So, let's say a parent needs to get cancer treatment but doesn't have someone to care for their kids during that time, they could request help from this agency.) It has been interesting to talk with people who have volunteered with this group.

 

I'm going to add that I live in a very mixed-income neighborhood and have friends across the income scale - we live next door to a $2 million dollar house and across the street from HUD housing - so I probably have seen more of this than most suburban ladies. But I have never personally lived in poverty.

 

Emily

I have lived in poverty. My mom was 30, divorced, with 2 kids aged 5 and 10 when she got cancer. We had only been in that location for about 4 months. We were active in our religions congregation but not really close friends yet...she literally picked what she hoped was the best choice to care for us while she was in the hospital. She was terrified. If we did not have our congregation what would she have done with no family to help. It worked out fine, she survived cancer, and 40 years later we are still close friends with that family. But wow, do I feel for others in such a circumstance.

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Hmm. I see many of you saying the church should step up for the poor among them and provide care / resources / aid. It's interesting the way people automatically assume that everyone is some variant of Christian or at the very least some faith. And tied into a faith community 

 

 

Out of curiosity, what are people who aren't religious supposed to do? Fake religion? Go without? Is it supposed to be a "come to Jesus" moment? 

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There are perfectly good parents who don't neglect their children who don't have running water.  I know I read about New Mexican Indians who live in places where there is no piped in water.  They get water delivered to them.     

 

The advantages of universal basic income is that you get rid of the whole bureaucracy and cost of all the myriad of welfare programs.  It also allows individuals to use money for something like a car or to move to another area of the country.  While I think many of the people who are slowly withering away without jobs and without good possibilities of jobs would choose to stay in whatever depressed area they are in because of family and friends, at least some of them would be moving to areas where the economy is doing much better and there are jobs to be had.  They also could use the money to get into a retraining program or to get a computer and internet access.  There could even be special tax advantages so that people who used basic income for charity would receive some benefit like slightly lower taxes.  

 

As to Glass Castle, I did not find it really depressing. While I thought the parents were unconventional and yes, poor, it did seem that most of the time, they were parenting okay.  There is a great danger to pulling kids out of homes into foster homes/adoption.  Heroin addiction and babies, children not old enough to take care of themselves- yes, provide them with safe shelter.  Meth manufacturing- yes, provide with safe shelter.  Many other drugs or circumstances- no.  If kids can live in homes with an alcoholic parent, they can live in a home with a parent using Xanax inappropriately (illegally) or many other drugs.  In those cases, I would focus on whether the child is safe and can be okay.  The kids I met who were neglected were mostly able to care for themselves partially at around 6 and pretty much totally by 9.

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Am I am the only one that remembers her talking about how jealous she was of the families on food stamps?  They had hot fresh food in the cafeteria.   She had food snagged from the bathroom trash can.   Her parents just wouldn't apply because they were  (I can't think of anything both accurate and that I'm willing to type).  

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Am I am the only one that remembers her talking about how jealous she was of the families on food stamps? They had hot fresh food in the cafeteria. She had food snagged from the bathroom trash can. Her parents just wouldn't apply because they were (I can't think of anything both accurate and that I'm willing to type).

My mom calls that false pride.

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Frugalmatrix -- not all church outreach is to church members or to Christians.

 

Church outreach can just be to the community.  It doesn't mean converting people or only helping Christians.

 

 

I hear this. And I've even seen it a few times in action. But by and large, most aid programs run by churches are thinly veiled attempts at converting others. Which I understand - after all, a church needs members to thrive. They are good about giving things like food and clothing to anyone. Things like utility assistance? Often restricted to church members or "where the Pastor knows there is a need". 

 

But also the things like some have mentioned here - the support network, childcare, etc? Those aren't available outside the church community. And sometimes, if you aren't well known in that community, not even then. At least in my experience. 

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Hmm. I see many of you saying the church should step up for the poor among them and provide care / resources / aid. It's interesting the way people automatically assume that everyone is some variant of Christian or at the very least some faith. And tied into a faith community

 

 

Out of curiosity, what are people who aren't religious supposed to do? Fake religion? Go without? Is it supposed to be a "come to Jesus" moment?

I am not one who is saying churches should step up. And I am not religious for the social safety net......but I do see the value of that safety net. If I wasn't religious I would definitely search for community of some sort.

 

No man is an island.

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