Thursday, August 15, 2013


Can you imagine people waiting in a line that stretched around the block for any other government service? The DMV? The City Clerk? The Secretary of State? But inconvenience is pretty standard when it comes to services for the poor, says Dan Lesser, of the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law. “There's a world of different between how the average person is treated at the DMV and how someone whose applying for assistance is treated at the local public aid office,” said Lesser. “We heard that a lot when the economy went bad and a lot of people applied for food stamps for the first time,” he said. “They were definitely not used to get the kind of treatment that they got when they went to those local offices.” It makes you wonder: Is there simply a belief that poor people have nowhere better to be? Why do the providers of essential services treat them as if their time is worthless? Most of the problem lies with the abysmal funding levels for human services, says Lesser. But the majority of people who are on some kind of public assistance are working, he says, and the layers of red tape hurts them financially. “If they have to show up to an office and wait around all day, it means taking a day off work,” said Lesser.Not only does that mean missing out on a day's pay, but for folks who work at a minimum wage job in a service industry, it puts their very job in jeopardy.So, whatever happened to “the city that works”?
(link below)

1 comment:

  1. This is all so true and sad sometimes the way low income is treated. They want you to work but you have to miss work to keep long appointments for assistance. Def seems to make things harder then they need to be.