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InvisibleEdame
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Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
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Officials get taste of how lower income live
    #2171052 - 12/10/03 06:38 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I think this is a great idea, I wonder if we have anything like this in the UK. Someone should try getting Ashcroft to spend some time with a terminalliy ill person and see what it's like when they can't get medical marijuana.

Quote:


Officials get taste of how lower income live

The "Walk a Mile" project challenges community leaders to live on a food stamp budget for a month

12/08/03
BILL GRAVES

Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz didn't make it. Neither did state Rep. Steve March, D-Portland, nor Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett, nor Gresham Police Chief Carla Piluso.

They all concluded that it was impossible to live a month on food stamps without dramatically restricting their diets and lives.

They and four other public officials volunteered to live on a food-stamp budget in November for the Multnomah County Walk a Mile project, part of a national education program that puts policymakers face-to-face with low-income people.

"I did try," said Cruz, who was allotted $50 a week to feed herself and her husband. "You have to make all of your food. You have to bring your lunch. You can't get your latte. It's really hard."

The Walk a Mile project, coordinated by the Commission on Children, Families & Community of Multnomah County, matched each public official with a low-income person. The pairs met for meals, attended events in each other's lives and talked weekly by telephone or e-mail. They will gather to swap stories in a closing ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today in the Multnomah Building in Southeast Portland.

Public officials and their low-income partners said the project gave them insights about each other. Policymakers said their matches were hard-working, bright, committed parents who defied stereotypes.

"The safety nets that are provided are minimal," said March, 57, matched with Crystal, a 27-year-old single Portland mother who asked to keep her last name private. "The amount of money available for food, for housing, are probably barely adequate to get by, and maybe not even that. . . . Sometimes we are asking almost the impossible on the part of some folks."

Low-income participants said they felt empowered by capturing the ears of local leaders.

"It makes things seem more possible," Crystal said.

Smith asked her match, Linda Ridings, 40, of Portland, to testify on health care later this year before a legislative committee.

"She even asked if she could help me move," Ridings said.

Shadowing a single mom Piluso, 48, was matched with Cristina Diaz, 22, a single Gresham mother of three children, who recently landed a job with an energy assistance program that pays about $1,000 a month.

Piluso recalled meeting Diaz one evening after the young mother had spent the day taking her infant for ear treatment to OHSU Hospital in Portland. Diaz, who has no car, awoke at 5 a.m. to take the MAX train and buses to the university. She stayed all day at the hospital and then made the long trek back.

"She was exhausted," Piluso said. "She didn't even complain. We complain about somebody cutting us off in the traffic."

Piluso, also a single mom, and her 11-year-old daughter, Kate, made an earnest attempt to live on their food stamp budget. They ate dinners of grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes, soup and chicken before they succumbed to eating some meals out, partly because the police chief's busy schedule demanded it.

Fortunately, Piluso said, her sister hosted their Thanksgiving meal, more food than a month's worth of food stamps would buy.

"We talked about (living on food stamps) at Thanksgiving and how thankful we were," she said.

After some dinners of grilled cheese sandwiches and of eggs and toast, March gave up trying to live on his food stamp rations.

That's all right, said Natasha Grossman, founder and director of the 10-year-old Walk a Mile project, based at the University of Washington's Northwest Institute for Children and Families.

"The goal is not to punish them," she said. "It is really for them to see how hard it is and in many cases impossible, which is why people on food stamps have to go to food banks at the end of the month."

Walk a Mile has made about 2,000 matches in 31 states during the past decade, including more than 100 this year. In Oregon, agencies also sponsored Walk a Mile projects this year in Clackamas and Lane counties.

Working for change March said he wants to explore whether the Legislature can do something to prevent abrupt losses in federal food stamps after recipients find work. He became concerned, he said, after seeing Crystal recently lose her food stamps immediately after she landed a job organizing parent leaders for the nonprofit Portland Schools Alliance.

Smith wants to see whether there's a way to help Ridings get help with prescription drugs. Ridings gets $1,016 a month in Social Security disability assistance because she suffers from chronic migraine headaches and fatigue after a bout with spinal meningitis. But that amount is $6 a month too much to qualify for help covering more than $1,000 a month in prescription drugs.

Policymakers often want to address issues that directly affect their matches in the Walk a Mile project, Grossman said.

"We wanted to put a human face on the issues," she said, "and I think that is what this project does."





--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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InvisibleGabbaDj
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Edame]
    #2171056 - 12/10/03 06:52 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Now that is one damn good program...

Their is a not for proffit group that takes policy makers on helicopter rides around California so that they can see just what theyr decisions do to the environmental landscape.. This group has made more changes in the way things are done than any other...

The walk-a-mile or see for yourself idea should be implimented for ALL politicians.


--------------------
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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Edame]
    #2171059 - 12/10/03 07:01 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

This will sound callous, but to be frank I don't care if a family can get by on food stamps, welfare and other handouts. The more you give them, the less incentive they have to get off these shitty programs that never should have come into being anyway.

There should be (and the constitution backs me up) no social programs what so ever.

People make choices. Many make bad choices. I don't want to pay for someone elses choices.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Anonymous

Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Edame]
    #2171310 - 12/11/03 05:24 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

what's the point of this?

hmm... they're not putting "regular people" through this program... only people with political power... hmm... what could this mean?

are they trying to make people more aware of poverty so they'll be more willing to give some of their wealth to the poor?

no no... that's not what's going on here... they are doing this to politicians... they're trying to get people to give some of someone else's money to the poor.

the idea is to make men and women in office more willing to steal from some and give to others.

completely wrong approach.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Edame]
    #2171665 - 12/11/03 11:28 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)


"The safety nets that are provided are minimal,"


Bullshit. In America there are food stamps, outright cash payments,
subsidized housing, and extensive medical care(medicaid) for the poor.

Pregnant women have it nice in America. If they can't afford all
of the costs associated with the pregnancy(checkups, hospital stays,
etc...), the government pays for it, That is many thousands of
dollars spent on each poor pregnant woman.

The safety nets are extensive, not minimal.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2171871 - 12/12/03 01:31 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

On the one hand, I agree with your statements, but on the other hand, I think of the children suffering the results of their parents' bad decisions.

And on the third hand, I have known a couple of individuals who used welfare to go to college and then get better jobs, etc.

For the most part, welfare is used by people to support themselves and they never look to getting off.

If welfare is taken away, if people don't have free hand-outs, they will find another way to survive.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Frog]
    #2172221 - 12/12/03 04:59 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Perhaps if there was a decent minimum wage then people wouldnt be so tempted to stay on welfare.


--------------------
Always Smi2le


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Anonymous

Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: GazzBut]
    #2172556 - 12/12/03 10:12 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Perhaps if there was a decent minimum wage then people wouldnt be so tempted to stay on welfare.

if there was a larger minimum wage, yes, i'm sure more people would be inclined to seek work instead of remaining on welfare, but fewer would be able to find it.

increasing the minumum wage expands the welfare rolls; it does not reduce them.


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Offlinegrib
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: ]
    #2173122 - 12/12/03 04:14 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Higher min wages, etc. aren't the answer. The answer is education and, most importantly, lots of hard work.


--------------------
<~>Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake <~>


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Registered: 10/10/02
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Frog]
    #2173267 - 12/12/03 05:56 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

For the most part, welfare is used by people to support themselves and they never look to getting off.



Incorrect. The average person on welfare(usually a single mother) stays on it for about two years and then finds work.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinedomite
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173310 - 12/12/03 06:20 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

People make choices. Many make bad choices. I don't want to pay for someone elses choices.




The reasons why alot of people are poor have nothing to do with bad choices, but this is besides the point. Supporting wealfare or not supporting it has nothing to do with why people are poor, its a matter of general principal.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,186
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: domite]
    #2173370 - 12/12/03 06:52 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Choosing to help is principle.

Forcing those who have no wish to is theft. Pure and simple.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173424 - 12/12/03 07:19 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

you sound callous cause your ignorant on how these peoples lives are led. Most of these people are good ole fashioned. I used to be a hardworking middle class worker caught a nasty disease or disorder. Lost everything, my house,money, cant make car payment. Lose their job.

You have this defenition in your head that all people on welfare and food stamps are stereotypical rednecks who make a decent living in a trailer off government cheese. Thats the biggest stereotype to ever hurt the people that recieve welfare ever.

And yes their are welfare cheats and people who have more and more kids cause they know they get an extra 150$ a month for every extra kid. But remember why should the honest people recieving welfare be punished for the people who abuse it.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2173449 - 12/12/03 07:37 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

You should rethink that last post. I do my part for those I know. The government has no right to take money from me to give to you.

You may be the nicest guy on the planet. I don't know you or your circumstances. Frankly and with no offence meant.... I don't care. I am not responsible for seeing that you have a roof over your head and food to eat. Neither is the federal government. Or any goverment as far as I'm concerned.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Anonymous

Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: grib]
    #2173503 - 12/12/03 08:19 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

The answer is education and, most importantly, lots of hard work.

if everyone had a doctorate, it wouldn't help unless it actually meant that there were more goods and services being produced. someone's going to have to haul the garbage. someone's going to have to pump gas. someone is going to have to stock shelves.

education will help a single person get ahead. it will not help everyone. for everyone to really benefit... to become more wealthy, there must be more goods and services produced. there must be more to go around.

how do we produce more? why is our nation wealthier than many others? why can we afford more leisure time and material goods today than 300 years ago? why more than a herdsman in mongolia?

the answer is not simply because we have better education, or technology, or we work harder... the answer is that we have more productive resources at hand (read: capital). we have vastly more accumulated capital goods. this is how wealth is produced. it's not produced by giving everyone a great education or providing everyone with a minimum wage, or welfare check, or any of that.

Higher min wages, etc. aren't the answer.

correct. the minimum wage only causes unemployment, and high taxation to fund welfare programs discourages capital accumulation.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: ]
    #2173528 - 12/12/03 08:36 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

why can we afford more leisure time and material goods today than 300 years ago? why more than a herdsman in mongolia?



Actually, it's interesting you mention this, because I learned in my cultural anthropology course how in hunter-gatherer societies, the average person actually spent far less time working(as in obtaining their means of living) than people in modern industrial societies do.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinedomite
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173542 - 12/12/03 08:52 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

what i meant was it is a matter of what you think is more important, the idea of helping people, or the idea of not having the government take money away from people against thier will.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173622 - 12/12/03 09:56 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

silversoul7 writes:

Actually, it's interesting you mention this, because I learned in my cultural anthropology course how in hunter-gatherer societies, the average person actually spent far less time working(as in obtaining their means of living) than people in modern industrial societies do.

Which is the main reason they have less material goods than we do. They work enough to get by and no more.

The same is true of the guys I used to know in Canada who would work the minimum amount of time at a joe job to qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits. When the bennies ran out, they'd get another job and repeat the process. These guys weren't starving, but neither did they have much in the way of material goods. To them their leisure time was more valuable than a new car or a nice apartment or fancy clothes or a 52" television or a savings account.

Mushmaster is right in that education alone isn't enough. A lazy dude with a university degree can easily end up make less over his lifetime than an ambitious handyman with a tenth grade education and a bit of common sense in handling money.

pinky


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2174343 - 12/13/03 09:49 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

You make it sound like you think stealing from the rich is wrong. The rich steal from the poor all the time. That's how you get rich. THe only way you get rich.

Hewlett Packard owes me about $400 from all the money I've spent on their products that did not live up to their claims of value. HP is a thief. It is not wrong to steal from a thief. The fact that they stole $400 from me justifies me taking them for every penny I can, even if it's $10,000.


That's a $9,600 "fuck you" tax.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Officials get taste of how lower income live [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2174368 - 12/13/03 10:32 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Stealing from anyone is wrong.

The rich (in general) don't steal.

Even if they did, the government, who's has few actual constitutional responsibilities, is even more in the wrong when they do so seeing as one of their legitimate responsibilities is to prevent and/or prevent theft.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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