There is not much to say about poverty that hasn’t been said before. It sucks. And most importantly, it is not usually caused by the person or persons it affects. It usually hits those who are older, or disabled, sick or has had the misfortune of employment. Or lack of it.
I’ve worked for over 20 years in homeless shelters and I’ve found
that a good 90% are not lazy, weak or, in general bums living off of the
government as some would imagine. Poverty seems to strike those who
have worked all of their lives and have fallen on hard times or have
been stricken with disability or long-term disease. This always spells
out becoming victim to government programs that are great in the
temporary but never great in the long-haul. The old ideal that if we
were good, followed the rules and went to college, then everything would
go well and our lives would be blessed. Grimm’s Fairy Tales espouse
Be a person suffering from mental health issues and suffer through
the act of being impoverished and this is a recipe for disaster. Enter
my eldest daughter, Jess. Unfortunately, she is the daughter of not just
one but two baby boomer parents who are are victims of that long-ago
fairy tale. Disabled, retirement age unable to find work because the
world has condemned us for our age. If that wasn’t enough, my beautiful
adult child is the victim herself of autism, bipolar disorder and a
bureaucracy that would rather hide her from the world than deal with the
fact that one out of every 112 have autism.
So here we sit. A beautiful woman who is about 5’7, strong as an ox
and aggressively violent when she is in her manic period. We’ve had to
wait 2 years for her Medicare to kick in only to find out we have to
wait until June to use it AND wait three months to be able to get an
appointment to see a psychiatrist to give her an official eval. We have
insurance via ObamaCare but can’t use it because the deductible is too
Meanwhile, she rages on against her sister, her diabetic father and
myself, who can barely walk across the room without stumbling in pain.
She stands in the yard and screams that we’re killing her while we stand
inside and watch and wonder which neighbor will call the police first.
She kicks holes in doors, and punches the wall while I look for new
places to hide the steak knives.
And we wait, and pray for help, and hope that she doesn’t go off
because there are no pickles in the cupboards, or I ask her to take out
the trash or do the dishes. And all the while the government plays chess
with our lives.
Yes, there is a health to poverty. Unfortunately it’s heartbeat is slow and approaching a stroke at any moment.