Academic journal article Social Justice

Introduction: Living on Welfare - a Personal View

Academic journal article Social Justice

Introduction: Living on Welfare - a Personal View

Article excerpt

I WISH TO BRIEFLY NOTE THAT I WILL BE CARRYING LEGISLATION TO ENSURE THAT WE have a just welfare system. I will also need to work with all of you. When I wa running for office, I made my story public about having been a single mother on welfare. I have had movie offers, book offers, and now a made-for-TV offer -- all of which I put aside as a member of Congress. Now I think that if I am reelected, I may pursue this because of the message it conveys about the life o a typical welfare mother. When I was on welfare, I received much more than wome do today. Still, I was the mother of three small children, married to a man who was very successful, but who was mentally ill and wouldn't get help. So I am a survivor. My kids and I were without resources and we had to change our lives. would have liked to work, but since I had children, I intended to be a mother. After all, I grew up in the 1950s when housekeeping was the rule of thumb. I wa to be a mother and that was the way it was.

I went to work and soon found that earning $580 a month was not going to suppor my three small children and myself. Thus, I sold my house before it was repossessed, returned my brand new car and got a VW beetle, and moved into a two-bedroom cottage. A very good friend of mine moved me into that cottage. I realized that I still could not cover the costs of necessities for my children and me; we needed health care and childcare was a problem the first year. So I went on Aid to Families with Dependent Children. I was never embarrassed by it; I simply had to have it. My friends would ask me how I could be on welfare and my answer was, "Well, I need it and I'm not embarrassed. …

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