By Gail Van Etten
We all have more in common with the homeless of our community than we do with the millionaires.
Eighty-five percent of the nation is exactly three to six months away from homelessness due to unforeseen illness, accidents, or job loss. Yet most people do not have a back up plan nor do they believe it can happen to them. The safety nets you think unemployment, workman’s comp, or social programs provide will not cover a mortgage, rent, or any extra bills. Welfare, general relief and emergency food programs are a joke.
I know from first-hand experience. Go investigate for yourself.
GR emergency relief is $221 a month. Emergency food stamps is $200. If you bring in more than $900 a month from any workman’s comp, disability or unemployment, you don’t qualify for social programs. Now if you have children that might be different.
If you are single with less than $900 a month income in any form, you can get $400 a month from the state as social aid. So let’s say you do qualify, and you get $800 a month from whatever source, and the state gives you $221 general relief. Wow, that’s a whopping $1,021 a month and $200 food aid that cannot be spent as cash — it’s strictly for food items.
Try renting an apartment on $1,000 a month, plus utilities… Even if you look for a room for rent, most people won’t rent to a person who is not working. So if you don’t have a family member willing to take you in if you lose your job, get hurt and can’t work, have an accident and become disabled, you’re screwed!
If you’re already homeless and you have no income, the social programs will give you $221 a month cash aid and $200 food aid. Try pulling yourself up out of homelessness and poverty on that…
Most people in the Antelope Valley are not homeless due to drug addiction. Veterans, mental health, disability and job loss are the main reasons.
Do the research yourself before you judge.
About the author: Gail Van Etten is a Lancaster resident.