Monday, December 6, 2010

Concern for young family members struggling wakes me up early to share my thoughts and prayers for them and all families going through hard times

I know many are feeling the pinch of jobs drying up and incomes cut, and young families, especially, are knowing hard times. There is a price to be paid for the seniors feathering their own nests without enough regard for what the young will do without such privileges as social security, medicare and subsidized housing as I have. Some congress members know that if the unemployment benefits are allowed to run out, many of the now jobless poor will suffer even greater crisis. Young mothers are having to go to work, leaving their young children who are subjected to conditions they find hard to endure. If a mother has to leave a child too young to go to work, there is going to be a very rough adjustment period until a baby can accept the separation. Fathers may be going through crises with lost jobs or diminished hours of work and the frustration of not being able to take care of their children. Both parents having to be bread winners is never more necessary than during tough economical times. Even if she wants to, a mother may not have the privilege of staying with her baby until it is older and better able to handle separation.
Then there is the problem of who will tend the kids, who will be reliable baby sitters and not cost more than the parents can afford. Affordable child care has always been a big problem for the poor mother who needs to work. Many are struggling with separation and divorce along with everything else. In our state, a budget crunch has forced cuts in all areas of services offered to the poor, medicaid, child care, education, and when the economy fails to improve, more cuts may be necessary simply because the money is not there to pay for them.
Young couples who have bought their own homes may now find it almost impossible to meet all the bills that come with home ownership.
It is hard to think how to help the young in crisis. Young mothers are having to move back in with parents until times improve for them and they can get back on their feet enough to tackle independent living again. Some don't have parents who can take them in. I live in subsidized housing, which would limit anyone staying with me for any length of time, but unemployed children of residents come here and stay with parents because they are homeless and try to get around the regulations whenever possible. If the residents get in bad enough shape, an adult child may move in as caretaker which saves costs all the way around. But children cannot live in this complex, so that is out. I hear that the status of adults only may change allowing children to live here with their parents under certain circumstances. My neighbor is young and partially disabled, but her child has to live with her sister outside of here. If the rules were changed, her child could live here with her.
Older residents who start screaming about the possibility of children living here really irk me. They are old. They have lived their lives and they don't want to help the young? That is just the kind of attitude that I think sucks as young people say.
Older people get used to all the privileges they have not necessarily earned and take a hard nosed attitude toward the struggling young. That's why all these alcoholics and drug abusers in here make me angry. So much money spent on them and what are they giving back? When my companion Doc started screaming about the possibility of children next door, I yelled at him because he is one of those alcoholics. Why he even gets food stamps as do others in here who are alcoholics. I can't stand to see children suffer across this country while many others stay comfortable with what has been given them, through social security, disability benefits, subsidized housing, food stamps, medicare and medicaid, or from having inherited wealth.
It is not only the extremely wealthy who can have hard hearts, those who are better off can have them, too, resisting the need to recognize need and stretch to help.
I will have to say that the overweight in here also indulge themselves, when they need to think about those who are deprived more which might help them in their struggle to lose weight and adapt more healthy life styles. I think it is selfish to eat your way into having sugar diabetes which is going to cost far more in medical treatment, just as it is selfish to drink your way into the hospital, and smoke your way into lung cancer and emphysema. I know I had to occupy my mind with things I could do to keep from eating day and night. Right now, because the overweight are just getting the idea that they are responsible for what they put in their mouths just like alcoholics, druggies, and smokers are, it is almost impossible to discuss their eating habits with them. They fly off the handle and resist a lot more than the alcoholics do who are more used to being castigated. The druggies go to great lengths to hide their use of illegal substances so they are extremely mean when accosted. I asked my neighbor if he was on drugs, and he made me pay dearly for such a question, even though he was. I became desperate because his behavior under the influence was really threatening.
When you have children and become disabled, people ask you if you should have had those children if you knew you had health problems? Even your own child might ask if you should have had him or her, if you were going to have to go on welfare and live in a bad neighborhood. I had one doctor suggest that I might want to abort my last child because I was 41. My child would have a bigger chance of being a Downs Syndrome baby, and I would be less able to work to take care of the child. Well, he was brutal. He didn't mind saying what he thought.
I could understand his concerns, but I decided to get another doctor to deliver my child, since he was not supportive. I wanted that child and sometimes if you want children you have to act on faith and believe you will somehow be able to take of them.
We all act on faith when we have children. Anything could happen to make taking care of our children very difficult, but if the heart of our world is caring enough we can do it by helping each other, by appealing to the best impulses, even in the rich.
Helping other people to survive is taking care of our world, not with ruthless disregard for people less fortunate than ourselves but with compassion for those suffering. This is in the best interests of all of us.


Amrita said...

Libnd 's poem and photos touched my heart. its strange to see that in such a rich country lkike uSA people are homeless.

We have millions of homeless people an d beggars on our streets.

Gerry said...

Amrita, sad to say, this old hotel subsidized housing complex of 300 units is always surrounded by some homeless, sleeping on the bus bench, in the alcove, always over to Circle K across the street, they get a lot, they come downtown to panhandle,
but if the mentally ill homeless are violent, they cannot handle independent living in a building. They cannot even be trusted to ride the elevator with others.
I have always taken a very deep interest in India's homeless. Any big country whose people fall on hard times see a rise in the homeless, the longer the economy suffers, the more there are. Yes, I know you are bound to understand, living in India.


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