SocialServicesDatabase.com spent several hours at First Baptist Food Ministry this morning. While several people welcomed research to see if community resources could be found to make their life easier, a greater number had difficulty making eye contact, giving imperceptible shakes of the head to refuse assistance.
It seems that this country disempowers its citizens. In the 1930s men, and some women, were too proud to take handouts. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a Federal program that put them to work in useful jobs <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1599.html >
“By 1936 over 3.4 million people were employed on various WPA programs…. The WPA focused on tangible improvements: During its tenure, workers constructed 651,087 miles of roads, streets and highways; and built, repaired or refurbished 124,031 bridges, 125,110 public buildings, 8,192 parks, and 853 landing fields. In addition, workers cleaned slums, revived forests, and extended electrical power to rural locations.”
That was then and this is now. People on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI living below, and sometimes well below, the Federal Poverty Guideline are given $15 in food stamps because they “make too much money”; barely surviving. They spend their life waiting in line for handouts. Able bodied men once willing to work apply for SSI after years of inability to get a job so that “Uncle Sugar” can take care of them. Their spirit is broken and they wait for social worker and agencies to do it for them. Most of them seem incapable of trying to help themselves.
(Harry) “Hopkins argued that although the work relief program was more costly than direct relief payments, it was worth it. He averred, ‘Give a man a dole, and you save his body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and you save both body and spirit.’"
It is time that we empower the indigent to lift up their head, make eye contact and develop Human Dignity.
Chief Operations Officer