Town Square

Region facing food and shelter 'crisis'

Original post made on Dec 9, 2008

The economic slide spreading from Wall Street to Main Street has hit the "side streets and back streets" local food providers said during a "Food and Shelter Summit" in Mountain View on Friday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 8, 2008, 1:57 PM


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Posted by Kanne
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2008 at 2:22 pm

I would just like to expand on, and perhaps add a personal flavor to the "Voice News" story above - as I am sure that many feel as I did that food stamps and public aid are for someone else's family, folks who don't really want to work or possibly someone on drugs or alcohol. After experiencing some of this first hand I have now re-evaluated my perspective - I don't think we should generalize, as everyone has their own, very unique set of circumstances that brought them to the point of crisis. One thing is certain however, the approach and attitude that exsists is just not doing a very good job addressing the problem - it is a community in crisis not just another faceless unfortunate individual.
I have worked for 30 years now, the last 15 full time, as my son who is developmentally delayed needed a great deal more of my time & energy when he was younger so I transitioned into full-time once he became able, with family assistance to be on his own until I came home at night. I have always been a single Mother who tried to take on the daunting responsibility of Motherhood with a positive can-do attitude. We survived, just barely, but in retrospect, not a bad life.
Last month, my Mother and my "Rock" died suddenly, a week later I was laid off my job with just a few weeks of severence pay and medical insurance until the end of the month, lets just say I was in shock. I put all my effort into re-doing my resume and I think I have applied for every job on the WWW, setting up profile after profile without even an interview resulting.
I will do just about anything,and the sad thing is that I struggled to return to school in 2001 and got my Bachelors degree in Business, graduating in 2006, while working fulltime so I would be more employable and be able to live in the Bay Area like everyone else without worrying about my card declining at the grocery store. It doesn't seem to help me land a job though and to make matters worse, the school loans are now overdue and in collection, no doubt ruining my credit and ultimately making a normal life further and further unattainable.
I am sure that I am not alone, on the contrary, with the economy in such a bleak state, it is difficult to maintain that keep-going, things-will-get-better attitude that we were all raised to believe in, concsiously or not.
We can't blame it all on the polititians but they get paid to make promises that can't possibly keep so they are fair game. Change is inevitiable and depending on your situation, you just might come out ok...
In the meantime, I guess I will continue my seemingly endless journey for employment... I happen to believe that despite the financial motive, humans were created for a purpose: work, produce, create, improve, help etc. and this allows us to grow and become better and to actually evolve.
It is hard to believe that anyone wants to grow up and be a welfare recipiant - it is much more subtle than that, so instead of lumping folks together and labeling as such - maybe best to consider that they to have a story and a reason for where they are in life. I guarantee you they do not feel good about themselves, may be they were hungry and that's all. They might also be doing what they have seen generations do for years and know nothing else. Options, something that too many of us forget that we have, like the option or choice to turn right or left can have a lasting effect on us individually or as a society.
I will pursue my work - with many more bumps, twists ad turns in my road than I want to admit - that is life and the sooner and earlier one becomes aware of the olutcome of making good and bad decisions the better chance to avoid crisis. Lastly, there is always a route back, however windy, the path is always there for those who seek it out.