Thursday, September 29, 2011

In 24 Hours, 600 Muskegon Families Will be "Encouraged" to Go Homeless

In 24 hours, 600 Muskegon families will have nothing. No safety net. No state help. No way to pay for utilities, or rent, or clothing, or toiletries, or diapers for their children. Nothing.

Some brilliant new law concocted by our conservative State legislature to slash the eligibility time for cash assistance and make it retroactive, maybe just to punch the children of single mothers in the gut a few more times. POW, POW, POW.

The theory goes like this:

The goal of ending cash assistance, state officials said, is to encourage people receiving cash assistance to get jobs and prevent dependence on government.

Got that?

The GOAL of ending cash assistance NOW at THIS TIME, RIGHT NOW, the reason it HAD to be done RIGHT NOW was to "encourage" people.

To "encourage" them!

Th "encourage" them to "get jobs".

Just like that. "Go on, now..." says Snyder " can do it. YOU can DO it! Go on now! FLY, my pretties, be FREE!"

This law "encourages" people to find jobs.

You know, like how punching somebody in the jaw "encourages" them to see a dentist.

Of course...he's sort of "encouraging" these individuals, mostly single mothers with multiple children, to march out into a jobs field where even highly educated, experienced workers with tons of free time and no children have been having trouble finding work for years....a jobs market that has U6 unemployment numbers of 20%.

What I'm trying to say here is, maybe NOW isn't exactly the best time to "encourage" people by tossing them and their children into the streets.

Andrew Stone, employment and training manager at Michigan Works in Muskegon and Oceana counties, said the job search agency will hold nine weeks of workshops in October and November about the basics of finding and keeping a job.

“Are there enough jobs out there to absorb those people now? I can just bluntly tell you no,” Stone said.

On the bright side, this move is saving the state $65 million dollars. And just in time for that new flat tax on Michigan businesses and blow a 2 billion dollar hole in the Michigan budget.

Catholic Charities of West Michigan President and CEO Deborah Nykamp said a few people get into a cycle of dependence on government assistance, but children are likely to suffer when their families run out of benefits. About one in five Michigan children live in poverty, she said.

“I never thought I would see poverty like this in my lifetime,” she said. “Kids raised in poverty are less likely to be successful. You're going to see a bigger gap between the haves and have-nots.”

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