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Funding Dysfunction

I’m a sucker for the clearance table at Walmart. While holding up a fairly nice shirt an older woman says, “Hey they don’t look too bad, I want one for myself!” I agreed with her and from there we fell just short of becoming blood sisters.

We talked about our kids; her son was adopted in the early 70’s at the beginning of the pill becoming popular and abortions starting “amass”. She was grateful to have had a chance to "save" him.

We talked about our crossed paths with "the system” and drug abuse; my husband and I being residential addiction counselors; her working in the prison system.

She said when she first got there and saw all the social security checks coming in she said, “Wow, I did not know there were so many retired people in prison.”

She quickly learned it was the inmates receiving benefits. I added that over the years we had our share of those on the system who routinely got their checks and blew it on drugs, gambling and sex until it was all gone in one weekend. Others who kept menial jobs because if they appeared doing well their benefits would end. This makes it hard for those who are trying to do it right. 

The smart and savvy know how to "work" the system while avoiding work. And those truly in need do not get it.

There are no places for the mentally ill who are on the street, not getting checks because they are unable to follow the complicated system that is supposed to help them.

For two years I was an aid for a client with cerebral palsy and was aghast watching what she had to go through with paper work and phone calls to the State! Due dates for services about to expire, because the state offices were late getting their mail out to her. They are not to blame either with all their personal cuts! It’s broken folks. Very broken. 

If it were not for the church ministries and non-profits supporting our communities, where would this end? Thank you! Bless you... Gretchen Maurer

gretchen maurer