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If you are reading this, you probably asked the question “how did I get here” a million times. I know I have. Poverty is a struggle that transcends all races and religions. Any struggles seem to be magnified if facing them as a low-income family. Maybe you’re here because you lost your job suddenly, maybe you are facing medical issues or it could be that you are unable to find a job. Whatever your situation is, you are welcome here.
I know how hard it is to have chosen which bill to NOT pay each month. I know what it’s like to live off of the cheapest meals you can find. I know what it’s like to cry at night over the balance in my bank account.
I never made the choice to live in poverty. I don’t think many people do. I went to college to pursue a degree to become a paralegal. My plans were to continue on and go to law school after that. That didn’t happen. I got married young and went through a horrible, abusive marriage. Right after my ex-husband decided to walk out on me, I learned that I was pregnant. He refused to provide any sort of support to me during the pregnancy. Even going as far as to quit his job and cancel my health insurance. I had a complicated pregnancy that left me unable to work through most of it. As the medical bills piled up, I swallowed my pride and walked in the county assistance office.
When I looked around, I saw different types of people. I saw the elderly. I saw the young. I saw people dressed in rags and people dressed in their best. To be honest, before that I assumed that everyone who was on welfare was some sort of “welfare queen” living off of the government for fun. I was so wrong. No one else wanted to be in that office any more than I did. We were all there because it was the last option we had.
After I delivered my daughter and healed, I began to look for work. I was appalled at the cost of childcare. It was impossible for me to find a job that paid enough to cover the costs of childcare. (I didn’t realize there was childcare assistance available!) It was then that I started to look at options I could do from home. There were many nights I stayed up crying and praying that I could figure out how to support this little person that was totally dependent on me and me alone.
Thankfully, things can change.
It is now five years later. I’ve been with my current “lobster” for five years now. (If you don’t get the lobster reference, you must go watch Friends). I’ve learned how to make a dime stretch into a dollar. I’ve learned how other people make an income from home. And most importantly, I’ve learned that poverty doesn’t define anyone as a person. I feel as if I’m ready to share what I’ve learned now. Hopefully, I can spare someone the headaches that I went through trying to figure it all out.
I’ve been at the bottom of the income ladder. I’ve climbed slightly higher up and fell back down again. And so the cycle goes. I would often find myself on the internet searching for ways out. I didn’t find much information and what I did find was confusing. I hope to break some of the information out there down in a way that is easy to understand.
I fully believe that the church should support the poor and disabled, not the government but this country isn’t there yet. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people who accept help do not make it a “career”. Rather, the majority of people only stay on assistance for a few months.
I have a free e-book that the above information is listed in. I wrote it as a way to help families in poverty find the assistance they need. Throughout the next week or two, I’m breaking apart the book into easy to manage blog posts. It’s occurred to me that not everyone is interested in reading about all of the different ways to get help. By breaking it apart into blog posts, anyone can easily pick and choose the posts that are applicable to them. Of course, if you do want the information in a book format, that is always available for my email subscribers.