Do Homeless People Take Handouts?

I don’t take government money. At least I haven’t up to this point.

I don’t really judge people who do though, especially when I know they and their families have paid into the system for decades.

When my husband and I split up and I became virtually the only caregiver for my 2 young daughters, a friend suggested I go on welfare or food stamps or whatever. I hadn’t worked in a few years as I’d opted to be a stay at home mother. It was a sacrifice living on one income in Southern California but it was worth it to me. So I didn’t have much going for me career-wise when my marriage ended. I decided not to collect benefits though because I was afraid I would get used to it and it might make me lazy. I had heard about the “welfare mentality” and how people became accustomed to being given money etc. and even began to expect it and feel entitled to it. I didn’t want to become one of those people.

I know women who were in the same position as me and did take some help. Then once they got on their feet, they got training and decent jobs, then went off it. I think this is a great use of the system and I’m glad they did it. I just know my personality and my character flaws and decided it would be better for me and my family in the long term if I struggled through without government help. I needed to be “hungry” if you will, so that I would strive for something better. I advanced pretty well over the years and made decent money at times.

This is just MY story. Everyone has to decide for themselves what’s best. I should mention I did receive around $500 a month in child support (my former husband and I agreed upon this amount between ourselves without getting the state involved) and he also paid for their health and dental care.

So after having gotten through the hardest times financially, with two young daughters to take care of, I don’t really want to start taking government money now. If my family offers me money, that’s s different story. I will take it, but I don’t expect it. Again, this is MY story, my decisions and my telling you this is in know way a judgement of anyone who reads this. Do what you think is best.

I will say though that I don’t like it when people abuse the system. And I don’t like going into those offices. It makes me feel bad. And I am kind of proud of myself for resisting the temptation to take free money. I’m sorry if people don’t like it…but that’s the way I feel. Oh yeah, and as Charles mentioned, I like having the government in my business as little as possible. They are not my friends.

Thanks for reading.

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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5 Responses to Do Homeless People Take Handouts?

  1. Pingback: Living in a VAN down by the RIVER! - Self-reliance, homesteading, survivalism, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, permaculture, possible collapse, disaster scenarios, shelter, stock piling food - Page 57 - City-Data Forum

  2. Charles says:

    Everyone has to do it(life/live) their way. Unfortunately some people think their way is “the” way, one reason van dwelling is frowned upon, oh well. You should be proud of raising 2 kids alone, it’s tough, I had a daughter and 2 sons, they are doing well, pat on back. Like you most of that time was alone and they where late teens when I remarried, second time lasted 7yrs, single again, 3yrs now. Take care and keep posting.

    Life should be Fun

  3. Ryu says:

    Sounds good. Welfare can be addictive, I’ve also noted it. A little bit of material proverty might not be as bad as the mental poverty of being indebted to the state. Charity can be a very dangerous thing. If the acceptor becomes accustomed to it, he may be a victim forever.

  4. Sharon says:

    Maureen, from my experience, the “I’m going to do it myself whether I sink or swim” can be very good for you. It strengthens you and gives you the true self respect that comes only from accepting responsibility for your own survival. Especially under adverse circumstances.

    That being said, some people just can’t make it. I have a sister who can’t. I pity her and am glad food stamps and other help is available to her. But I do see an entitlement mentality creeping into her and it makes me sad.

    Where welfare shines is when it gets someone in desperate circumstances back on their feet so they can be proud of themselves for being a productive citizen again.

    So if you need help to get you over the hump and back on your feet, by all means accept it. That’s what it was designed to do.

    • Maureen says:

      Perhaps if my children’s father hadn’t paid child support, I would have taken gov assistance.

      I took a job that many people don’t care for. I was a telemarketer. Not the shady kind. I was eventually able to parlay that into a pretty good sales job that allowed me to move my children out of the ghetto.

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