Minimum wage jobs are better than no jobs at all, when you have to depend on welfare. There is no comparison in the actual amount of income. Working, one always has a chance, as well, to promote, to gain experience, to be ready for the next opportunity. Jobs do get normal people off the streets. The ones who won't get off the streets are people with other than just money problems. Depending on where you live, you might also get state/county healthcare, but then again everybody gets medical care for free when needed. No hospital ER will refuse you, and if you need lengthy care, they will transport you to the County Hospital.
Husbands and wives, making minimum wage, will most probably both work, and that will certainly be enough to find a decent place to live. Minimum wage in California is $12, that's just under $4,000 a month for two people combined. A great part of the affordable housing problem is the illegals. They have taken up pretty much all of it. But a family with a minimum wage income can still afford a one bedroom apartment. Oh my, they might be crowded. But so were my parents in their one bedroom with me, my sister, and my grandmother. They made it work. I expect the minimum wage family will, too.
Single people often rent rooms in others' homes. The going rate now is approximately $1,000 in the better parts of town, or less depending on the location. Some we know have separate entrances, some have guest houses.
If there are children, there is also other aid, especially food stamps, and there are also extra benefits for working people if they make under the limit. There are child care benefits. Cell phones are given free of charge and usage is free.
If the budget is really small, it might not be enough to include a car. But the Dept. of Transportation sells bus passes that are very reasonable. I believe there is a further transportation benefit to those below the line. Not as convenient as a car? No, but you can get where you need to go. Most of New York depends on public transportation, I did when I lived there.
I'm not ignorant of what's going on. I myself was in that situation at the time of my divorce. A single mother with four small children, and a part-time entry level job.
My children came home because they got divorced and lost their jobs all in the same year of the 2008 crash. They both came from expensive homes, one daughter in particular, who lived in a 6 bedroom, 7 bath home on horse property (in L.A. that's a big deal) next door to Ed Asner. It was a two story with a Gone With the Wind driveway, a football field lot, newly built and right out of House Beautiful. There was no way she could afford to stay there after the divorce. Both girls came home to sort out their lives until they could get new jobs, but Mike got sick soon after. They were needed, and decided to remain.
I haven't changed my tune about affordable housing being taken up by illegals. That's a fact. My daughters, had they not decided to stay to help me with Mike, would have probably rented a 2 bedroom apartment with each other or a roommate. That's common here when people are single. My other single children had at various times, rented lovely 3 or 4 bedroom homes with roommates. Infact, prior to getting sick, Mike and Stacey had rented such a home with a lovely middle-aged lady who arranged transportation for the movie studios. She and Stacey had been friends and roommates in a home before, for many years.
What makes you think I'm wealthy? Because I have a home in an upscale neighborhood? I knew real estate, I got in at the right time in the right neighborhood. My community is wedged in between Bell Canyon, Hidden Hills, and Calabasas, none of which were what they are today when I chose this neighborhood in the very early 60s. I am quite well off on paper, and my children will be when this house is sold, but hopefully, that won't be anytime soon.
My children all lived well on their own, until the divorces, the loss of jobs, and Michael's devastating illness, all three happening at once and making it a good reason to remain here. It is very insulting of you to state they could not afford to live on their own, and untrue, except remaining single, they would not live as well as they had when married. But that is true of most single people. One income is not as good as two.
If you are referring to Bert as a stranger, that isn't what he was or is. That is your assessment, cold as your assessments always are. He was Stacey's boyfriend for quite some time, and they were living together when I needed her home. They came here together to help. Mike was happy that Bert would be here, he told me that Bert would do what he no longer could, which was all the chores that men do to maintain a house. And that's the way it's been. He's been a great help, maintaining the place and fixing whatever's needed. He cooks a mean hamburger. He won't let me unload a bundle, nor drive a dusty car. He runs all sorts of errands and takes Mike with him. Do you know what that's worth? That Mike has someone to help him get out of the house when possible. Bert isn't, as you say, a stranger. And by the way, he has a married daughter living in London now, but when she was still a teen she would come here to visit and we grew to love her.
You wrote that most people like my kids will end up homeless, or living in places we can't even imagine. Where do you get that from? Your son would do well to end up as well financially as any one of my four.
You wrote you doubt I have driven the backroads of America, so have no clue. I have been driving up and back and in and out the backroads and frontroads of the country since I was a child, first with my father and then with my first husband, and then with Bob. All the men in my life loved a good adventure, and we went adventure seeking both on weekends and long vacations to every part of this country. And I married Bob in Mexico, and we traveled the backroads there, too, on a month long honeymoon and in the years thereafter. And after he died, I traveled with Mike, who was another adventurer, a hiker and mountain climber, until he was struck by Parkinsons.
You wrote you don't think I know much about this country. I believe I have a greater knowledge of much of this country than you, because I am active in all sorts of affairs, and have contacts of all kinds and all ages, friends and family living all over. I like people, and I keep in touch. I won't be like you and say that you don't, but it has occurred to me.
« Back to index