Change in Circumstances

—Alamance County, NC, resident—

So, I didn’t know my daughter’s dad was on welfare until she said something about it. Well, she didn’t know it was welfare; she asked me about a grocery store receipt. I’m like, “What? I mean, how does this man go from driving a Mercedes and living in a fancy house to welfare and food stamps?” So she was asking me about it, and then were on Medicaid. So I was like, I didn’t have a clue. No clue. Now imagine him. He wouldn’t even go into the Wal-Mart parking… He wouldn’t even go to Wal-Mart to grocery shop because there was no way he was going to be seen at the Wal-Mart parking lot. I mean, he was all, you know, Armani clothes and Harris Teeter shopping, and he drove the Mercedes convertible. Mind you that was bonded by the repayer place at 36% interest, because he was all about, “Look at me, look at me.” Now he hit rock bottom, has two children to feed. His wife is completely capable of working…. Well, I guess she has bipolar. There’s a lot of people that have bipolar, I have adult attention deficit but I still work, you know. You can medicate for that.

So, she’s never held a job for longer than two weeks. He was in a serious motorcycle accident and went through a lot of surgeries and a lot of therapy, yes, I’m sure his knee hurts. I had back surgery; I stand, all day long. But, you know, my child has told me, “Oh yeah, Dad goes to the backyard and plays lacrosse with me.” I’m like, “Wait a minute.” But then he goes to the doctors and walks on a cane. And he’s tried to get disability. He’s applied three times for disability. And I’m like, “How can you go out in the back yard and play lacrosse,” but he’s disabled. I mean he was denied, but they don’t care. You’d think he could get disability because he almost died in a motorcycle accident.

But, if the man can go out and play lacrosse in the back yard, there is a job for him somewhere. I don’t care if he sits at his desk, there is a job and he can do something. He’s not incapable of working. So they have now been on the system for a whole year that I know of. Well, this January it will be two years. Get a job.

“Cindy” is a hair stylist. She is Caucasian, aged 45, and was interviewed by Elon Student Jessica Elizondo on November 15, 2012.

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