It’s the Good Friday feeling. When your marriage comes undone. When your beloved partner lies rotting with cancer. When your company implodes. When your brave son or daughter is blown apart in a senseless war or splattered on a windshield by a drunken driver. It’s what the abandoning and abandoned disciples felt that day, back there in Jerusalem, looking up at a broken, tortured and dead body, hanging on a tree trunk, the dirt below reddened with blood.
Seven years ago, she was homeless, addicted and lost. But she found one of those programs that is so out of fashion these days, and they helped her get sober and get a job. It’s not a great job: she starts her workday at 5:00 AM, makes the minimum wage, and she works really hard. There’s no extra money, and her idea of a great day is sitting at home, curled up on the couch, reading.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s just that I keep hearing on the news where they are going to take away my insurance. I’m on the kidney transplant list and when they do that, I’m going to die. I don’t have any way to pay thousands of dollars for a new kidney. Why do they want to take away my insurance?”
Homeless people have it easy: they get free meals, free clothes, free medical care at the Free Clinic, a free ride. We have to pay, through the nose, for all those things. Sure, they live under bridges, or crowded like stacked firewood in shelters, or under dirty blankets behind the Dumpster. But life is a choice, and they choose to live like this. At least that’s the prevailing narrative.
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, … Continue reading Ash Wednesday: Stuck in the Middle
Percent of South Carolina able-bodied parents on TANF (welfare) who are required to work or be in vocational training for at least 30 hours per week: 100 Number of months a South Carolina family may receive TANF in a 10 year period: 24 Number of months in a lifetime: 48 Number of teen parents under 18 who receive … Continue reading The Deacon’s Index of South Carolina Welfare Facts
I get a lot of calls from people who are worried about other people that they know—someone who's lost a job or who's behind in their rent or who needs to get a prescription filled and they don't know where to get help. I have the privilege of working with a group of talented and … Continue reading Tales From Desolation Row: God bless the child that’s got his own health care.
My name is [withheld], I live in Westminster SC (Oconee County) and I was just wondering if you know any where that provides dental work for low income families I am willing to travel some where if need be.I was going to apply for Medicaid I had to wait for our birth certificates to come … Continue reading Letters From Desolation Row, SC (part II)
Every single day I hear from people around the state of South Carolina who are not getting by. I've always gotten letters like this, but now they come in waves. Here's the latest from Desolation Row.I never thought I would have to write a desperate plea for help like I am doing and if you … Continue reading A Letter From Desolation Row