It’s A Crying Shame

This past Friday when my daughter, Shantel, and I were on duty at Maggie’s Place where we volunteer to help with house coverage by answering the phone, taking in donations, and bonding with the new moms and their precious, newborn babies…we became aware of a “new” rule the department of economics services (DES) implemented. Among other things, DES helps low-income moms get their children into daycare while the moms are working. I thought I was dreaming when two of the moms, I call them (J) and (I) came out of their rooms crying. They both had their babies in their arms. I asked what was wrong and mom (J) told me she was being forced to take her baby to daycare right then, at 11:00 a.m. but she didn’t have to be at her part-time job until 4:00 p.m. I asked who was forcing her to take the baby to the daycare so early and she said “DES” pays for my daycare but my baby has to attend full-time, which is a ten-hour day, or they won’t pay at all…

Mom (J) was sobbing and saying she wanted to keep the baby home with her as long as she can because when she works the night shift, she doesn’t get to see her baby awake that much…she said she has questioned DES and the daycare repeatedly to see if something else could be worked out but they insist the baby must be in daycare for a full 10 hour shift or be cut off completely from the program. DES says they won’t pay for hours when the baby isn’t there so it’s all or nothing even if mom (J) has to take her child to daycare and leave her there while mom (J) is back home waiting (in this case over five hours) until it’s time for her to be on her part-time job. Some moms would love that…but not this mom. She is very dedicated to her baby and wants to spend all the time she can with her. Mom (J) said she called her father to ask what he thought she might be able to do and all he said was “I don’t mind paying taxes to help people like you, if you really need help to get up on your feet, but it pisses me off to find out I’m paying taxes for something you don’t even need all the time…” then he just hung up on her.

The other mom, (I), was crying because she has been offered a part-time job but can’t get her baby into the same daycare because there are not available spots open…she’s crying because if she can’t find daycare she won’t be able to take the part-time job she has been offered which would be working in the morning hours…and if she doesn’t have a job, she won’t be able to get permanent housing when she leaves Maggie’s Place in a few months.

I still can’t even wrap my mind around how stupid these government agencies are with the insane rules they come up with and force helpless people to comply with…wouldn’t you think a better thing to do would be for DES to purchase a block of time at any given daycare they contract with then let moms on the DES program do something like a time share on an as needed basis based on their work schedules which can be confirmed by the documentation of the hours worked…? Would that just be too simple and easy or am I missing something? As it is now, one mom has more morning daycare hours than she really needs, but another mom can’t get her baby into the same daycare in the mornings while she works her part-time job because there are no vacancies… because mom (J’s) baby is filling that vacancy while both mom (J) and mom (I) are sitting at home crying… What’s wrong with this picture???

It really was a crying shame all the way around.

P.S. In one of my previous posts, about my dealings with Social Security, one of my dear friends suggested I write a letter to the Editor of the newspaper because it might make me feel better…I took that advice and attempted to write an on-line letter using the platform they provide…well.., you are only allowed 200 words and when I realized I had gone over that limit…I tried to edit my letter but was thrown out and given a message I would need to start all over again…talk about pouring salt into an already open wound… I left that little exercise even more frustrated than I was before I started the letter of venting…:)

Stay Tuned!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Mar 23, 2013 @ 21:39:50

    For fuck’s sake. You’re only allowed 200 fucking words? Pardon my language but that is fucking ridiculous.


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