Welfare isn’t a dirty word

As I prepared this column addressing common objections to “welfare,” I wanted to speak to a public figure with strong negative opinions about our human services support system. Because Republicans have been most vocal in their criticisms, I looked to the party’s new chairman. But, after the new voice of Maine’s Republican Party, Richard Cebra, […]

Poverty changes how I think

There are many reasons I don’t fit neatly into the world of real poverty. But recently I learned why I have sometimes felt like I’m walking around in the “Twilight Zone”: Despite living with too little money, I still assume I should and always will be planning for my future. “Scarcity changes how people allocate […]

Not all about money: When the poor are too tired to fight

I’m receiving food stamps, but I’m not really poor. Even when I had only $7 in my bank account, no gas in my car, and no expected income for weeks, I wasn’t poor. The times I considered going to food banks, but felt too ashamed to do it, I wasn’t poor. And when I applied […]

On being newly poor: The humiliation, relief of public assistance

In addition to facing dozens of prostitution charges, has anyone noticed that the Zumba instructor from Wells also has been charged with deception in connection with allegedly collecting public assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families at the princely sum of a couple hundred dollars a month? I sure could use a couple hundred dollars […]