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Families on Welfare

After reading the article about welfare (“Money for a 6-Pack on Welfare?” Column One, March 4), I felt I had to speak up about the unfairness of Gov. Pete Wilson’s proposed AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) cuts. How can he say that cutting these families budgets can deter them from buying a six-pack? According to your article, food and shelter are the things that are going to suffer, not six-packs of beer!

I do not believe there is any real black-and-white answer for the “welfare problem” in our state, but I do believe that reaching children when they are young and letting them know there is another life out there can be the best deterrent.

Why make the children suffer for their parents’ actions? I really do not understand how welfare recipients can survive on their meager checks. I do not feel anyone should expect welfare to support them for a lifetime but sometimes people need help, through no fault of their own, and are we to deny them the help that they need?

I speak from experience, for I was raised by a single parent with six children. Welfare was something that all of my friends existed on, and when I was young my “dream” was to marry young, have plenty of children and live on welfare. Luckily, mostly because of a teacher I had who believed in me, I saw a different lifestyle. I opened my eyes and realized there is something out there you can work towards. I have worked for 10 years at my current job supporting three children, half of that time supporting them by myself. Yet I have no disrespect or ill feelings for welfare recipients, because I am lucky enough to have a job whereby I can afford (though sometimes it can be tough) to pay baby-sitting fees.

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We need to give these mothers a chance to educate themselves, going back to school with state-subsidized child care if need be. If we want them off the welfare rolls, we must be prepared to help them improve themselves. Let’s educate the young and tell children there is a better life out there.

DEBRA VASQUEZ

Covina


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