"The Working Poor".

I had a point of inspiration/revelation this morning on my 3rd or 4th trip to the Food Stamp Office. I am the "working poor" now oh goody. I have been so frustrated this last month and actually to the point of being unhealthy due to the stress. It came to me this morning that last year while I was living in the van "Camping" by the gorgeous beaches of Santa Barbara and totally living off of the system that it was simply easier to not be working along with all the other stresses. I used to go to the gym everyday to shower and swim and just enjoy the beach and be healthy. (I worked on the website so I don't feel bad about living off the system I worked). Now I have to also manage a property and have a car to use to run a business not to live in. Whole different ball game! 

My personal situation now:  Now I have been in San Diego Ca. for the last six (6) months and I am working as a Property Manager for a small property. They give me free rent, utilities and about $500.00 a month as payment (which is fair). I still have to pay my Gas, Cell Bill/Food/Website(s), business expenses, etc... as you can see I don't make enough period. I am applying for SSI but I am 1 year+ away from getting a court date. I am disabled and have had 13 surgeries on my hips (grew to fast 6'8") from the ages of 13- to 21 years of age. I can't stand for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. This takes away the Staples jobs, etc... I need a sit down job and guess what they are not coming.. With my Father almost dying last month spending 29 days in the hospital, it put me in a downward spiral. I have my Ceramic Tattoo Art business that the State has so generously provided a grant of $8,500 for. BUT people are not buying a lot of art right now and I have ZERO money to market the business. Good old State of Ca. gives you $8,500 of tax payer (your) money with no fucken way to market the dam thing. So, I am relegated to Social Marketing along with the majority of broke Amercian's that are using this new form of free marketing. I like social marketing and doing websites so I am OK with that but it does not pay the bills (yet).

Back to the Food Stamp Issue: So my 3rd or 4th time this week to the food stamp office trying to get food stamps BACK, my big $124.00 per month. This by the way is after they charged me (the person in need) $124.00 one months worth of services because I did not fill out the form properly. So, I now have to go back wasting gas, time, etc... to try and get something that should HELP me right... Whatever... I think and would advise anyone in my position to say FUCK the "food stamp" thing if you are denied and just go directly to the churches for food. Easier... Along with the gas, money/time/stress/depression/frustration of going into this shit hole of a place... really not worth the trouble in my opinion. So now I am at home and have to ask for 2 pay stubs from my boss to go BACK and try and get my $124.00 (minus $10.00  a month) to pay back the month they said I owed them for not filling out the form right? WTF? I totally get not making it to easy on people cuz they would abuse it but this shit is ridicules right now in the current state of the economy. We are not talking about people that use the system we are talking about AMERICANS like me that need the food right now! Thanks for listening to my rant... Now I can go spend all afternoon at the Food Stamp place and maybe get an few oranges instead of eating bread today. Can you sense a little frustration.. ;)

Societies Expectations: This brings me to my other realization of my current place in society the "working poor". I am so grateful for this life lesson don't get me wrong. I am also glad to have some clarity on this today so I can put things in perspective.  I don't want this Blog post to be all about "ranting" I have realized that the people that really make the change in society are both Democratic and Republican. The point is that all people are different and it takes both kinds of people to make America great. The Democrats are the warm and fuzzy and the Republicans are the business minded. One is thinking with there heart and the other with there mind. Right now we are so polarized as a people because the world is in such conflict and change. Change is HARD and I personally HATE it. BUT it is necessary for growth and that is what we are going through right now. It makes me personally want the 50's back when the "American Dream" was so easily attainable and straight forward. You work at the same job, buy a house and retire. It sure as hell is not that way right now today! I am in a world that is so confusing that I would rather sometimes get out of society and live in the van again at the beach. It makes me want to give up and have the peace and serenity I found in the van, taking myself completely out of society for a while.  BUT I have a job to do because I  am a productive "Republican type" and need to make some shit happen. Love the Democrats don't get me wrong but this is my story ;)

Becoming a full time artist/homeless advocate has really given me some new insight on public perception of me. I am 6'8" tall and usually when dressed in a suit can demand great respect without trying at all. I was and have been very spoiled in that regard. NOW I am the "working poor". and it does not matter if I am 6'8" tall cuz I got no money man... Depending on my looks alone is not working right now.. It is good for me to experience this as well. I am learning a lot and hating every minute.. ;)

My plan going forward: It is hard today BUT we can make a change and I have not given up and will not give up. PRAY!!! LOL... Like the majority of "working Poor" do every day. My personal situation is like so many Americans right now. I am the lucky one though being single with no dependants. I sure don't feel lonely as I watch the news every day and see the decline. It actually inspires me to work harder on California Homeless Resources. I have realized about me (the Republican) that I NEED the challenge in my life and the "game" so I prefer to live on the edge and continue to live on the edge. I will do whatever it takes to bring California Homeless Resources to the people of California. This is my God work right now. I am blessed to know that and I will continue to be true to myself at all costs. Till next Bog Post...  
 
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Comments

Rev. Cynthia said…
Where's your CALL TO ACTION, Matt? Anyone who takes the time to read this whole thing might want to do something to help - how can they do that?

I'd suggest giving folks a way to donate to a "Starving Artist" - a p.o. box to mail checks or grocery gift cards to? Pottery for sale @ the lower end of the scale for others who are also "working poor" but may have a few extra bucks?
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