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Old 02-09-2011, 12:19 PM
Location: Morristown, TN
1,754 posts, read 3,599,631 times
Reputation: 1328


Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
Giving individuals money does not work at all, because most people use that money, say it was $2,000, and they tie up more like $10,000 in debt using it, through new cars, rental TVs, couches, whatever else they can find.

We were actually discussing this with, of all people, a man who owns a buy here pay here car lot. Some people get that stimulus or that tax refund and think they're RICH- and drop it into the financed purchase of something that they, in all reality, cannot afford to pay for on a regular basis. Or else buy that big screen tv while their house falls down around them. We had (emphasis on HAD) friends that did that. Spent their money on toys (yes, in addition to real mountain bikes, they bought matchbox toys and action figures- and their only child was a teenager. Oh, and they both worked full time and made decent money too) and had a tarp over the washer and dryer because the roof of the laundry room caved in. (insert shaking head emoticon HERE)
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:45 PM
Location: Nashville, TN
2,031 posts, read 2,688,306 times
Reputation: 528
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
I've never seen a church that had a food pantry. I'm sure they are out there, but I haven't seen one in the places I have lived in Mass., Florida and Knoxville.

I've personally asked churches if they help with food and were told no, even in churches that I attended or were a member of. One once told me, down in Florida, that they have a program where you pay $14 and get some food, but you have to pay a couple of weeks ahead of time. That didn't help for that day, and I didn't have the money to pay.

I have a lot of very Christian friends on Facebook. When I told them we did not have any food for Thanksgiving, they all became silent except one that told me to try Goodwill. One friend, an atheist, offered money, and she was not financially in a good place.

Once again, this is not to say every church is like that, but so, so many are. I have watched them pass the plate for missions in another country and then look at you like you have two heads if you are in need.

But they don't pay taxes.

The only religious organization that I have seen that has helped anyone has been the Roman Catholics. I have seen them consistently live by the WWJD lifestyle. They don't blow their horn about it, though.

But, regarding the food stamp issue, whether it should exist or not is beyond what I have to say. I think there are so many small towns that are very bad off in this state. Knoxville may have an unemployment rate of 7 percent, but Scott County has a rate of around 19 percent. A lot of people in the state live generation to generation on public assistance or disability.

And no, I have never used food stamps. I would qualify for them now, even as a business owner.

Maybe, 2 mares, your churches in your area are use to helping their community. That is truly great.

I always wondered if a list like this existed. I notice that TN may have a large percentage but it didn't have a huge increase. That is in keeping with my theory that this has been the situation here for awhile.
I just moved to TN from L.A. last month and there are many churches in L.A. that have food banks (including the church I attended). I attended a non-denominational church. I received food from them two times when times were tough. My in-law's church (Baptist) provides the homeless a place to sleep and a hot supper once a week. The other churches in their area did the same on different nights so they never had to sleep outside.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:44 PM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,538 posts, read 46,113,418 times
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It was incredibly stupid of me to give out details of our particular plight. I apologize for anyone that I offended. There are more than a few people that are having a good chuckle over this, I am sure.

Anyway, since I went ahead and stupidly said something I will say that it is great that churches in LA help their fellow man. That's great. But it doesn't help my child right now.

I will also say that it has been my personal experience that churches rarely ever help. If they do in LA, then great, but none of the churches I saw in Massachusetts (all small towns), Fort Myers, FL or Knoxville, TN do. There was one food bank run by Roman Catholics in Bonita Springs, FL did. I have a few comments about how it was run, but it is simply not pertinent to this discussion about this state so it doesn't matter.

I may have missed some. Believe me, I wish I didn't. Surely, there are churches that help the poor. But it has been my experience that most do not but do overseas missions. That's there business.

I also wonder, sometimes, if the people that want less handout programs also make sure they give to their favorite charity or are quick to help their neighbor. I know that when I have it, I give it. I'm all for less government and I hate entitlement programs but I often see people that scream the loudest about such things are the same crew that will shut their door in someone's face the fastest.

Just "food" for thought.

And if anyone is wondering, no, we did not apply for food stamps. We don't believe in "entitlement" programs, but our daughter is getting free lunch now. In fact, we are bringing her early to school tomorrow so she can get breakfast.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:26 AM
14,941 posts, read 26,665,395 times
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I have had to delete several posts that were off topic. Please re-read the OP and post accordingly. Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:33 PM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,538 posts, read 46,113,418 times
Reputation: 13304
I still can't get over the chart that LauraC dug up. I've been looking for something like that for quite awhile. It confirms what I thought about this state. There are a lot of very, very poor areas where things have not changed in generations.

I use to work at a cable company. More than a few times I had people tell me that they were entitled to cable. I've been told there are laws that guarantee they can get it. I've been told they were going to call the FCC and the attorney general.

I was not the only one at the company that got such calls, either.

Methinks that if they think they are entitled to cable that they think they are entitled to a heck of a lot more. Usually the same people would voluntarily tell us they were on disability. I could go on and on about such calls but I suspect most people get the idea.

I think one of the worst things that entitlement programs did was it gave people an "out." Oh, I don't mean the recipients. I mean the average citizen could easily turn their head and comfort themselves that there was help for everyone and he no longer need to be concerned. I recently had a man tell me that there is no such thing as a child going to bed hungry in this country due to all the government programs. Nothing is further from the truth.

Yes, people can move to get better jobs or opportunities. That's why we are here. I've moved from Mass. to Florida and now to Tennessee. We've tried to make a go of a business and thank goodness my husband has a trade. That has always kept him going.

I'd like to write about that trade. My husband worked full-time at night while he went to trade school for two years. However, due to a Florida state program they did pay his tuition. He also had the "luxury" of living with his parents although he did pay them rent.

I think the key is educational programs and jobs, perhaps a partnership. Bill Haslam is a very smart man, not one to give into partisan politics. Let's hope something is done.

I know that lately I've been searching for perhaps a training program for myself. I'm almost 50 and surely it is ridiculous but at this point I must qualify for something. Unfortunately, I am not finding very much. I am eyeballing a paralegal program at Pellissippi but that doesn't put food on the table and a roof over our heads right now and I fear by the time I jump through all of those hoops it will be too late. Of course, I thought that my entire life.

We took a chance with this business because there wasn't much else we could do. The economy is rough out there. Sometimes things don't work out, though. We put $30,000 in and we are going to lose everything. Oh, well.

But, if we lose the entitlement programs everyone is going to have to pitch in. I wonder if people are willing to do that. Maybe deriding entitlements and saying prayers are more beneficial than actually rolling up your sleeves and doing something.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:31 PM
107 posts, read 265,296 times
Reputation: 143
I used to work as an eligiblity examiner for the Idaho Dept. of Health & Welfare. When I took the job, I thought I would be helping truly needy folks. In reality that job drove me nuts when I saw people getting FS aid and living in the brand new subsidized apartments (they paid $86.00/month) while at the same time they had cable with all the premium channels! (They had to show us their wages & their bills so that we could work up an adjusted income figure and they argued that cable w/HBO & Showtime were "basic rights"). Heck, I lived in the dumpy apartment complex and I had rabbit ears for my T.V. because I chose to spend my meager wages on food and electricity. I couldn't even get some folks to show up for a 30 minute meeting, once every six months, so that I could authorize their continued benefits.

As for churches, I have a friend that is Mormon and he told me that his church does have a "food bank" that they use to help members in need. In turn, the folks that receive the food must help out in some way... i.e. clean the church, help with work projects, whatever they are physically capable of doing, etc. That way they "earn" their food and it is not a handout. I think that is a fantastic way to help people feed their family, but still allow them to keep their heads held high. I truly believe in helping people that can't help themselves (especially if they have health problems), but handing out money to folks that just don't care to put forth any effort to work or to those that can somehow afford cable, beer, cigarettes, lotto tickets, pizza delivery, etc, etc, etc drives me nuts.
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