Over the weekend, I was watching the local news before going to bed.  A story they ran caught my attention and it had to do with the amount of government assistance that some people can get.

The news story centered on a single mother of 2 that lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Five years ago she didn’t have any alternative but to apply for welfare and government assistance.  Since that time, she has been trying to work her way off of welfare, but the system has sucked her in so deep that she’s not sure she can get out.  She told a local reporter:

If you’re gonna get something for free, are you gonna work for it?  It kind of sucks you in.  They feel like they’re hopeless.  They feel like they have no alternative.”

The news story went on to list the amount of government aid available to a single mother of two who makes $19,000 per year.  Mind you the figures vary from state to state, but this is what would be available in the Lancaster area:

  • Day Care – $14,976

  • Head Start Program – $13,400

  • Housing Vouchers – $7,148

  • Weatherization – $6,500

  • Heating Bills – $400

  • Cell Phone – $480

  • Land Line – $230

  • Legal Advice – $182

  • Food Assistance – $6,028

  • Medical Assistance – $6,045

  • Pell Grants – $5,500

  • Education Opportunity Grant – $4,000

  • SMART Grant – $4000

  • TEACH Grant – $4000

  • Tax Credit – $6,800

  • Tax Return – $1,900

The total government aid available totals up to $81,589.  Some of those are a one or two time assistance only and others are yearly.

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