Do you think it is a good idea for people to do some kind of community service in order to receive welfare?
(At time of posting a poll linked on this article asking the question Should People Be Required To Perform Community Service To Receive Welfare? shows over 97% voted yes)
Bills Would Require Michiganders To Work For Welfare, Pass Drug Test ? CBS DetroitA bill has passed in the Michigan Senate that would require those receiving public assistance to do some ?volunteer? work. Another bill, which passed the House Commerce Committee, requires drug testing, revoking benefits for welfare recipients who refuse the test or who test positive.
?What [the legislation] does, it says, in order for your to receive your cash assistance, your welfare check, you must provide some kind of community service to the community,? said the volunteer work bill?s sponsor, State Senator Joe Hune, who represents Livingston and Shiawasse counties in Mid-Michigan.
Hune says he was inspired by a constituent who began to volunteer while on welfare ? and that community service evolved into full employment.
?The whole intention is to make certain folks have some skin in the game, and I don?t feel that there?s any problem with making folks go out and do some kind of community service in order to receive their cash assistance,? Hune said.
State Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, thinks the bills take aim at people who are already suffering their lowest moments.
?These people, they already need as much money as they can get, they wouldn?t be asking for it if they didn?t need it,? he said. ?It seems that this philosophy that everyone must have skin in the game, you know, it?s like you may have some financial issues, you may be down and out ? That kind of philosophy to me ? if you?re healthy bodied, I can see it ? but for a lot of people, I just think that it is very intrusive.?
How, specifically, would the programs work? Hune said he purposely designed the bill to be ambiguous.
?We ? kind of left it up to the Department of Human Services to implement it, kind of how they see fit,? said Hune. ?Sometimes when the legislature puts something in action and puts too many details in place, there can be problems with the system.?
The legislation would not affect those on food stamps.
The volunteer bill now heads to the House of Representatives? Families, Children and Seniors Committee, while the drug testing bill heads to the full House for a vote.
?A lot of people are embarrassed to even be there (asking for benefits), and they have this put on them ? It?s this feeling that ?This is what the public wants.? But the public doesn?t want to see people beaten down,? Gregory said.
Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013
I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson
No, I don't agree with it.
Unless someone is disabled or elderly, the intent of welfare is short term...correct? If they are busy with community service, how can they actively pursue work? When I went through a brief period of unemployment, I spent most of my days online viewing job openings or updating my resume or buying the local paper to scour for an opening. Job fairs and such are daytime events.
If they are disabled and elderly and cannot work can they effectively perform community service? Maybe/maybe not.
Drug testing...also disagree with. Until drug testing is a requirement for all employment then I would never back drug testing for welfare recipients.
Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)
Obviously poor people are more obligated to be charitable with their time than rich people.
Holy WTF. This is an abuse of power IMO.
ETA: I really hate this common mentality of "What else can we make the poor people do". Its not ethically right to 'make them dance' just because the govt has something that they desparately need.
Last edited by KimPossible; 09-19-2013 at 03:47 PM.
I agree with Kim and Jessica but I think they could offer the OPTION of volunteering and put people in touch with groups that could help them. If they could volunteer and do some skill building at the same time, as a voluntary thing, that would be great. But forcing people who are looking for jobs to take time out to volunteer and to "make them dance" as Kim says just feels wrong.
If we need better screening for who gets welfare, that's a separate issue.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 6 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
Wanna walk through the pearly gates? Be poor! You will donate your time to community service, never be able to touch a lick of alcohol or a cigarette, and you can only eat healthy items. The poor will soon live out the rich folk with all these knee jerk reactions to the welfare system. Long live the poor!
Oh and pretty soon someone will propose that gay couples shouldn't be allowed to receive welfare.
And what about those on welfare to supplement their minimum wage full time jobs? Do they have to do it too? I hope they don't have kids because those poor kids will never see mom and dad.
Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)
I guess it's different in Canada. Up here if you want to receive social assistance for the short term (Ontario Works), you have to agree to let them help you find a job. If you don't agree or fail to comply with their requests to find work, you lose benefits. Happened to my sister and her hubby. He's perfectly capable to work, but he is just lazy and doesn't want to. The program told him over and over, sent him letters, told him he had to attend job seminars and workshops, etc, but he refused or just didn't go and they cut him off benefits. I totally agree with their decision because I've known his family since we were kids and he can work fine, but he just doesn't want to. (But on a side note it sucks for my parents as they rent one of their rental units to them and now my sister can't pay rent and thus my parents are having financial issues...**sigh**)
Obviously different circumstances would dictate different coverage/requirements. If you are on social assistance because you can't work due to a disability, then I believe they try to find you work that you can do. If you refuse to do work that medically you can do even if disabled, they can also cut off your benefits. You have to prove you are looking for work or doing something actively to get off benefits at all times to keep your coverage up here as far as I understand.
I guess what you are asking though is volunteering. I don't know about forcing, but I know people who are on social assistance who could definitely benefit from such a system. I don't know if they do anything like that here, but volunteering is an excellent way to build your resume and often leads to full time work (I've received so many jobs from volunteering). If I found myself out of a job for whatever reason and the government was doing what they could to get me off benefits so I could work again, then I would totally take whatever they offer! But that's me maybe? I don't see anything wrong with the government forcing it on people, especially since I know so many people on benefits who are just sitting on their butts for no reason doing nothing day in and day out.
My (same) sister though is on social assistance benefits to take care of my severely disabled nephew as it would cost more for the government to supplement care for him than to pay my sister social assistance to do the job. In that case it makes financial sense and she doesn't have to look for work because of the situation. Although, she isn't really planning for the future at this time and eventually my nephew will need to be put in long term care when he's too big for her to care for. He's currently...9...and she is already having trouble lifting him out of his wheel chair or doing his personal care because he flails around a lot and she's not strong enough to restrain him. She is stubborn like her husband though and I suspect that when she is faced with the situation to find work or lose benefits, she will lose them because she has issues with authority.
So in all...I agree that people on some kind of benefit should be monitored closely to ensure they are trying to find work and/or volunteering.