My years in the school system, both as a teacher and administrator showed me that people overwhelmingly wanted a hand up versus a hand out. Back when paper checks were en vogue, before pre paid debits, check cashiers ruled. For example a family would get an assistance check, and have to pay 10 bucks to cash it because banks wouldn’t open an account to someone who didn’t have a job, or had a low credit score, etc. They also overwhelmingly had to pay astronomical prices for deposits for needed services -lights, gas-to get them turned on and extra monthly fees to retain them every month because of their income situation. If they weren’t living in section 8 housing, high deposits and those little extras added on to the rent which many slum lords charge eat away at their money. How can they save?
Now prepaid debits often have monthly fees, we in Georgia have utility companies which are called “last resort”. The public service commission has declared that they must provide services, but they are allowed to charge sometimes double therm rate to people. For instance I might pay .38 a therm and my neighbor who is already economically disadvantaged is charged .82 a therm. Where is the equity in that? Why can’t they advocate for the same rate?
Grocery stores in the “poor” areas of town cost more. But these stores are in walking distance as many don’t have transportation to get to a store where things are better/fresher/’more reasonably priced. Nope, they don’t own the land around their duplex to plant a full garden….
But these people are trying to exist, not game the system in any way, just need a hand up.