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Lunch money

Lunch money

Responsibility (h/t reader Danelle):

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, at least not at the Rescue Mission of El Paso.

The Rescue Mission, at 1949 W. Paisano, is now charging $1.50 for each lunch and dinner. Breakfast remains free.

“Certainly the budget is tight, but that’s not the reason,” CEO Blake Barrow said. “It’s more about changing the atmosphere of how we operate.”

Barrow, who has headed the shelter for about 15 years, said the new policy was implemented March 19 primarily to encourage those who stay or eat at the mission to take on more responsibility and pride in their temporary home.

“After 15 years, I keep seeing the same thing. Most everybody’s got some resources, not much, but some,” Barrow said, referring to those who receive government assistance or have other forms of income, however minimal. “Unfortunately, many of our guests come for the free meals, then walk up to the 7-Eleven and buy a Big Gulp, cigarettes and stuff like that.”


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The beginning of wisdom, perhaps!!!

Like the woman who won the lottery, bought 2 homes and still collects welfare. Sick.

Oh, them heartless Texans!!!!!!

Born and raised in El Paso. Good to hear. We all must have some skin in the game.

I’ve never seen a homeless person or someone on welfare who can’t afford smokes.

The psychology/counseling field has research at least as old as the 1990s that shows that clients are more invested, and therefore counseling is more effective, when they have to pay something (even if it’s only $1), as opposed to getting free therapy.

Knowing the field I’m in, however, I doubt that most counselors would agree with The Rescue Mission’s decision…

    nordic_prince in reply to Velcro. | April 8, 2012 at 5:47 am

    The same thing is true for physical health care, I’d wager – but of course the fools clamoring for Obamacare would never admit to it.

I agree with the strategy but the meals are still too cheap. Should not three meals per day not cost the same, at least, as a half a pack of cigarettes?

Velcro, I’m a psychiatrist and your comment is on the money, so to speak.

After 15 years, you probably know who is really bankrupt and those who have some resources.

Judas stole from the poor box. This sort of thing, people eating their “free” meal and then having money to go to 7-11 to buy a Big Gulp and smokes, makes others say “Why bother?”. I don’t mind supporting widows and orphans, those down on their luck or disabled. But I object to supporting professional freeloaders.

That’s a smart move. In the same way our income tax system is stupid. Everybody earning some amount of income should pay taxes. Not saying the taxes need to be high. Just pay “something”.
Nor are they necessarily paid for “keeps”. But without the paying of some taxation there is no sense of governance or ownership. Velcro is spot on. When things are free they are treated like trash. I like the idea. And there should be all sorts of ways to earn meal chits doing chores around a mission. I see no hardship here, although I’m sure our betters look askance at this development.

That “Big Gulp” is more likely to be comprised of a flask of booze OR a jug of wine OR a paper bag shrouded can of beer.

Other than that, the mission is on the right track. There shouldn’t be a free lunch anywhere!

I am met a homeless woman a while back who is truly down and out at a tea party event, no less. She has a job, it just doesn’t pay enough to support herself.

I think she would like this idea. Since I have been trying to help her I have seen for myself, while programs to feed and give temporary housing are nice, it doesn’t solve their real problems. There are few, if any, programs that are truly designed to help them not be homeless anymore. Just people giving them band-aids.

She blogs about her experience. It is an eye opening look at what it is like to be one of the homeless that is not addicted or mentally ill. You won’t look at the homeless the same way after reading it. The facts are the majority of homeless are more like her than you think. Many have jobs, most have phones, and many have cars.

I can’t remember the blog address, but if you are interested, google homeless and conservative. That may even be the address.

Happy Passover, Professor

Let us not forget that we treat the poor so well in this country, they can’t afford not to be poor. Most of the benefits have an income threshold: earn too much and you lose the benefit. Graduating the free benefits to ease the beneficiaries to life without them, might be a good idea.

I know of plenty of responsible parents who make their adult, live at home children, pay rent. Sort of conditions the child into managing their money, and prepares them for when they have a real land lord.

    barbara in reply to Milwaukee. | April 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    “Most of the benefits have an income threshold: earn too much and you lose the benefit.”

    It’s worse than that. The low-income housing charges more money for rent as an occupant starts earning more money, so they’re never able to save enough to get out. I’ve been in low-income “apartments” (2-room rat-traps to me) that actually were costing the occupant more than a regular apartment would cost.

    I understand not letting people live there who can afford to live someplace else, but as a occupant starts earning more money, they could “charge” that person more with the understanding (and written contract) that the extra money was going into a savings account for that person, who would have to move out when the savings account had accumulated enough for them to afford a stardard place.

    It’s a racket designed to assure jobs for the social services people. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about the people indentured to their apartments.

      JoAnne in reply to barbara. | April 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      “It’s worse than that. The low-income housing charges more money for rent as an occupant starts earning more money, so they’re never able to save enough to get out.”

      Yes, you are so right. I learned the hard way while trying to wrest my niece and nephew from their schizophrenic mother who was on welfare. If she got better, they would expect her to go to work and would lower her benefits. Even heavily medicated, she was barely able to keep it together so she would just go off her meds, get hospitalized, have all her benefits restored, get her kids back and the same cycle would start again and go on for another 2-4 years.

      I finally got my niece and nephew into the foster care system with me as the foster parent. It was an eye opener, as people would assume that I was also on welfare (they were on MediCal). Until I learned the ropes and started each conversation with, “I’m not the one on welfare,” it was the most degrading thing I’ve ever experienced. They would hand me forms to fill out that wanted to know how many TVs I had, if I owned a a car, etc., etc.. When I finally figured out these forms were for the two kids, aged 2 mo and 19 mo, I was dumbfounded. No, it’s not a way of life I’d wish on my worst enemy. No wonder these people have no pride.

PS – she had older kids from another man – just realized my post didn’t make much sense as to the kid’s ages and the time frame!