Reality

by jhwygirl

Reality.

This makes me mad. And sad.

Crooks works. The work he does – for AmeriCorp Vista – isn’t easy; it helps the community and Montana; and is woefully underpaid, at that.

AmeriCorp Vista’s mission? VISTAs commit to work for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency with a focus on fighting illiteracy, improving health services or strengthening community groups to bring individuals out of poverty. The program provides him with a small paycheck every other week, but it’s not enough to pay for all necessities so he, and most VISTAs, qualifies for SNAP

More Montana citizens receive federal assistance to pay for their groceries than ever before.

The number of recipients has climbed steadily every month for the past two years, with 12 percent of the state population receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

In May of this year, 116,368 Montanans received money for food. During May 2008, there were 80,911, according to Linda Snedigar, administrator for the Human and Community Services Division of the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

I hope our Senator John Tester reads this – two months ago he proposed cutting $25 a week from the food stamp program.


  1. DFTC

    America: Since 2001, the top 1% of Americans increased assets by 3.7% to 37.1%. Bottom 80% lost 3.3% to 12.3%.

  2. mr benson

    “Volunteers in Service to America”

    It’s voluntary poverty, eh?

    Volunteering to go out and do some “public service” isn’t meant to provide a livable income.

    So he’s a bad example in an otherwise good program.

  3. mr benson

    “The 22-year-old from Oregon earned an engineering degree in 2009, but joined the national service program after graduating for lots of reasons.

    “In short, I wanted to do something completely different from engineering,” Crooks said. “Working at a nonprofit that helps people with civil legal affairs seemed like a good fit for that.”

    A good fit, except of course, it didn’t actually pay enough to live on, like engineering would. And what were those “lots of reasons”, none given, other than “I want”. Don’t choices have consequences?

    Didn’t I just read about this guy in the NYT? What’s next, move back in with the ‘rents? And is he “22” or “24” as it says elsewhere in the article? “The 24-year-old AmeriCorps Vista had ingredients at home to make tacos and spaghetti ”

    I’m sorry but the article is pathetic. I’m not sympathetic. I understand about extended adolescence, been there myself, but I’m not sympathetic.

    • klemz

      Hey Jackass, it doesn’t sound like either of those two kids are complaining. Plenty of recent grads do work like this before taking real jobs. When you’re 22, it’s really not that hard being poor, and the idea behind AmeriCorps is to live like the people you’re helping. Character development and all that. Sure beats joining the Army.

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Reality « 4&20 blackbirds -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jhwygirl, Hasalyn Harris. Hasalyn Harris said: RT @jhwygirl: Reality: http://wp.me/puC4-3ub <Do you know Jon Tester? Please pass this on to him. Thank you very much.> […]




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