Position paper on Forward: Making Ends Meet, How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work

Essay by frantoyaUniversity, Bachelor's June 2004

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In this reading, Christopher Jencks, proceeds to decipher the ongoing struggle of single mothers and their survival on welfare and low-wage work. "Making Ends Meet" discusses that almost all poor, single mothers supplement their regular income with some combination of off-the-books employment and money from relatives, lovers, and the fathers of their children. According to this excerpt, irregular income has a dramatic effect on our picture of welfare mothers' economic status. Some state that helping single mothers would just make them more numerous and rest the blame on them for the nation's social problems. Conservatives who share these viewpoints also believe that it is imperative to reduce the statistics of single mothers than to reduce material hardship (Jencks, 1999).

My position is I do not concur with conservative's beliefs that helping single mothers will increase them in numbers. However, I do agree there is a long unsettled struggle with the welfare system and the single mothers of America, but the only way to overcome this obstacle would be to present some aid or relief.

It seems that there is no bona fide method to advance in those situations. I had a comrade who was on welfare and lived in a Section 8 apartment complex. It seemed that all her focus was on how to better herself only to be knocked down and discouraged. She had a child of whom she received no support of any kind from the father, had no mode of transportation, and although she was a high school graduate, had no real skill. Not having transportation was the one avenue keeping her from attaining a steady job and becoming a reliable employee. I thought I was the answer to her tribulations and often went out of my way to be of assistance to her, especially when...