I'm a 38 year old mother of 2, who lives and works in Lewiston Maine. I don't know what else you need
I find the fact that this state even has this issue at all, disheartening. Instead of posting [like so many others have before me] how the system is failing I would instead like to make a post of what I feel would help the people of Maine. We know its failing and we know mostly why, but what we do about it is what is important. Spouting off about what is fair and what isn't when it’s someone elses money is not helping the situation at all, even if it gives us the temporary satisfaction of being heard.
I wish there was a way to help them learn to take pride in what they do, take pride in being Mainers and bring back the feelings that Maine people are known for. Hard working and always willing to share whatever you have, that's what I grew up believing was everyone's goal. It wasn't till I moved to this city, that I found out what it was really like. I worked from the age of 13 [local farms nearby needed help and I needed to help support my family]. I was the oldest of six kids and felt it was my duty to help care for my family. My dad worked hard, but we still barely scraped by.
So that said here is my solution, I would love to see the system work like this; each and every person who depends on the welfare system as their sole source of income should be required to take a mandatory drug test [each month, before getting their check]...if it is not prescribed to you and its in your system, you loose your assistance [tobacco included] no exceptions. Maine-care now pays for quit smoking help so there is no excuse why you can't quit or find another way to pay for it. I am not against smoking [or even others using drugs], just against the state paying for it. Just this rule alone would cut assistance in half. There is assistance for those who want so desperately to get off drugs and other addictions as well, and those who don't should be required to pay their own way. You want to smoke and do drugs, great, do it with your own hard earned money, not with the government and states help.
Next, I feel that there should be some sort of work program that people could do, exchange volunteer hours for assistance. If companies and businesses can pay for someone to "job shadow" someone who is unable to work alone [which I think is awesome by the way] then they can assign people to do volunteer work as well. Maybe figure out a way to exchange one person free babysitting for another work at XYZ's store. This way no one is excluded. The elderly, the unfit, the disabled and the children would be excluded to a certain degree, but they should get a note from their Dr. stating that they cannot do anything, otherwise doing little things would help raise their self esteem, make them feel useful and loved and possibly even reduce anxiety and stress.
I also feel that teaching people how to cook and how to budget [shame on the parents who never taught them] so that they can make what they have go so much further. Instead of buying junk and running out before the month is over, buy good wholesome healthy food, and cook it themselves. If they aren’t working, why do they need convenience foods? I worked 2 full time jobs and still taught my girls how to cook, clean, etc. so that’s not an excuse either. Another thought that came to mind while writing this is that, as a part of this agreement, they would get a bus pass to the grocery store, so that they didn’t have to depend on running to the corner store all the time for overpriced foods and not enough variety, or friends and family who can barely pay their own gas, to take them.
I believe this should be something that a person could stay on for lets say two years and then they need to get a job, which they will have acclimated into by then. It would help so many and cost a whole lot less than what the system is paying out now. It would help the people of Maine feel good about themselves and help people have more respect for themselves and others. I wish all many blessings always and hope that some day things will change for the betterment of Maine’s People, and not just those who are in charge.
I find it amusing that a man who works for the government and gets tons of freebies for doing so as well as a hefty payroll, has such an issue with the government "handouts" as he calls them, being given to others. The state now offers assistance only to those who are already well below the poverty level, and many who need help cannot get help. I have worked all my life, already logging in more hours than most when retiring at 70. I started working when I was 13 and worked until I for one was left disabled while working 3 jobs [two 40 hour and one 32 hour] in a car accident 8 years ago. I am almost 40 and have nothing to speak of. People like LePage say I should get a job. Really? Where? How? I get a disability check [less than 10,000 a year] and only get 13 dollars in food stamps a month. But according to him I should get neither. Are you kidding me? I know not everyone on the system are like me [want to work but cant] but honestly it's harsh at best. I do understand that those who just don't want to work should be made to, and I do agree that those who are capable should be trained for jobs they can do, but I do not agree that people who need help should be cut off. This is just me, blessings Ruth
it is my personal opinion that it is not that this state is the least religious, it is that the state and its christian population will not recognize non christian religions and thus not count them in their "religious population count". To take a survey and say a specific percent is religious [or not] is unfair to the population that were not asked. In order to accurately say that the percent of the state is or is not religious, would mean you would have to ask every single person in the state. I have lived in Lewiston for more than 24 years and have only been asked to fill out a consensus paper twice. My answer [had I been asked this question] may have changed over the years depending on what was going on in my life as well. No one asked me what I did or did not believe in, so how can they claim this survey as accurate. What it should read is "Of the few people who answered the consensus on said year we researched" rather than 30% of the state, like it was a fact. Just saying, what about all the elderly and disabled who are home bound? What about the muslins? Or what about the booming pagan community? Were any of those people included in this survey? Ruth