mother nature (momforall@yahoo.com)
Mon, 24 May 1999 16:31:14 -0700 (PDT)

Debbie Clarke<dclarke@mhpfund.com>
cc:  hpn@aspin.asu.edu"

Re:  letter of May 14, 1999

Dear Debbie,

Sorry so long in getting back to you.  1st:  Thank you for doing what
you are doing with the new women's group.  It's a noble endeavor and I
wish you the very best.  2nd:  About the Web pages.  Go to
geocities.com and click on "free web pages."  Sign up - it is free.  I
have three pages and this is a good starting point for beginners with a
lot of support from geocities' techs'.   3rd:  Just a suggestion from
someone who has been in multi-- media for 20 years.  Your
organizational name is everything.  Unfortunately "Roofless Mothers"
has a rather negative connotation.  I would suggest a name that shows a
real fighting spirit and a force that must be dealt with.  Have you
heard of MADD?  4th:  An issue that needs to addressed perhaps by your
fledgling group.  The issue:

No one on welfare is receiving minimum wage.  The government has set
the minimum living wage at $6.00 an hour.  How is it then, that welfare
recipients receive less than that?  The federal government is violating
minimum living wage law!  

I received 47 cents an hour on welfare and $120 in food stamps.  Food
stamps do not qualify as spendable income.  Food stamps do not pay the
rent or utilities nor buy the necessities that establish or maintain a
standard of civility.  Food stamps do not buy vitamins, gas, insurance,
shampoo, aspirin, Band-Aids, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush,
deodorant, razor blades, hair brush, laundry soap, bleach, dish soap,
paper towels, baggies, aluminum foil, bath towels, wash clothes,
cleanser, toilet brush, cat food, dog food, fish food, bird food,
candles for a birthday cake, Christmas cards, postage stamps, a
telephone call, an eye brow pencil, a mocha, film or a camera.  

I can't sell the food stamps for cash to buy these things so I live
like an animal at the governments mandate.  47 cents an hour is
uncivilized and a violation of the Federal minimum living wage law.

We are refugees in our own country.  Oddly enough there is little
difference between us and the Kosova refugees.  If anything, as US.
citizens, we are worse off.  The Kosova refugees' dilemma is at least
recognizable and a solution is being addressed.  Displaced, dismembered
Americans are not so lucky and are continual, with intent and malice of
forethought by our own government, inflicted with unreasonable inhuman

The fight must be that every person is guaranteed a livable income as
is the standard set by the US. government to be minimum wage.   No
excuses it is the Law!

A personal note; if it helps your cause you may certainly use it.  

I am a mother of three and have been married for 30 years this last
April. Our family had a successful pet product business for 17 years. 
We were a shinning example of family values.  We, as a family
volunteered over one thousand hours a year to our community.  We
started a 4-H club, our boys were eagle scouts, we coached and refereed
AYSO soccer for 12 years, raised money for the senior citizens, served
at the polling booths during elections, and never had so much as a
traffic ticket among us.  

A rude, jealous, greedy, (these are the kindest words I could muster in
mixed company) attorney filed a frivolous lawsuit against our company
for the sole purpose of putting us out of business.  In order for us to
defend the case the courts ordered us on welfare.  It is against the
law to defy a court order.  So, in order to appear in court I had to
declare bankruptcy and our family had to go on welfare.  Please don't
try to make any sense out of this Debbie, because it is positively
senseless.  Needless, to say we lost absolutely everything and within a
year of the lawsuit we were on the streets, penniless and homeless.  

Welfare never lasted long enough to do any good.  They always found a
way to disqualify us and no way to challenge the act.  Getting back on
our feet was further complicated by the fact that the courts sold our
business lock, stock and barrel, even our family name, to the
prosecuting attorney for one dollar.  I was ordered by the court to
cease and desist any further work in my area of expertise.  I was
Entrepreneur of the year in 1993.  I was very good at what I did and
Ernst and Young thought so to.

Starting over at 54 years old, in a new community ( we had to leave our
home of 17 years because we had no income, welfare was not enough) 
without extended family support or help, without life long friends
near, was an outrageous assumption.  No unemployment - only good for a
year even though I have worked for 32 years and my husband worked for
35.  No social security - we were not old enough.  Now the IRS, out of
the blue, is saying we owe back taxes from 1988 and welfare is billing
us for food stamps and cash payments.  If I was paranoid I think I
would be thinking someone is out to get us.  I write this as a homeless
person trying to get ahead.  What am I doing wrong?  The last four
years have been a nightmare.  

I'm very bitter and every time I hear some politician talk about family
values I want to rip his tongue out.  We were the ideal family and look
what it got us, a knife in the back and a kick in the face when we are
down.  But, not out, not until the fat lady sings.

Give them hell for me Debbie.  GO GIRL and the force be with you!  mom 

Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com