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The Reason Why Poor People Don’t Just ‘Get A Job’

September 19, 2020

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Yes you are reading this correctly. You can in fact be too broke to get a job. I was on Facebook and came across a screen shot from Twitter where someone said you can be too broke to work. The person they told laughed. I think people think like that is because they are fortunate enough to either

  1. have programs in their state that assist with employment
  2. friends/family to give them a ride
  3. internet
  4. a laptop/phone

and so on.

This guy made a good point.

This guy’s comment is the spot. When I went through that program the coach kept saying ” it has to be 20 hours.” But failed to understand that I may lose my Medicaid if I got a job. If anything I would have to work less than 15 hours since Medicaid is income-based. They have a threshold. And I would not make enough to pay for insurance. As the guy said, there is a tax penalty for having no insurance. I am referring to this, all it takes is the job calling you in on off days, or scheduling you past what you are able to work for you to lose your benefits.

That is one reason. If they get assistance they could be at risk of it getting reduced/cut completely if they work. EBT is income based on the household. If they do work like I guessed it will have to be maybe 10 hours a week so the income doesn’t pass the line to disqualify them for assistance. Also, they would not make enough money for insurance, food, etc. Or if they live with someone on SSI, that person can have their benefits cut because SS requires you to let them know of any changes.

For starters, you need decent clothes for the interview. Not everyone has friends or family that can lend them clothes. It costs money to get a job. Gas money/bus fare. You have to consider how irregular scheduling is. If they are scheduled when busses stop running or before they start running what if they have no money for a cab? No friends/family to give them a ride?

Rural areas don’t have the same access to transportation as cities. When I go down south, it’s a good 5+ miles before you get to the shops. You can’t walk like in the city.

If they can barely afford to travel to interviews/follow-ups, how can they afford to travel to a job? 5 days a week?

If the place they want to work at has a dress code, they might not be able to afford the required clothes for the job, parking, etc.

When I went through that program when Sally (what I called the ableist counselor who refused to believe I am autistic) said the company would hold my check for a month (I translated it to working for free because when the cycle comes everyone else is getting paid while I’m not) came on me for being ‘negative’ when I got upset didn’t understand the circumstances I am listing.

If I had to last A MONTH without a check. How was I going to afford the required clothes for the job, how was I going to eat, how was I going to get to and from work. The lady said they’d give me a venture card but you need a backup plan in case something happens with the bus or you’re scheduled outside of operation hours. Most people use their first check to put away gas/bus fare, clothes they need, lunch, etc. How can you do that if you have to wait another 2 weeks before getting paid? I should have told this person, well then, how about you pay for the required clothes I need if the job has a dress code, give me lunch money, give me cab fare in case I am scheduled when busses aren’t running or if something happens. I wrote this after the riots were happening after what happened in MN. I got an alert on my phone the busses were suspending service after 9 PM busses usually run until 10 or 11 PM. SO I’d need a backup way home/to work in case something happens that suspends the busses/trains early etc. I should have told this lady they’d write me up for breaking the dress code and I may as well just get fired since I can’t do anything about it for a whole month. Now it’s not ‘being negative’ it’s simply it costs heaps to get a job. It costs just to get the required clothes.

I wanna add this if the company holds the first check and you have to work for free for a month, how are they going to afford what they need to simply get to work? Not everyone has friends/family that can help them until they get their first check. In rural areas, the bus doesn’t run as often as they do in the city. Also if you’re in a rural area, you need a car to get to a bus stop. I mean if busses are in the city. I can walk to the bus stop where I am.

Next, you need to be well-groomed for interviews, something a homeless person may not be able to do. You need a working phone for employers to contact you, you need an address to put on the resume.

If you can’t pay your bill, the phone gets disconnected. How can employers get to you with no working phone? Not everyone can use a friend’s phone number. For those that stay with a friend, they can just use their friend’s home phone.

You need an ID. I was barely able to update mine because I didn’t have any documents the DMV requires. I would not have been able to update my ID if I didn’t have my voter’s card.

People will judge. They don’t know the instances that make the tweet above true.

They could live with someone who only has one car that they need for work.

Everyone has barriers that keep them from gaining employment. I was on that thread from the share on Facebook. Someone said they are a hiring manager and there was someone they wanted to hire, the GM made them turn the guy away because he walked. What if he lived close and walked? When I was in Jr. High I was close enough to walk. They just didn’t want us walking home alone in the dark, when daylight savings time ends, it’s dark by the time practice for sports is over. The guy the person wanted to hire was eager to work. Also, they were getting exercise walking to work.

If managers are turning people away because they don’t drive, how can they get a job to save for a car?

If they are homeless how can they stay clean for interviews?

If their area isn’t as assessable to transportation as the city, they don’t have a car. How can they afford to travel to interviews?

Some folks may be in the position to try working from home. Working from home may be their only option. For these reasons.

If people stop forming their own judgment things will be so much better.

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