Today was my first fore into the interesting world of social services. The main reason I have decided to go this route is that we are without health insurance (lamented in a few other posts LOL) and I figure that if my family is eligible for anything then we will utilize the services until we are more solvent.
It was a long afternoon. I went through intake, went to meet with a counselor to discuss the paternity of my children and then sat in a waiting room with roughly 80 people (some in couples/triads) waiting to go through the final interview and such. A homeless guy came in ranting at the staff because someone had forced him out of the shelter he was living in....he was given paperwork to fill out and he did so, then went out to lunch, telling the clerk he'd be back at 1:30.... there were a lot of teeny tiny babies crying, some preschoolers strolling and smiling and dancing....there was a 20 something guy accompanying a young woman. He had running commentary on the other people in the room. "what is she 12?" "look at the stumps on that lady" and on and on. I wanted to smack him, this smug kid, and bring him back to reality....he is waiting in the welfare office with his gf....this could be his future....and he's too much of an idiot to recognize it.
I was overwhelmed with a new perception of life in the US. I went into the offices thinking that I would be very very out of ordinary in there. My own belief I guess that the educated, previously financially stable don't end up on the dole...i was wrong and the faces in the rooms I entered underscored the reality of the times in which we live.
So, i have to send back a few items we were missing during intake (will go out tomorrow) and then barring any problems with said paperwork, I will have a determination in 30 days or so. Yep, even today government still moves at the speed of molasses.