How do homeless people pay for phones and internet services?

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Skookum

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My family owned a food distribution business that had a small walk in sales store up until about 8 years ago. The store accepted food stamp cards, and you would be amazed at what the average food stamp recipient bought with their government issued card, and what sort of car they drove. Sure there were the ones that bought necessities, and drove 20 year old beater cars, but there were also lots of them that drove 2-3 year old BMW's and Mercedes, and bought nothing but steaks and seafood with their cards.

I didn't realize people on food assistance weren't supposed to eat meat or fish. šŸ¤£

I think there's a generational gap in understanding the importance of having mobile phone/internet in this country. Many of you were alive when a household, landline phone was a novel concept. Some of you may have grown up with a party line, a neighborhood phone line.

Now, phone/internet is how the world operates.
 

Jayflight

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There is fraud in virtually all government programs, however, the SNAP program has very little fraud. Also as an aside, remember the primary reason for these programs was to raise farm prices, but few people talk about farm welfare programs.
Politicians run on how much they plan on passing out in welfare and raise money on their successful programs they put in place. And many of the people that criticize welfare programs still send money to fund their favorite politician's next campaign and still vote to put them right back into office, many for decades now.

If people oppose loopholes for farmers, boycott them by stop buying their products. ;) The ethanol program was created for the expressed purpose of buying votes from farmers and if you drive a gas powered vehicle, you also are involuntarily propping the program up. With the reduced mpg that comes with ethanol gasoline, increases in gas tax is paid.

I just wished that better cell service would exist in the western states.
 
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PJ Stough

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Central Iowa
Politicians run on how much they plan on passing out in welfare and raise money on their successful programs they put in place. And many of the people that criticize welfare programs still send money to fund their favorite politician's next campaign and still vote to put them right back into office, many for decades now.

If people oppose loopholes for farmers, boycott them by stop buying their products. ;) The ethanol program was created for the expressed purpose of buying votes from farmers and if you drive a gas powered vehicle, you also are involuntarily propping the program up. With the reduced mpg that comes with ethanol gasoline, increases in gas tax is paid.

I just wished that better cell service would exist in the western states.
I am with you on the cell service in western states. Would love to have better cell service where we live in West Des Moines, IA. We are less that two miles from the nearest tower, and at best we get about 8 or 9 mega byte download speed.

Ethanol also replaced must worse oxygenates in gasoline.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) is the week before the big tent show. Vans are already everywhere around here. Skokie Paloozie (sp?) is going on now.
 

ziplock

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Dec 3, 2017
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I think there's a generational gap in understanding the importance of having mobile phone/internet in this country. Many of you were alive when a household, landline phone was a novel concept. Some of you may have grown up with a party line, a neighborhood phone line.

Now, phone/internet is how the world operates.
That must be it. Instead of a roof over your head. Cool.
 

PJ Stough

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Central Iowa
Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) is the week before the big tent show. Vans are already everywhere around here. Skokie Paloozie (sp?) is going on now.
Skoolie Palooza? :)

For those who dont know, the RTR used to be held at Scadden Wash with hundreds of RVs of every kind, but it got too big, and the BLM wanted an outrageous amount for a permit for the gathering, so a couple of years ago it moved to the fairgrounds by Parker, but no onsite camping. This year it will be in Quartzsite, but again, no on site camping.
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
There is fraud in virtually all government programs, however, the SNAP program has very little fraud. Also as an aside, remember the primary reason for these programs was to raise farm prices, but few people talk about farm welfare programs.
Not from what I saw over the years, though as retailers there was nothing we could do about it, as it is not like we could decline taking a SNAP card due to the choices of what people were buying with it, or what kind of car they drove.

If I were to make a guess on based on our SNAP customers I would say 80%+ treated it like some sort of shopping spree card to be used on the most expensive food items they could buy, ie buying cases of ribeye steaks, breaded shrimp, catfish, etc. vs hamburger and hotdogs, french fries. Probably 20% were blatantly living a lifestyle that should be above the means of anyone that should qualify for such a program, ie we had one woman that was a regular that would show up driving a brand new Mercedes Convertible (still had the temporary paper license plates on it when she first started shopping with us) carrying designer (though perhaps knock off) purses, etc. That left perhaps 20% that bought food items in line with what the average working class family not on such a program tends to buy. I say this from about 20 years experience watching this happen day in and day out.

Ike

p.s. there were probably another 10% that were blatant fraud, that again we could do little as it would turn into our word against theirs. Stuff like people using their SNAP card to buy cases of hamburger patties for a church event, people using SNAP card to buy food for other non-relative people who were shopping with them, or even using it to buy inventory for their cafe, food truck, etc....
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
I didn't realize people on food assistance weren't supposed to eat meat or fish. šŸ¤£

I think there's a generational gap in understanding the importance of having mobile phone/internet in this country. Many of you were alive when a household, landline phone was a novel concept. Some of you may have grown up with a party line, a neighborhood phone line.

Now, phone/internet is how the world operates.
It's not that they were eating meat, it is that their buying habits doing so would drive the average working class family broke, they did not buy cases of hamburger meat, they bought cases of ribeye steaks. At the time a 15 pound box of US domestic raised catfish was running right at $100, and this was by far our number one seller to the SNAP card crowd.
 

Skookum

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Yeah, that is what I meant, everyone has different ideas and that is cool.

You sound pretty defensive, Why?

For years and years I've worked with under-privileged and downright vulnerable people in my profession. When "hot-button" topics come up like how can someone afford a cell phone when they are homeless is often not a question, but a judgement from highly conservative people, and the conversation and rhetoric goes down the same negative, political hole this thread is headed. It's what people have been trained to think about people on assistance, or who are vulnerable and are making do with very little income. Also, acknowledging there are people who abuse assistance and/or have no financial discipline - those are just facts of life. But it is not representative of the majority of people on assistance, something the keyboard warriors who come out to call these people "entitled".

I am not on assistance nor do I live in an RV as my primary residence, in case that's what you were inferring about my defensiveness.
 
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