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Assessing the Public Welfare System: Is It Still a Godsend for the Poor?

Updated on October 19, 2017
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Stevie G. is a Life Coach, Educator and Researcher. He is the founder of Infinite Visionary Training Center in Minnesota.

Welfare is a godsend for any county. When tough times occur the welfare system provides hope for recovery from personal tragedies or national disasters, resulting in the loss of everything.

The public Welfare system is designed to assist poor or dislocated people with food, clothing, and shelter until they can meet the demands of their own livelihood. It is no mystery that thousands of Americans fall into tough times on a constant basis. Many of these people have no connection to outside help in terms of family members and other associates. This is where the system of welfare comes into focus.

It is no mystery that thousands of Americans fall into tough times on a constant basis. Many of these people have no hope of getting help from family members or other associates. This is where the system of welfare comes into focus.

What makes the welfare system so effective is that it gives people hope for regaining a life of indenpendence. Poor or dislocated individuals (needy individuals or families) can now find comfort in having a meal to eat, cloth to wear and a place to stay.

Without the welfare system in place, individuals and entire families will be in danger of starvation and other likely personal .crisis.

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Types of Financial Resources in Minnesota

Emergency cash

In Minnesota, emergency cash means immediate money the state gives out to people who may need money for rent payments or individuals who have been evicted and have no other means of finding shelter. In this case, the state will pay a month’s worth of rent or help find needed shelter.

Food Steps

Food stamps are for families who are struggling with feeding needy children. A single or unmarried individual can also obtain food stamps, but at a much lower amount than families with children. Poor families which only have enough money to meet the bills are candidates for food stamp assistance.

Housing Assistance: Section 8

Low income housing is available for those who cannot afford expensive living quarters, including high quality apartments or townhomes. To qualify, candidate’s annual income cannot be over the allowable limit, mainly poverty level.

The unfortunate fact about section 8 is that you may be put on an extensive list with others who are seeking housing. Therefore, your time of wait may be up to 2 years. However, if you are living at the poverty level, the wait is worth it. Section 8 housing offers quality living when it comes to good homes.

General Assistance

General Assistance is for people who need help for the long haul. For example, if an individual is a single parent or a homeless individual living on the streets he or she can apply for general assistance.

Sometime general assistance can be permanent, depending on the lack of skills and abilities of an individual. For example, if a person is mentally or physically inadequate to work, then some form of general assistance may be permanent, lifelong solution.

The Process of Obtaining Welfare

Obtaining welfare starts with contacting a public assistance representative within your county regarding your predicament. For example, maybe you lost your job or maybe a natural disaster such as a flood, or tornado struck your home and destroyed everything. Then you may need some assistance. You can apply for in three simple steps.

  • Fill out an application, either online or in person
  • Do an interview, the purpose of which to assess your neediness and determine your eligibility. Make sure you have all your important papers, including job stubs, personal ID’s, birth certificate and other important documents.
  • Wait for a determination. In the meantime, look for other means to support yourself and family. This includes contacting local food pantries. Taking advantage of a job opportunity is always the way to go.


A welfare program should only be a necessity until you get back on your feet. Once your self-responsible lifestyle is back in order, you should release your dependency on the public assistant program. Unfortunately, many people have taken unfair advantage of the program, only to be found out and charged with welfare fraud.

© 2017 Stevie Glenn


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