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Otherwise known as "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish...etc"
Also known as "So the govt giveth, so the govt taketh away"
Federal agencies spent more than $200 million on case management for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but often did little follow-up work.
“It’s easier just to throw money at people and then after a year cut them off,” said Toni Bankston, a psychologist at Neighbor’s Keeper, a nonprofit group in Baton Rouge that works with the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless to provide comprehensive assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Neighbor’s Keeper itself was making little progress with many of its clients, said Sister Judith Brun, a nun who runs the organization, until it added mental health care to its services.
Her agency creates a highly personal system of accountability for each client: one unemployable woman gets an allowance, but must volunteer at a soup kitchen; a client who is giving up drugs or alcohol might, despite Sister Judith’s reluctance, be provided with cigarettes. In cases where the smallest obstacle could spell failure, Neighbor’s Keeper has been on hand with bus passes, phone cards or school uniforms. In contrast, FEMA paid for families to stay in hotels for months with little contact.
Sister Judith gets it. Help people out but do it by making them accountable and responsible for the assistance they're getting, don't just give them a temporary free ride then expect people to believe everything's all better.
Truly helping people involves a lot more than throwing free money their way (not to mention later pulling it away); it involves teaching them to be responsible citizens so someday they won't need that govt handout. They'll have their own. The New York Times > Log In
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