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How Texas Helps It's Poor

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Mrs.PatsFanInVa, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Charlomane and Prince Leonard were doing just fine before the recession hit. But for the past three years, they've been forced to live with their six children in a self-storage unit in northeast Houston -- a situation that they reluctantly accepted until Texas's Child Protective Services came in and took custody of their children this week.

    The storage unit that the Leonards have been living in is fully equipped with air conditioning, beds, a refrigerator, microwave, a tub and two computers. What they don't have is running water -- which was part of the reason the CPS came in and removed the children, ages 2 to 12. They kept their water in a 55-gallon drum that Prince Leonard refilled daily. They fill jugs of drinking water at grocery stores and use a "compost" toilet, Charlomane Leonard said.

    The only crime Charlomane Leonard is guilty of, she says, is having fallen on hard times. Her husband recently graduated from community college and has been certified as a welder. And before the recession hit, they earned enough money to buy 50 acres in Liberty County, on which they hope to build a house. "We're waiting on a USDA loan," she said.

    The family's fortunes turned when Prince Leonard was injured on the job and unable to work for a period. They stopped being able to afford their rent and took to living in their pickup truck for a while, parking in the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital overnight under the watchful eye of security guards. They moved into a Star of Hope shelter for three months before moving into the storage unit where they were already storing some of their belongings.

    The Leonards have transformed the storage space into a home -- a place that is nicer and safer than the rodent- and crime-infested motels and apartments the family had lived in before discovering the storage facility as a way to weather the recession. Charlomane Leonard and the children plant a garden every summer on land behind the storage facility, harvesting squash, tomatoes, okra and peppers. The older children are enrolled at Texas Connections Academy, a Houston Independent School District on-line school. One of their computers is on loan from the school and none of their children has ever gotten less than a B in school, the couple said.


    Houston Family Living in Storage Unit Loses Custody of Kids | AOL Real Estate

    They do get to see their children 6 hours a week, however. Which doesn't give the mom nearly enough time to continue nursing the youngest, of course, but who cares, right?

    Now I don't know if there's more to this story or not....I certainly hope there is because this does not sound like a family which should have lost custody of it's children.

    It sounds like a family who's fallen on hard times, through no fault of their own, who is trying very hard to do all the right things and keep body and soul together while attempting to better themselves through hard work, perseverance, and further education.

    Definitely something to lose your children over in Texas, I'm sure.
     
  2. tehmackdaddy

    tehmackdaddy Practice Squad Player

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    I'm reminded of the CPS episode on King of the Hill.

    That's too bad. The state needs to butt out.
     
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Stupid move by the State of Texas, according to the article the children were not in any danger.. the best place for kids in that situation is in their home.

    Now the state has incurred unnecessary costs... it would have been better if they diverted the funds that they are paying to keep the kids in substitute care, toward helping them rent an apartment.
     
  4. State

    State In the Starting Line-Up

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    #70 Jersey

    Do three things and one's chances of being poor are less than one percent:

    1) Get married and stay married;
    2) Work a job, any job, for at least a year;
    3) Graduate from high school.

    I've got the order wrong but the truth right.

    People are poor because of behavior.

    I have a dishwater friend who works his tail off (two full-time jobs), he's from Latin America, and he owns two houses, one free and clear, the other on a five-year mortgage. His English is pitiful--we communicate in Spanglish--but his heart is big.

    Anyone can do it. But few do.
     
  5. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Why did they buy 50 acres of land without the money to to anything further. Foolish people. I feel bad for sure, but somehow Texas is to blame for this? Plus, this happens in every state, but since Texas is eeeeeeeeeeeeevil, well, you get the point.
     
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    But this family has DONE all those things. They ARE married. The husband DOES work. He's not only graduated from high school, he's just finished college.

    Sometimes people are poor because of illness. Or accidents. Or because they're 16 years old and they've been thrown out of their parent's house. Or because a fire destroyed everything they owned. Or because a hurricane hit. Or because they were victims of a rape or a crime. Or because they saved their money all their life and when they got old their children stole it from them.

    Or don't those things happen in your world?

    Honestly, I just don't understand this kind of attitude. I really don't. Is your life that isolated that you just really have no idea of the tragedies which befall people on a regular basis? Is your imagination so limited that you cannot even begin to fathom that sometimes things happen to people which they have no control over?

    We had a patient who came into the ER regularily years ago. Nice looking young dude - I believe he was in his early 20s when I first met him. He was a paraplegic in a chair. No bowel or bladder control. Lived alone. He'd been a college student in Gary, In. and had been shot in the spine in a drive-by. He was not a gang member, he wasn't anything other than a kid in the wrong place at the wrong time. His family was poor, they either couldn't or wouldn't take care of him....and so he lived on the street. In his wheelchair, with his catheter and his diapers. When he was well (which wasn't often since even well-cared for paraplegics have numerous infections and health problems) he'd visit local high schools and talk about the importance of education and staying out of trouble - and advising kids to stay out of the wrong places at the wrong times. When he was sick, which was often, the police would find him in his usual hidey-hole and bring him to us.

    He was a proud man - he asked nothing of anyone. He wanted nothing from anyone. He didn't qualify for Medicaid or Medicare or welfare of any sort because in order to get those things you have to have a permanent address - and in order to get a permanent address you have to have a check. No shelter would take him because of his condition. No hospital would keep him because he didn't have insurance.

    He'd "pay" us by drawing charcoal portraits (when he had charcoal) of us or pencil sketches when he didn't. Beautiful work. Absolutely beautiful. All he ever wanted was a chance - and he never got that.

    What he got, eventually, was dead.

    Forgive me for saying this, State, since I know nothing about you except what I read here, but from what I read here I feel very much that it's people like you and several others here whose self rightous attitude and "help yourself" mentality which deny him and anyone like him, that chance.
     
  7. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Foolish? Really? Is it customary to build the house first and then buy some where to put it?

    Read the article. They bought the land intending to build a home and then the husband was injured and lost his job.

    I'm pretty sure alot of people, especially country people, buy land long before they have the money to build upon it.

    It's called "planning."

    First you buy the land, work your butt off and pay it off.

    Then, when the land is paid off, you build the house without going into huge debt.

    It keeps things managable.
     
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Does it make sense to put the kids in foster care, at the expense of the state??? Substitute care is expensive on many levels financially and the emotional toll on children and families as well.

    Child Welfare agencies are supposed to strengthen families, not pull them apart. Apparently there were no allegations of mistreatment or neglect, just a crappy living situation.

    This is about tearing apart families, not their choice in purchasing land.
     
  9. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Poor are often poor because of the lack of opportunity, you offer anecdotal evidence and good for that person.. but many lack basic opportunities, whether it be because of education, training etc.

    This is about the state of Texas tearing apart families, not as much about economic decisions..

    Where can you buy some of those big hearts???
     
  10. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    He didn't qualify for SSDI?
     
  11. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Like everything else, you have to have an address to send a check to.

    Many homeless people eventually get hooked up with welfare or SSI because they can use a shelter address or they get temporary housing long enough to establish an address.

    When you're handicapped and in a chair it becomes much harder, though, since there are not many handicapped-access shelters or temporary housing units available.

    The same is actually true for women with children.

    Which is a whole other sadness.
     
  12. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For some strange reason the do-gooder slobbering liberals don't want to hear this, maybe it's their bleeding hearts that cause them to get all bent out of shape whenever "faithful long term marriage, hard work and obeying the law is mentioned"
     
  13. Ilikehappyppl

    Ilikehappyppl 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Yeah what a dumbass for following his dreams right??? /facepalm

    Just like all those people that bought houses that could not afford them, kinda like hanging a steak in-front of a starving man and when he goes for it you accuse him for stealing.

    Bottom line, state should help them get housing or a local church should step in and help, but why would any church do that nowadays....

    I feel bad for those kids, it tells a story of how great our country was....and how we are not that country anymore.....:(
     
  14. Ilikehappyppl

    Ilikehappyppl 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I agree with most of what your wrote but this
    That may be true in most cases but that's not the only reason.Some are poor because they lack the ability to achieve more. Some are poor because of a traumatic experiences or disabilities. Some are poor because they lack knowledge to do better for themselves, not because they are lazy or don't have a good attitude.

    I like your friend, he works hard and does right but not everyone is the same and not everyone shares his skill set or work ethic, I'm sure his parents did a good job of raising him and teaching him. Not that its an excuse for others too use cause they had bad parents, but its for context....Nothing is back and white everything has context.
     
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually it's customary to only buy land when you know you can afford the home you plan to build on it. That's called "having planned". Of course, maybe you're the type of person that lives paycheck to paycheck and thinks buying something of no use to you that leaves you up ****s creek when tragedy hits is a good idea. I'm not.
     
  16. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't comment on the gubmit taking the kids away Darryl. Apparently in Texas living in a storage unit with kids isn't allowed. Is it an example of overreaching gubmit? Maybe. I don't know what the actual conditions were like there. I'd say it's possible they weren't in any worse a shape than say living in a mobile home, just as much as it could be that the storage unit wasn't a good place. I simply don't know what it looked like when they checked it out.
     
  17. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Apparently you're not too bright, or maybe you're not out of school yet. What does following your dreams have to do with any of it? Life doesn't give a **** about your dreams. That's the harsh reality of it. He could still follow his dreams when he had enough money, or secured the proper financing to see it through. Apparently anyone with a dream is somehow entitled to be as foolish with their money as they want to be, cuz the gubmit is there to pay for them. That's not how it works buddy. At least it's not how it should.

    My dream is to bang every 10 scale looking hooker in the land. So I hope when I blow my life savings on all those hookers, and have nothing left, you'll be there with your check book to buy me a home. :rolleyes:
     
  18. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Without regard, the general philosophy in Child Welfare issues that the State should make attempts to strengthen and keep the family together. From what is written, there are no allegations of abuse or neglect.

    Hardship, probably, but many families struggle on the edge.. but that is not a reason to put kids in foster care.. fortunately someone has come forth to help out this family. There is good even in Texas...

    Quanell helps shed family find a home, fight for kids | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

    A Houston couple whose six children were removed from their custody by Child Protective Services after caseworkers found the family living in a storage shed has apparently secured a rental home.

    In the early part of the last century there used to be "Orphan Trains" that shipped kids from NYC across the country, there are still remnants of this archaic system in place in place across the country.. they do not serve the same function, but keep the name.

    The paternalistic attitude that the State can do better than a nuclear family rears its ugly head once again..
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011

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