Coolio’s County Line, the anthem for GR (General Relief) recipients in the early 90s.
According to the Los Angeles Times, one in five Los Angeles residents is receiving public assistance.
One in five Los Angeles County residents — nearly 2.2 million people — are receiving public assistance payments or benefits, a level county officials say will rise significantly over the coming months as the fallout from the recession continues.
County officials warn that tens of thousands of additional frustrated job seekers — unemployment in the county currently stands at 9.5% — are expected to seek aid to weather the persistent recession once their other benefits run out.
Based on the amount of folks I know personally who have recently lost their jobs, I imagine the numbers will go up even higher. While some may think applying for public assistance is a fairly straight forward process, Coolio’s video isn’t all that much of an exaggeration. According to the article not much has changed down at the DPSS office. Yes, the process for applying can be extremely daunting and maybe for some, humiliating but look at it this way, obscene amounts of your tax dollars are going for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, might as well use some of the crumbs for yourself. During these times of La Crisis, you gotta do what you gotta do.
First, check the DPSS website to see if you qualify. While I’m not condoning it, sometimes applicants slightly adjust the true value of their assets on the application i.e. your car. Ask people who are waiting in line for tips, most will offer friendly advice. Also, if you’re worried about what people might think when you go to pay for your food at the supermarket, now you don’t even have to suffer the indignity of paying with food stamps, you’re given a debit card to use. These debit cards are also widely accepted at local farmer’s markets so you can really stretch that $176. Obama’s new stimulus plan calls for an increase in food stamps benefits, so perhaps in the future you can even go organic. (Never mind, see here) So what are you waiting for? Put down that cold cup of ramen noodles and get yourself down to the county line. You might even qualify for General Relief.