I have four children, two girls and twin boys. One of the twins is actually considered terminally ill. I am one semester shy of graduating from college. We live on Social Security, and their dad pays $500 a month in child support. In all, less than $1200 a month. I budget basically to the dollar. I feel like I'm in a catch-22. I can't apply for childcare help until I have a job. I can't start the job until I have childcare. It's a circle. They want you to get a job, but if I get a job I also lose the assistance I need to pay medical bills.
It's tough when you're in the Wal-Mart parking lot, you got kids and they need to eat. I went up to an older lady there, I said, "Look ma'am, I don't mean to bother you." And she got terrified for a moment even though I was with one of my children. And I said, "Ma'am, can I just bother you for a dollar so I can go get my kids something to eat?" Another guy was walking by and said, "Well, just go get a job." I looked at him and said, "I've been trying." I didn't even know there were places for homeless people to get help.
My main priority is getting school done. And I want to be able to help financially, to be able to support myself. I've had a lot of support. But at the same time, I want to be able to do it myself and not always have to look to others for help. After you have kids, you know that they are your responsibility and not anyone else's. Even when I'm in school, I miss my kids. I know they are just downstairs at the daycare, but it's that really big bond I have with them. They're kind of like my little push forward; they keep me going.
The Family Investment Coalition (FIC) is a statewide nonpartisan coalition of organizations dedicated to helping all Utah families. We work to ensure that federal and state programs and services are adequate to support the needs of the community and revenues are collected fairly.