Although I've read numerous articles on the impacts of the recession, most of those are by journalists for big newspapers. As I read the journalist's well-scripted and poignant story of suffering, I can't help but notice the ads flashing on the sides of the article making me wonder how much profit my sympathy brings into their coffers. Nothing hits me so painfully as a brutally simple and unembellished rendering of one's suffering without seeking an ounce of pity. This is a letter written by a resident of Tempe to the editor that came in today's 'The State Press', the free on-campus daily:
EFFECTS OF A RECESSION
My world came crashing down last August when my housemate lost her job at ASU I depended on her income to keep my canine family and me afloat.
In 1994, an impaired driver plowed into me as I walked my dogs. The impact sent me hurling through the air, and I landed in a ditch, bruised bloodied and battered. Lingering injuries from brain trauma, seizure disorder and other broken bones left me disabled. I'd rather work than collect disability, but that's just not possible.
A letter arrived a few days ago telling my house-mate her unemployment benefits were exhausted. In this grim economy, a doctorate from Harvard might be useful in India, but it does nothing here.
We both scrounge for aluminum cans in the garbage. It is shameful and degrading, especially when neighbours see us, but it's a source of income. I started grocery shopping in the dollar store. The bank won't refinance the house because she has no job and my income isn't enough. Unless there's a miracle soon, our home will be added to the glut of foreclosures in Arizona.
We are both in our mid-50s. At the time my house-mate was fired, she was under treatment for heart and spinal cord disease and major depression. She has no health insurance and no way to pay for medicine.
The prospect of losing our home, our dogs and everything we own is terrifying, but it's likely to happen. We could panhandle, but we are too proud to beg. The bank may take our home. ASU took her job, but no one can take away our dignity. There are thousands of people facing foreclosure, job loss, surrender of their beloved pets, and there is no end in sight to the misery.
While students at ASU may protest budget cuts, the real conern should be what happens when you graduate. You, too, may end up like me. I played by the rules my entire life. I never thought that homelessness would be right around the corner.
Debra J. White
The last two lines kill me.
This is HILARIOUS!