Tag: LINK Card

Buying Steak And Seafood Is Not A Food Stamp Challenge

If it weren’t such a sad and trite tale, I’d be amused at the level of near hysteria leveled at SNAP recipients. That’s the food stamp program for those of you who don’t know. “OH MY GOD, THESE PEOPLE WILL BUY STEAK, SEAFOOD AND JUNK FOOD ON THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER’S DIME!  WE MUST GUARD AGAINST... Read more »

Unemployment Stories: What Link Doesn't Cover

I am usually in a state of interview readiness. I never know when I’ll get a call for an in person interview or to meet with a recruiter. The professional clothes I have are clean (for now), pressed and hanging in my closet.  Yet maintaining this state of constant readiness comes at a cost—an honest... Read more »

Unemployment Stories: I Am The New Face Of Food Stamps

Earlier this year I became the recipient of an Illinois Link card. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Link card (or EBT card) is the modern replacement for food stamps. That is how I’ve been able to feed myself since unemployment was cut off in late December of 2013. The process of applying... Read more »
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Unemployment Blues: The Newbie, Part I

With high unemployment and chronic unemployment becoming the norm, people who never thought they would have to turn to the government for help are now doing so in record numbers.   The new face of poverty in America has a decidedly middle class appearance.   People that have never been laid off incorrectly assume a... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: The Dignity Trap

Never, ever, ever walk into the Department of Human Services with a shred of dignity or self respect.  Not only will the staff sense it, but your fellow applicants may as well. While there are some people who are unemployed like you, some aren’t.  The unifying factor in this group is that everyone will be... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: What Not To Wear

There are unwritten rules you must learn if you plan to successfully navigate the Department of Human Services. I’ll start with a key strategy—dress down.  Not the way you’d dress down to meet a friend out for watching the game at the bar or  if you were babysitting a small child.  I mean “look like a bag of... Read more »
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Unemployment Blues: The Department of Human Services

In order to get a feel for the environment at the Department of Human Services office located at the corner of 63rd & Ingleside, please watch the video below.     Conforming to stereotypes 101—class is in session. It’s important to understand the environment I had to walk into to ask for help.  Sometimes, mere... Read more »