Yes. 11 years ago I was temporarily employed, living in a battered woman's shelter and pregnant with my first child. I worked with the resources available to me, got into a transitional housing program, did my best at the temp assignment until they finally offered me a permanent position. I took the bus/train until I could afford a car. I went without meat most of the time when I bought groceries because it's so expensive. I was able to get myself to a reasonable standard of living within a year and a half. I was extremely lucky that I had an education and marketable skills.
Me, personally, being the provider and suffering poverty? No. But when my mom left my dad (I was 5), she had no job, no source of income, since he didn't pay child support, etc. She was on welfare and we would go to the food bank to get government cheese, peanut butter, etc. Standing in very long lines to be given free food was very embarrassing. She used welfare as intended. She was on it until she got on her feet and got a job. She got off it, and was providing for us. We weren't able to get everyhting we wanted or do all the activities we wanted, but such is life.
Yes. I was a single mom of 1. I worked for the public schools as a teachers aide. The pay was low but I also chose to have health, life, vision, dental insurances taken out of my pay so I wasn't too much of a burden on the government! I did get food stamps. The good thing about that job was I was able to take my dd to school and was home when she got out, and I was off all holidays and summer vacation with pay. We went without a lot of stuff. I'm very proud that noone suspected how poor she and I really were. I scrimpt (sp) and scraped for school clothes, school supplies, school pictures. We literally lived on less than $500/month and $180 in food stamps! I'd never change that. She is going to be 17 this dec and she is the least materialistic teenage I've ever met!
Yes, my husband got out of the military just over a year ago. We were both on unemployment and wic for quite a while and have had to pawn stuff just to pay rent and buy groceries. We were down to one cell phone, no cable or internet. Luckily my car is paid off or we would have had to give up one car.
Now we are doing better and soon will be doing great, even with me becoming a sahm since having dd2. (we both found decent jobs, I didnt think I would get hired anywhere being pregnant but found a great place--the pregnancy was a huge shock, we had 3 drs tell me I was infertile)
Definitely. As a child I remember my mother would walk us to the grocery store and back every week with only $30 in her pocket and lots of coupons. While my father would be working every job found imaginable, so we would never see him for sometimes weeks at a time. Initially he didnt have a car either so he would the few miles to work. He came home everyday but when we were sleeping and leave before we were awake. We lived with our cousins for almost a year like that. But with all the odd jobs we were eventually in an apt of our own. Even after that for years our dad worked for some one who used him as a manager called him a partner but we never saw more money then just bare minimum. We didn't have any furniture and when we did it was all from ramage sales or gifted to us by family.