I am also a bit concerned about the front page of my local paper from yesterday. The headline says "Recession leaves us hungry, broke, jobless." Here are some of the sobering numbers, from my Northeastern corner of Pennsylvania. (Pocono Record January 25, 2011)
Households using food stamps: up 86% since 2007
Low Income Home Energy Assistance applications approved: up 85% since 2007
Individuals receiving cash assistance: up 36% since 2007
Salvation Army Food pantry: up 59%
up 46% since 2007. These are families homeless. Families. Not individuals.
up 5.5% since 2007.
up 64% since 2007.
Building permits issued: down 73% since 2007.
Foreclosures: up 61% since 2007.
Home sales: down 14% since 2007.
The figures astounded me. I guess we have a lot of company, living like this. The amount of homeless families is what I find so shocking, and the huge amount of foreclosures. I took an application to the courthouse last week, and filed it, to participate in a program, that our county just began, to have homeowners, and mortgage companies, sit down, and speak with a mediator. A judge just halted our foreclosure for the next 60 days, and we faxed the information to Citimortgage. The program is completely voluntary, and the mortgage company could choose to ignore us completely, and go full steam ahead with taking our home, or they could give my family a break, and not have us join that scary number of homeless families.
I keep thinking, that if they just saw the numbers, and saw the empty houses up and down my street, and saw how hard we work...why would they want to put us out on the street? Why can't they see that we can make a mortgage payment? Why can't we just agree on a modified number, since everything and everyone is living in such a modified time? Why can't they see that taking a payment would be better than having my house sit empty...for years.
I don't get it. I don't get the President. I don't get that we have become numbers, and values. We are more than that. I am sick and tired of being effected so deeply by banks and the mortgage industry.
My shoulders can't bear the load, quite simply.
Snow is falling. All the girls are here with me. Sauce and meatballs for dinner tonight. Maybe a movie today, or an art lesson with the girls.
Somewhere in this mess, we will find peace.