PAD Challenge Day 23: Social Services

PAD Challenge Day 23: Write a Social (blank) poem.

Social Services

It was my first full-time
job in the summer of 2002.
I was only sixteen, a rising
junior in high school.
My mother signed me up for
the NC Youth and Development program.
The agency and position, my choice.
I believed that it would teach
me more about the city
I was growing up in.
And it did.
With my own eyes and ears,
I saw the different worlds that
everybody talked about under one roof.
This time, there was no he said, she said.
No ABC, CBS, Fox or CNN news to
lend my lens and ears the
bad news and good news of the day.
No Fayetteville Observer for me to
pick up at the library on Saturdays.
Knowledge of the All-American City
came from my 9-5 on Mondays through
Fridays from June until August
I was only a receptionist.
But my experience went beyond
answering and transferring phone calls,
greeting and checking civilans 
in to see their social workers.
I became an eyewitness too.
An eyewitness to the crisis
in the city of Fayetteville.
From the temporary assistance needy families,
struggle of Women, Infants, and Children,
lack of childcare and the malnutrition,
lack of transportation and affordable housing
to limited emergency food stamps 
and the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
Portable fans distributed to
non-air-conditioned residences.
Infant mortality. Lead poisonings.
White lies. Brown noses. Scrapegoats.
The drug abuse. Alcohol abuse.
The Child abuse and rape cases.
Domestic violence and more rape cases.
The HIV and AIDs epidemic.
The disability. The mentally ill.
The disorganization of Medicaid
and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Discrimination. Bias. Politics.
Racial inequity and inequality.
The denied. The eligible.
The qualified. The unqualified.
The unfit parent. The foster parent.
Missing children on flyers in the hallways.
The availability of jobs, but a
steady high unemployment rate.
The attitudes. The confusions.
The narrowminded. The absent minded.
The anger. The arguments
The public vs. The state officials
The committment to social change. 
Unfortunately, in summer 2003, 
I came back to eyewitness 
the same people, place, and things.


My DSS Badge. :-)
Everygirl had a bear bag! LOL
My cousin gave me hers. :-)


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