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Job Programs for Welfare Families

July 07, 1994

Re "When Welfare Works," editorial, June 26:

We should pride ourselves for the success the GAIN (Greater Avenues to Independence) program achieved. It is time to remove the bandage and face the real issue. There will always be free riders who will not accept low wages or those who prefer to stay home with children rather than earning their living.

We should provide incentives for the poor, single mothers and school dropouts to learn a profession, earn their own living and be productive. Convenient training centers should be established in the community, with child-care facilities, using volunteers.

Extra financial rewards should be given to those who successfully complete each training phase. We should also provide placement assistance to those who graduate. In the long run everyone wins, especially the government, which can save those billions spent on welfare.

EDWARD DAOUD

Westminster

* Welfare reform has become a hot topic for politicians and newspapers alike (editorial, June 19). What will it take for your editorial staff to realize that California already has enacted much of what President Clinton has only proposed? The main difference between California's reform and Clinton's proposed program is the extraordinary price tag of the Washington proposal.

The price tag of developing and maintaining a monolithic federal bureaucracy versus a state-run program is just too high and will be less likely to succeed due to special peculiarities of each state.

NAVID SHARAFATIAN

Pacific Palisades

* I am a 22-year-old single mother. I am a welfare recipient who is absolutely dependent on public transportation. It is often with a dark amusement that I read the articles on welfare reform and the continuing debates with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority concerning "proposed" (meaning they've already decided to do it) fare hikes. It is with abject horror, however, that I read some of your reader comments and editorial pieces. I get up and go look for work every day just like all other unemployed people, but I can't pick up the paper without being informed that I am "lazy" either by implication or directly.

As far as Franklin White and the MTA board go, they don't seem to realize that by raising fares and getting rid of monthly passes, people like myself can only look for employment until their money runs out. Believe me, that doesn't take very long at all. I only get $490 per month with Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Out of that I pay my rent, a baby-sitter (so I can look for employment and pursue my education) and bills. If it weren't for bus passes I would have no means of transportation two weeks out of every month.

I am not in love with welfare and am working feverishly to be free of this demeaning system. Nor do I appreciate the upcoming kick in the teeth by the MTA. All I want is to be treated fairly and as an individual, but I forget that is only for the rich in this county.

ERICA WASHINGTON

Los Angeles

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