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Voices: Real stories

I'm used to helping people, not being helped

First, the economy hurt me. I put in 300 job applications and didn’t find a job. Then, I was taken prisoner in a domestic violence situation, beaten and raped. I escaped with my life. I wouldn’t have survived five more minutes. The police helped, they caught him and I came here.

In a coastal tourist community, food is more expensive. When one of our local food pantries closed recently, it hurt us all. It’s hard to come down here and get food at the food bank, but it’s the help I need to keep my dignity. We’re coming here for a hand up, not a handout. 

If I had a space in a community garden, I could do intensive gardening. You can garden in a small space if you know what you’re doing with raised hot beds. We need a county-sponsored community garden that’s accessible to everyone.

Right now, SNAP is the only other assistance I get. My SNAP was cut by $11 this month, and that might not sound like very much, but to me it’s the difference between eating the last five days of the month or not. It’s a big amount to me.
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