Welfare moms unhappy with free lodging, prepared meals, WiFi, maid service

D.C. welfare moms are having to put up with lodging in hotels that give them prepared meals, cable TV, internet WiFi access, and maid service that don't meet their standards:

Tiera Williams and her four children dodge cars on a winter evening as they cross the parking lot of the Days Inn to the Washington motel room the children call "Mommy's house."

People at the Days Inn – one of at least 12 motels being used by the city to house 730 homeless families this winter – lean over the balcony that overlooks the courtyard lit by the December glow of yellow lights.

They occupy a hidden world of desperation and poverty mixed with every-other-day maid service, free WiFi, continental breakfast in the lobby, and lunch and dinner in the 170-room motel's banquet room.

Lunch and dinner in the banquet room meets my definition of hidden desperation.

They've been living here since August when Williams – then six months pregnant and unemployed with no place to go – called the city's homeless hotline.

She opens the door to her unit, ushering her children inside a space that she describes as "the size of two jail cells." The decor is pleasant enough, with maroon carpeting, wood paneled headboards and a television in an armoire near a bathroom vanity.

If Tiera is unhappy with her room, why doesn't she go to the front desk and change her reservation to get a larger suite, as any person paying her own way would do?

Williams dumps bags of groceries on the motel room desk. In the mini refrigerator, she stacks yogurt, apples, oranges and a roasted chicken they will have for dinner that night. She uses her food stamps to buy meals because she doesn't like eating the pasta, casseroles, chicken, hot dogs and other dishes the city provides at the motel.

Isn't this shocking, how taxpayers are paying to prepare such low-class meals for welfare moms?  What kind of country is this that doesn't cook better meals for people on welfare?

By the way, if you're wondering why Tiera has four children and no daddies, here is that part of the story:

... she was 19 when she met the man who would become her daughter's father. She moved to the District to be with him. But the relationship, she says, was controlling and abusive.  She left him when her daughter was 4 months old[.] ... Much the same thing happened again in August when she left the father of her three other children because they were arguing all the time. "You think you're stable, then [stuff] happens," she says.

What a shame it took three additional children with man number two before Tiera learned he was unlikeable.

Questions for discussion:

1) Tiera has only four children. How many more children does she need to produce before being given an additional hotel room?

2) Why should Tiera and her kids have to eat in the banquet hall every day if they are in a hotel with room service?

3) Is there a constitutional right for people on welfare to have their food prepared and served to them?

4) If the maid providing maid service works hard cleaning Tiera's room, do you think she makes enough money to take care of her kids?

5) If Tiera is getting only basic cable on her TV, would a Bernie Sanders presidency fund a program to get her HBO and a decent pay-per-view package?

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

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