Requiem on Water Street

Print More

On August 11, a young mother at her city-assigned workfare job died suddenly on the job. She had been complaining of severe migraines, but she was afraid to go to the doctor—afraid that if she left her work assignment or complained to her supervisor, she’d lose part or all of her welfare check. Critics put part of the blame on the Human Resources Administration’s tough policies, which dock a welfare recipient’s checks for even small infractions of the rules.
At a spirited protest in front of HRA headquarters in late August, a group of welfare recipients and organizers called for better working conditions, more humane sick-leave rules, and programs that include education and training. “We’re not asking for a miracle,” says Renea Fields, a mother of three. “Unfortunately, it takes someone to die before people turn out.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *