CalWORKS and Childcare – A Road Out of Poverty - Women's Foundation California

Beckie Moralez turned her life around. After struggling with addiction and homelessness, Beckie realized her children deserved a better life. She signed up for CalWORKS, child care and community college classes.

The first in her family to go to college, Beckie says, “These programs made me see the real possibility of escaping poverty.”

On May 14, Beckie spoke at our May 14 Stand with Women rally in Sacramento. This is what she said.

Today I am speaking on behalf of my sisters who at this very moment are standing in a welfare line somewhere, knees shaking, wondering if they have the right paperwork in order to get their assistance, wondering if their food will come in time to feed their children. I know how they feel because I have been there.

See, I went from taking $9,000/year from Welfare (of which, $5,000 was in food stamps) to putting myself through community college while working. Receiving childcare subsidies was the only way that I could do it.

Since then, I have turned my life around. My two daughters and I now have a house and have been self-sufficient for two years. I work as an alcohol and drug counselor for Butte County’s Department of Behavioral Health and receive no government assistance.

I did my taxes last year and although $24,000 is still poverty, it is not to me. My children feel better about themselves and about me. And my 9-year-old can’t wait to go to college. Why? Because she saw what that did for her mommy. She saw that she didn’t have to settle. That she could change.

I want this opportunity for every defeated mother out there. And there are many.

The problem is that the proposed budget intends to cut CalWORKs, our welfare-to-work program, and childcare subsidies. But these programs have already been cut by $17 million last year!

The reason for the cuts, we’re told, is that the economy is unpredictable and that we have a budget gap of $16.7 billion. That is true.

But what is predictable is the effect that these cuts will have on the economy. See, when they took money away from parents last year, those parents were not able to work and help build our economy this year.

Because parents like me are the driving force of this economy.

We chose Governor Brown, our senators and legislators because we voted for them. Now it’s time for them to choose us back.

Read related stories:

Stand with women like Magali Sanchez Hall

Why losing childcare means losing hope

Invest in Cal Grants, invest in tomorrow

Stand with mothers like Beckie.  Subsidized child care, CalWORKS and Cal Grants have been cut enough. Tell the legislature to come up with wise revenue solutions, and NOT balance the budget on the backs of women and children. Click here to send your letter.

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