Former Marine Testifies About CalWorks and Childcare - Women's Foundation California

On April 20, 2012, almost 300 people attended a town hall meeting in San Jose, hosted by 9to5 California. People spoke passionately against proposed budget cuts to CalWORKS and childcare. Assembly member Bob Wieckowsky, and representatives from the legislative offices of Assemblymember Jim Beall and Assemblymember Luis Alejo were present at the meeting. Over the past week, we’ve been sharing success stories of women who have benefited from these programs. Today, we’re sharing John Wilson’s story. He’s a former Marine and a father.

I have been a resident of Santa Clara County all my life. I’ve spent the majority of my life in the Marine Corps and the Army – those years that are most valuable regarding education and life direction. But upon completion of my third enlistment, I was a single father of 3 boys (all in diapers), and I had few skills marketable in the private sector. Shortly thereafter the boys and I were all enrolled in school when we were evicted from our home. Times were tough on us. We were homeless, living outside, cooking on a campfire. It was hard, cleaning the boys for school when they reeked of campfire smoke. Over the next 9 months I had to deplete all my savings just to put food on our table. At the end, we were living in my car when we were given a helping hand by a program just like these (CalWORKS and Childcare Services). These programs meant that we were able to get a place to live and afford childcare so that I could work.

Child care is an essential key to digging ourselves out. Child care bills are enormous. Child care for 2 young kids in this area is $1,600/month. To work an entry-level job at $10/hour will bring only about $1,600/mo. gross.

So I’m on your side – the side that defends those who cannot defend themselves and provides for the desperately needed circle of care we all need from time to time. We can’t do everything for ourselves in this life. We hope there is a circle of care we can depend on as a safety net, especially for those very young and very old.

Please hear us and validate our efforts. Help us move forward with confidence by bettering ourselves in a way that will enable us make a contribution back to the community that you have been elected to represent. Give us hope. Semper Fi.


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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CalWORKS and Childcare — A road out of poverty

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Why losing childcare means losing hope

Invest in Cal Grants, invest in tomorrow

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