I was talking with someone about the number of poor people walking the streets today with no hope for a bright future for reasons that I may never know.

I told her I have given to the local homeless shelter in the past, and a man listening close by said, “To hell with them all. No one helps me.”

I looked at him and pondered. Was his statement accurate or just a careless rant? Does he get no help and makes do on his own through life?

Did he ever apply for a job and get a job? Is that not being helped?

Does he have a job that enables him to get a discount on medical care provided by his employer? Is that not being helped?

Has he ever got any assistance because of circumstances beyond his control?

In America, welfare is generally thought of as free support in whatever form for people who cannot provide for themselves for whatever reason. When does welfare end and help start?

Would the examples I gave be considered welfare and if not, why not?

My guess is most fortunate or proud people would not like to use the term welfare while being helped. I would go so far as to say help and welfare are really quite similar and simply made to look different for status reasons.

It is my belief that we are all “helped” or have received “welfare” in many ways throughout our lives. It’s a character flaw if people belittle others based on money.

If a person is disgusted with welfare/help for others, he or she should quit their job and give back all benefits and say no to anyone offering food, clothing and shelter. It’s my guess that person might let help/welfare into their life.

Mark Joseph Pantermoller

Fairfield