Walking is something Wayne Dewdney has been doing a lot of. He says he’s on a mission to find work. He’s also in a job readiness program at Southeast Ministry.
“I want to work. I want to show my son, I want to show my family, I want to show myself that I can do it,” said Dewdney. “I can make a change. I’m willing to go out there and try — put forth 100 percent.”
He’s a single father of a four-year-old son. He’s been on public assistance for three years and says “it’s a chain that has to be broken.”
However, Dewdney does not like the new council bill introduced by Marion Barry. It’s designed to cap welfare at five years.
“It’s like [Richard] Nixon going to China. People always see Marion Barry as this big liberal who wants the government to pay for everything, which is not true. I want everybody to be self-sufficient. I want the government to help make them that way,” said Barry.
Ed Lazere is the executive director of DC Fiscal Policy Institute. He says it’s not the right time for this legislation.
“I think we can all agree that an effective welfare program would give parents the help they need to take care of their children and give them the tools to look for a job and then hold them accountable to that,” he said. “The problem is right now in the District, our education and training for welfare recipients is really inadequate, so in the middle of an economic recession, it just doesn’t seem right or effective to think that a time limit is going to actually work.”
If the bill is passed, 8,000 people would be dropped from the rolls immediately. Critics say kids and adults would be left homeless and hungry.
As for Dewdney, he’s had three job interviews in the last six weeks. He says all he needs now is a chance.
Source: FOX DC