Unfortunately, with today's economy, more people are signing on to the welfare system.
With little employment opportunity and higher costs of living, people who never saw themselves in this position are now using link cards and Medicaid to scrape by. That's the situation for one family in Macomb, but it's the stigma associated with welfare that's making life even harder.
"I've been on the Link card for over a year, and only close family and friends know about it, because it is embarrassing. I don't want to have to ask for help from anybody," said Rachel Bride. "I grew up in a family where you worked hard for what you get. I never wanted to ask for help for anything, but I needed it. When I got to the grocery store and ring it through the credit card machine, I put my fingers over the its so people don't know it's a Link card."
Rachel Bride's a mom, a nursing student and supporting her family with two jobs.
"I got the second job to help pay for bills I wasn't able to afford with the one job. And when I reported the second job, it put me $35 over the limit for a Link card," said Bride.
In Bride's case, quitting the second job to keep her Link membership would be more beneficial than keeping both jobs. She says it's a backwards deal.
"After going to Macomb's public aid office this last week, and being treated so horribly, I decided that, it's enough.The system of public aid was designed for people like me, people that work, people that go to school, people that need help. Their mission statement says that they're there for support, for stability in your life. That stability is what I need to get through school so I can get a job where I can financially afford everything on my own," said Bride.
Bride says she knows there are people who abuse the system, but there are many more who don't.
"There are people that need it and use it for what it was designed for. Everyone needs help sometime in their life. It may be in different forms, maybe not the link card or medical card, but I don't think you should be ashamed of it, and I'm not ashamed of it anymore," said Bride.