06/20/12 2:00pm

Even Shaq has a doctoral degree, so don't think you're special.

Caroline tried to get food stamps and found out her student debt doesn’t qualify as part of her financial need, and faced lots of grief from internet commenters; Karina was considering out-loud whether to get food stamps and faced some grief from a Nasty Nosey Nelly sitting nearby. Just get a job already, right?? Turns out even the most over-educated people in the country are turning to food stamps too. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported the number of people with Ph.Ds on food stamps has more than tripled in the past few years. Does this make you feel better or worse about your own financial situation.

C’mon guys, just get a job taking orders at the drive-through philosophy joint, amirite? (more…)

05/30/12 7:00am

Karina wrote a piece for The Billfold that’s worth your read, taking on a particular query that her generation of struggling Brooklynites faces: Who gets to be poor? It starts with Karina in a coffee shop in Bed-Stuy talking to friends about applying for food stamps, when a nosy Nancy interjected saying, “Excuse me, but you’re all disgusting,” and that what they were talking about was wrong “because you’re overeducated white people. Just get a job.” The piece is a meditation on what kinds of people we consider socially acceptable to be “poor,” and whether every young person in Brooklyn is bound to be a stereotyped caricature of a Girls character, instead of perhaps the hard-working, trying-to-make-a-living mindset that brought a lot of people here in the first place (and Karina is one! -Her Editor). Read an excerpt below, and the full thing at The Billfold. (more…)

04/10/12 7:30am

Caroline, in her frustrated element.

Did you know that student loan debt doesn’t factor into your qualifications for food stamps? Neither did Brokelyn’s Caroline Shadood when she bit the pride bullet and went in to apply for government food assistance; and was ultimately rejected. Caroline (who you may remember from such Brokelyn posts as “The inside secrets of retail jobs revealed!” and “Tricks to get big-time buzz for your band“) wrote up her experiences for XO Jane in this piece titled “It happened to me: I was rejected from food stamps,” in which she lays out the humbling and illuminating experience of being broke, in need of food and still considered over-qualified for the program. Writes Caroline: “I have enough self-awareness to accept my privilege (having gone to college and being currently employed, to say the least) and understand that my cultural norms and ideas about poverty are different than someone else’s. I may be in a stint of poverty, rather than lifelong cycles, but who is to know how long the “stint” may be for the duration of paying my loans on time — aka the next 8-10 years.” It’s worth your time to read, especially if you’re hungry and considering your options