Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
Some months back I was waiting in the hallway of the courthouse in Florence and overheard a conversation that haunts me. It went something like this:
Official Agency Representative (OAR): “Now dear, what are some of the things that you can do if your car breaks down and you need to take your child to Urgent Care?”
The young mother looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
OAR: “Well, you can call an Uber. Or a taxi. At no point can you just not take your child to Urgent Care if they need to go. A car breaking down is not something that lets you not take your child to the doctor.” (It was 110 degrees outside.)
The OAR was clueless to the fact that you need to have a credit card to take an Uber and people living in poverty do not have credit cards.
The young mother was having to figure out how to get the car towed from where it broke down and how to get the money to repair it. A child with a fever was the least of her worries. The food bank gave her canned spinach and kidney beans and her child won’t eat the spinach or beans and really needs some chicken soup and ginger ale — maybe she can get a neighbor to trade some chicken soup for her can of beans?
A better solution to this problem would be for the OAR to write a grant proposal for Urgent Care transportation that does not require three-day advance notification of an appointment.
Or perhaps, a state-funded credit card for that Uber ride to Urgent Care; because mom is never going to be able to “just call an Uber” without it.
Yvonne Esther Johnson