“I can’t get any help…where do I go? I’ve paid taxes and I’m waiting for disability,” said longtime Oceanside resident Samantha Ewen as she spoke before the city council on Wednesday, November 3.
According to Ewen, the City of Oceanside has been giving her the runaround as she’s sought assistance to tide her over until a retroactive disability check arrives on December 1.
Ewen said she worked for six years as a contractor for Camp Pendleton and two years for the Department of Defense. Although she is getting assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ewen claimed she was denied food stamps by AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children).
“My family has been in this city this long and I can’t get any help,” said Ewen. When she first reached out to the City for help, Ewen said she was redirected to the Housing Authority, which then transferred her back to the City of Oceanside.
“I need money now — $200 is not going to get me through the month of November,” said Ewen, referring to a sum that she received from Social Security.
Ewen went on to mention how she noticed that the California state flag and the U.S. flag were aligned at the same height at the welfare office where she was denied food stamps.
“The American flag isn’t higher; that’s how much they give a damn about us in the City of Oceanside,” said Ewen. “They didn’t even know what that means — I’m, like, ‘The American flag is supposed to be higher, you assholes!’”
Ewen expressed frustration with city employees transferring her phone calls and their lack of help and advice. “I need to know — maybe the city manager can tell me — where can I go to get resources? I need pads, I need toilet paper, I need food.”