SNAP SPOTLIGHT ON CHELSEY LANG
Chelsey (26) is a single mother and a story of redemption. After struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, she was pregnant and all of a sudden her life was about more than just her.
“From where I was at, I honestly wasn’t enough for myself to stop…but he’s enough. Definitely. He makes me want to be a better person.” Now sober for 15 months, Chelsey works part time as a custodian. She brings home between $400-500 per month.
She lives about 5 miles out of Bismarck in an old hotel that’s been renovated into studio apartments. Her rent is $740/month. Her home is filled with toys, a crib and piles of clothes on the floor. Emryx is starting to crawl. But there is nowhere for him to go.
Chelsey is on Medicaid, WIC and SNAP. She received $350/month in SNAP benefits until she started working. Now she receives $174. WIC covers most of Emryx’s formula costs, but she uses SNAP to supplement his nutrition expenses. She uses Medicaid primarily for his medical appointments and says it’s just good to know it’s there if she needs it.
She admits to getting some help from her mom and Emryx’s dad. She also visits Sister Kathleen at Ministry on the Margins for support and additional food supplies.
Chelsey doesn’t want to be on any government assistance. “I just want this to be temporary. I’d like to get off it. But right now I can’t.”
When she thinks about her future, it’s not about her. “I read this quote ‘Your greatest contribution might not be what you do, but it might be who you raise.’ I keep that in mind. I want him to be a good person. I hope the world for him.”