The Journal of History     Fall 2003     TABLE OF CONTENTS


Outrageous Water Bill in Texas

Water is expensive for Brenda Pitts Bennett in Royse City, Texas despite the fact that she does not even water outside her home. She turned to Helping Hands for help, but they would not help her. They never helped her even though many people contacted them to encourage them to help her.

Below is a letter that she wrote to Helping Hands in Rockwall County Texas, the county in which she lives.

Helping Hands is a place of recourse for the poor; their telephone number is: 972-771-4357. The director of this facility is: Margo Neilson. Brenda spoke with a Helping Hands board member named Scott Self at: 972-771-8985 about this problem; his answer was that if I had not sued this county... I could get help; he said many other mean things. Mr. Scott Self also owns a business on I-30 in Rockwall named, Pro Soap at: 972-722-1161

Also the phone number to City of Royse Cities Mayor Jim Mellody is: 972-636-7980

I have applied for assistance from Helping Hands, but have repeatedly been denied. Helping Hands used to help pay my water bill occasionally but they do not any longer.

Brenda is now indigent due being afflicted with chronic Lyme's disease and is living on an SSI disability check of $552.00 a month. Most people living on this amount do have family member's support, but Brenda does not. Her mother and father are deceased and her 21-year old son used to help her, but he passed away February 5, 2003 and Brenda cannot even buy him a headstone.

She has a letter from Helping Hands director, Margo Neilsen, claiming that the reason they cannot help her any longer is because they have had road construction in front of their business causing donations to slow down, but Helping Hands picks most of their donations up and Brenda has been told by many other town people that Helping Hands is paying their rent and other bills.

Many of these people who have told Brenda this, are cheating to get Helping Hands' help because they are really living with their mates, but are not telling Helping Hands that they are.

Such places as United Way, rich peoples donations, and the like, contribute to Helping Hands. The man who started Helping Hands in Rockwall Texas is: Bob Reeves. Mr. Reeves started this non profit company out of the back of his station wagon and he was a wonderful person, but the new Helping Hands does not seem to emulate that philosophy.

Brenda called United Way Director Gary Godsey in Dallas Texas at: 214-978-0000 and reported this unfairness to them because they are donators to Helping Hands but it is still happening. Mr. Godsey told her he would look into this.

Editor's note: Brenda told me that nothing has changed in these three months.

Brenda does some work for Texas Lyme's Disease at:

because she and her family suffer from chronic Lyme's Disease causing them to be too poor to pay their bills. This causes them to have to live without the basic needs of life such as water, electricity, food, homes, and the like. Not one of them likes the fact that they cannot earn an income!

Most people think poor people are ignorant, and we are always being condemned! Brenda was not always poor, and we know she is very smart. She owned a business for many years and she helps run her ex husband's business which does building inspections for cities, counties, individuals, and the state. If her body could do what her mind could...she could work, but her body is in a lot of pain from chronic Lyme's Disease and an inoperable back with three herniated disks in which every other disk bulges.

The United States gives billions to other countries and billions more to certain multinational corporations, but we have poor right here in America who need help.

Even when one is not being retaliated against as Brenda is from a recourse place, these recourse places only help the poor approximately four times a year!

This is ridiculous for America to be this way.

Letter to Helping Hands:

August 12, 2003
Brenda Pitts Bennett
701 Meadowdale
Royse City, Texas 75189
SS# Purposefully omitted
D.O.B. Purposefully omitted

Dear Helping Hands,

I am witting this letter in regards to my needing financial assistance from Helping Hands to help me pay my water bill.

My payment due to The City Of Royse City Water Department is: $217.00

I realize this is an unusually high bill and due to this fact, many news reporters are doing a story about it.

Due to my disabilities, I cannot come in to apply for assistance in person, therefore, I am requesting your assistance by fax and due to being on a limited income from my disabilities, I have applied for your assistance many times, therefore, all my information is in your files. I know this because when I was able to come in your office, I observed it.

The City of Royse City Texas still has the same telephone number that you have on your files and again that is: 972-636-2250

Thank you for your time,
Brenda Bennett


The Journal of History - Fall 2003 Copyright © 2003 by News Source, Inc.