A Puerto Rican high school girl faced with her mother's terminal illness and an eviction notice seeks help at a welfare office. She is given comfort and guidance by a radical black Jewish ex teacher, but he rages at his own impotence, attacks a caseworker and is led away. Later, the girl is advised by an old Black recipient familiar with the ways of welfare and life. Her requests for welfare assistance are ignored so the girl protests, causing the office closing and the imminent arrival of the police. The old man gives her all the money he has and tells her to "stay away from welfare ain't nothing' but cotton candy."
"A winner. Captures all the awful indignities and humiliations of the dole. It's also loaded with sometimes biting, sometimes hilarious humor and human kindness." - New York Daily News