Reblogged: The Face of Poverty

Posted: November 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Reblogged from:
ttp://avoicereclaimed.com/my-view

The Face of Poverty

Picture yourself a single or divorced mother. You are more likely to be white than black. You and your children live in rural poverty, on an army base, or in what is now politely known as the “inner city”.

You work outside the home, in a full or part-time job (sometimes two). Since you have no more than a high school diploma, you are limited to minimum wage, blue and pink collar jobs. Never mind that you grew up in poverty, yourself.

Childcare is an ongoing challenge, sometimes costing you jobs. When a child is sick, you miss work. Child support is little more than a fantasy.

Poverty and all it entails is a recognized cause of chronic health problems. You may already be suffering from depression or heart disease. Your children still have their dreams. They, also, have asthma.

There are government programs that should be of help to you. Welfare, Food Stamps, and others. These require that you set any remaining pride aside, and wait hours on a phone, a website, or a line. You do that gladly (and repeatedly), to no avail.

One agency takes the position you are another’s responsibility. A third unaccountably closes its file, sending you back to the beginning.

So on and so on. Bureaucratic errors and delays bring you to tears. You fear you may snap.

Your children have had little stability in their lives, apart from you. Unfortunately, you (and they) have more than once been evicted.

This is not the result of a cavalier attitude on your part toward finance.

To the contrary, you stretch your meager income as far as possible to meet expenses. Since there are never enough funds to go around, you pay bills in part, in alternate months, or allow them to go into collection. This applies to rent, as well.

Evicted and without savings, you sleep on a friend’s couch, effectively homeless. Your children may have to change schools again; may have lost their meager belongings to a lockout by the landlord.

Public housing is not an available alternative. The waiting list for subsidized housing in your state may be years long. Such housing is often dilapidated; the crime rate there, astronomical. Ceilings leak, toilets function only occasionally. Gunshots can be heard in the halls.

Younger children eat before older ones. You eat last, if there is any food remaining. More often than not, the refrigerator stands empty.

This is the face of poverty.  It is not the image any of us would choose for Thanksgiving. But it is the face of America as surely as that of Lady Liberty or Uncle Sam.  As we sit around our holiday tables, the rest of us would do well to remember that.

Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty…and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me’ ” (Matt. 25: 44-45).

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

Comments
  1. Thanks for posting this, I’ve forwarded to my Facebook Page and Twitter.

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  2. kcharbneau says:

    Reblogged this on Kay's Blog Spot and commented:
    This just reminds us to be thankful for what we have.

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  3. […] Reblogged: The Face of Poverty | Gotta Find a Home. […]

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  4. […] Reblogged: The Face of Poverty (gottafindahome.wordpress.com) […]

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  5. Interesting piece – and not much different over here in England either.

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    • I’m sure these situations are much more common than our governments will admit to. These people are just like us they seek happiness and an end to suffering. ~ Dennis

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      • behappyplease says:

        As someone whom is becoming more and more acquainted with what poverty is truly like, you seem like a great person to ask, Dennis! Is there something you see that can be done to improve the lives of these people both in the present and for the people of the future?

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      • I have been looking for answers to these questions for the past three years. The problem is that homeless people are not voters, they are not taxpayers. As far as politicians are concerned they don’t exist. There is nothing the government can do, to aid the homeless, that will increase their voter popularity. More likely, it would cause an increase in taxes which would anger voters. Government on every level sees social programs as the first place where budget cuts can be made and not noticed. Social Workers are increasingly burdened with a higher case-loads, with less money to accomplish their goals. This is true all over the world.

        The only thing I have found is that by speaking to people individually, finding out what their immediate needs are, I can sometimes help in some small way. A little help is much appreciated. If we each help, to the extent we are able, we can make a big difference. When it comes to election time we will each have a better idea of what our priorities should be. ~ Dennis

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      • behappyplease says:

        Thank you very much, Dennis, for answering that question; I don’t think I would have found a better answer elsewhere! I’ve got a short-film script I’m working on which aims at educating the public about what can be done while also including a bit of humor. Every cause takes time. Thank you, and best wishes!

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  6. aqgreenfairy says:

    A chilling scenario.

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    • I agree. How do we change it? ~ Dennis

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      • aqgreenfairy says:

        That is a very deep and serious question. The trouble is that it’s often people who “started early” or “had children irresponsibly” (5 children without having an income) who are in this position. On the other hand, social help alone does not fix it, as has been proved conclusively. It only draws countless immigrants from even poorer countries who then drain the social country’s resources because they all require this help – leaving the British mother as destitute as though there were no social services.

        What solution? I’m not sure there is one. Perhaps only, on a personal level to educate oneself as highly as one can, and only have children once the income to support this is there.

        On a family culture level, perhaps to educate girls so that they don’t fall into the teen pregnancy trap. But what to do with those cultures that marry off young teenage girls as a norm?

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      • aqgreenfairy says:

        … but disregard previous comment, because it doesn’t take into account all those who have arrived below the breadline as a result of the disastrous economic “decisions” our billionaire bankers have taken over us, and “our” governments fully support. What is their drive?

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  7. shanuwater says:

    Reblogged this on ShaNu Water and commented:
    While others are partaking in the festivities of eating to their hearts content, and I certainly am not bashing you for doing so. I simply choose this day to water fast. To cleanse and reflect on those that do not have the liberty to have family and friends around a graciously decorated table with more food than any human could possibly eat comforatably and meditate their world will become better and propserous soon. Ase’

    Like

  8. lassyalone says:

    you just described my life.Juggling minimum wages,hiding from the coal man because I can’t pay the bill.So I spend hours collecting driftwood most days to supplement what I can afford.In the morning I fill up the half empty carton of milk with water to make porridge for my youngest.My daughter says she is not hungry and goes off to college without.
    At night we both go skip diving to get whatever food the supermarket has thrown out.Sometimes we get lucky and there are packages of reduced food and bread ,most nights the supermarket pours bleach over everything and destroys as much as possible.
    I dread christmas and my son and daughter are happy with whatever we can get.The worst thing is the fear of not making the rent and ending up on the streets.It haunts me like an evil shadow only just one step behind.And yet mostly we are a happy family.So what if christmas means sausages and mash,theres homebaked cake and bread .there will be books I hope to buy or find in thrift shops.I live in the UK ,poverty can but need not destroy us………yet.
    Thank you for highlighting people like us ,the invisible often marked lazy poor.We are just like you,dreams hopes,just poorer.

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  9. Lorenzo T Neal says:

    Reblogged this on Pastor Lorenzo's Blog.

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  10. toad (chris jensen) says:

    i struggled with the decision that i had made leaving my ex-wife to fill the gap,which i am truly grateful, for the beautiful daughter we brought in this world.

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  11. THEJNSREPORT says:

    Truth plain and simple. We have to care about others not just ourselves.

    Like

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