Story about Poverty?

Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Poverty is a very great problem in our country. Will you write a story about it. - Nazrul

We had this request several times so we did some research? Thank you Nazrul for caring. Here are the results:


In the year 2001 there were 32.9 million people living in poverty in the United States. That equals nearly 1 out of every 8 people. 40% of America's poor live in cities but there are many in the suburbs and the country of the South. Many experts believe that this is a low estimate. The economy and poverty level is no doubt worse this year.

The federal government classified a family of four as "poor" if its cash income was less than $18,100; for a family of three, the poverty threshold was $15,020; for a married couple, $11,940; and for an individual, $8,860.

(U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, September 2002; U.S. Health and Human Services, February 2002.)

Minorities continue to rank among the poor in larger numbers than whites. Nearly a quarter of the poor are Native Americans and Alaska Natives (24.5%), followed by African American (22.7%), Hispanics (21.4%), Asian and Pacific Islanders (10.2%) and last Caucasian (7.8%).


(U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, September 2002.)

Here is a poll you can take about your opinions as to why people are poor:

There are over 20 million women living below the poverty level in the U.S. 13 million are considered living in deep poverty. Of the 20 million, nearly half are single mothers.

12 million children are what is considered "food insecure". 1 in 8 children go to bed hungry. 1 in 4 people at the soup kitchens are children.

Homelessness is a horrible problem in America the richest country in the world. Of those that are homeless 1/3 are veterans.

There are lots more dreary statistics but basically there is a severe poverty problem in the United States. It is summer now and few think to give to food banks and charities as they do during the holidays. Unemployment is at the highest level in nearly 10 years.


Please help those around you, give to your local food bank, at soup kitchens if there is one near you, your friends and neighbors that have fallen on hard times and organizations that feed the hungry.

If any of you have any good suggestions how to help poverty in America, please post them here.

- Susan

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April 28, 20040 found this helpful

I may not have thought this way 7 years ago because I was working a decent (not well) paying job. Then I had to take a disability from SS, and it is not much. We were still ok untiil my husband had 2 heart attacks and the dr put him on disability too. Now all we can do is pay bills and buy medicine. Forget about the special diets we are supposed to be on; we haven't been able to even replace worn-out clothing. I can tell of many tiimes I have gone "window-shopping" at Goodwill or St. Vincent De Paul's and found the perfect pair of shoes or dress or suit for my husband and did not have the $3 to purchase it.


It may be that when you remodel your home or buy new living-room, kiitchen, bedroom, or family-room furniture you can "pass-on" your old stuff instead of setting it on the curb. And don't just "throw-away" or get a tax write-off for your old clothes; give them to someone who works a minimum-wage job and can't afford to shop for him/her after outfitting the kids.

The sad fact is, poor people are looked down on as being to lazy to do something to get them out of their poverty. You are not told about the ones in poverty who are UNABLE to work. You hear from our government officials that there are jobs going wanting because people would rather be on welfare or sell-drugs than take an honest job. What you do not hear is that many of the poverty-stricken are unable to do manuel labor (mopping floors, waiting tables, cleaning homes or offices) and do not have the training to get an office job (even receptionists are required to have training and/or experience). The agencies supposed to help us are over-full and hampered by government reegulations which require them to help the drug-addicted alchoholic rather than those who want to be upstanding citizens.


The "able-bodied" are hampered by jobs not paying enough for child-care, no transportation, not enough for a family to live on, etc.

I hope someone will get some positive idea(s) from this. The only hope for this world is for us to pull together; the 'haves' helping the 'have-nots' without thinking they are being taken advantage of.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Becki in Indiana (Guest Post)
April 29, 20040 found this helpful

"There but for the grace of God go I." Many "poor people" used to be just like you, and have fallen on heard times through no fault of their own. I think we perceive those on welfare, food stamps, etc as lazy or undeserving, because many who DO qualify are too proud to take assistance -- so the most visible are the ones who can seem least deserving. I had a good friend whose father was a missionary in Africa. Her father became very ill and she flew to Africa to be with him. By the time he died a few months later, she had lost her job, car, and apartment in the US, and had a very hard time scraping together enough money to return home, as well as transport her father's remains.


The she had the expense of burial. She had no family to help public assistance programs. She had worked hard all her life and was suddenly homeless. A group of friends and co-workers banded to gether to "rescue" her. Is this somehting you can anticipate and plan for? I don't see how. Something like this could happen to anybody -- a car accident can leave a breadwinner disabled; a fire or earthquake can leave you homeless. Don't judge those who are "poor" -- instead, be grateful you are not one of them, and DO ALL YOU CAN to help those who need help.

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June 21, 2003
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