Do you find yourself in one of these categories?
You can't afford a vehicle and use public transportation,
You don't own a computer and use the library's computers,
Do not have credit cards or a bank account,
Can't afford a checking account because you can't afford the minimum balance without incurring fees and have to use checking cashing businesses to cash your employment check, then getting charged outrageous fees for doing so.
You are homeless or you live in Section 8/government housing,
If this does not describe you, then you are probably not poor.
When some think about the homeless, they are envisioning a drug addict or someone mentally ill. This is true, it is also true that Drug/alcohol addiction is a disease, and those that are mentally ill cannot help it.
Many misconceptions have been made about the poor and who they are. A common stereotype of the poor is that they do not work hard enough or are not motivated enough to get themselves out of their circumstances, there are those that believe that some people would prefer to live off welfare rather than work. When was the last time you heard someone say I would rather be poor than be rich? It is common knowledge that the poor buy more lottery tickets than those with higher incomes, in hopes that they will get rich.
This link dispels the myths surrounding welfare. https://mashable.com/2015/07/27/welfare-myths-debunked/
But what about the rich and famous that went from rags to riches.
1) Howard Shultz, the founder of Starbuck's grew up in a housing complex.
2) Ralph Lauren, grew up in the Bronx, New York
3) Shelden Adelson, most of us know him from his huge donations to the republican party. He grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Not much different than growing up in the Bronx
4) George Soros, whether you love him or hate him, he was poor Jewish young man that survived the Nazi occupancy in Hungary
5) Oprah Winfrey, from Tennessee was born poor
These people are in the minority. Not everyone has a rags to riches story.
There are many people who grew up in poverty and managed to overcome their circumstances without becoming wealthy. Maybe you are one of them.
My mother Jacqueline (Jackie) is a good example of this. Born in 1938 to an American father and Canadian (Quebecois) mother. Jackie's father served in World War I. Over the years her father eventually succumbed to his exposure of poisonous gases. Jackie was just an infant at the time of his death leaving her, her mother and 3 siblings to be recipients of welfare.
Jackie eventually got married to my father, but that marriage ended in divorce. She found herself as a single mother raising me, once again a recipient of welfare. She worked as a waitress and did menial jobs. These jobs did not get her out of welfare. She did not have a car; they were at the mercy of public transportation. As a single mother Jackie wanted to find a way out of welfare and government housing.
She found an opportunity in learning a trade as a Draftsman and got a job working for Raytheon, designing missiles. Jackie was part of the project that designed the missile the Hawk. Not usual for women to be in that career during the 1970's. This was the beginning of her exodus from government housing and eventually buying a car.
Having a job is not going to get someone off welfare, when the income earned, does not meet the standard of living. Where there are poor communities and homelessness there is higher crime. It becomes a matter of survival.
The answers to fixing poverty and crime has been debated between political parties, but why haven't we resolved it yet? Because
there are those that benefit from having a poor society with high crime. Those that have the most to gain from the poor have no incentive to solve poverty, crime, or homelessness.
Corporations make money within the prison systems offering services such as food, phone and medical. A phone call can be $8.20 for one minute. Charging outrageous prices for products and services that go above and beyond what the average taxpayer pays. You might be surprised to learn that some of the products we buy from corporations are made by prisoners that earn little to no money.
Most are unaware that there is a huge lobbying power in Washington DC promoting private prisons and passing more laws to increase corporate profits.
Governments benefit by passing more laws so more revenue can be generated. Truancy fines for kids skipping school, putting your feet up on a subway seat in New York and many other laws that did not exist when generations before us.
There are countries that experience far more poverty than the United States and countries like Monaco that boast having no poverty.
Part of being prosperous is having a prosperous nation, holding governments and corporations accountable.
Prosperity lies not only in our wallets and abilities, but also our communities and nation.
To prosper from poor towards middle class will be the resources made available on the resource page, which will be updated as needed. This will include government resources, nonprofits, as well as training