I am ashamed to admit this, but until recently I did not know January was Poverty in America Awareness Month. I guess the truth is I did not realize how much an issue poverty was in the United States and knowing this now, I wish there was something I could do to help those in need. I think the only thing I can do is help spread the awareness of poverty.
Heartland Alliance is an organization based in Chicago Illinois, opened by the founder Jane Addams in 1988. This fabulous organization is meant to bring health care, housing, and support to those facing homelessness. This organization was first responders during the Great Depression and assisted with finding homes for those that did not have a home. They also assisted with recovery when vets came home from WW1 and WW2. Heartland Alliance has severed 500,000 people yearly, including refugees, those that were experiencing homelessness and chronic illnesses and those in sheer need of justice.
Heartland Alliance helps those falling on hard times by focusing attention on 6 fundamentals that will help for a successful outcome.
- Housing– A home offers people with safety, stability, and comfort, which can also give success with education, employment and create a building on wealth a viable goal. Five years ago in 2015, 38% of renters were burdened with rent and 17% were severely burdened with rent. This can mean these people were barely able to make their rental payments and still provide food on the table. Emergency, transitional, and permanent housing support is just one step towards an individual’s success.
- Health– Sadly enough, low-income Americans are higher risks to have heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other chronic conditions in comparison to higher-income Americans. The poor health of an individual only further contributes to a reduction of income creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out and also known as the health poverty trap.
- Education- The best-case scenario for many American’s is they have at least $1,000 in a savings account and the worst-case scenario is they have ZERO in a savings account. To end poverty, Americans need to be able to build and not simply and barely live paycheck to paycheck. Heartland Alliance offers programs connecting people with the resources and education on how to not only build but maintain a savings account they had never been previously offered.
- Opportunity- People are impacted by poverty when trying to get employment. Many people are forced to stay in a job where they might be mistreated, feel unsafe or are being taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, individuals without access to fair employment can fall further into poverty. We all already know that income for work provides the means for necessities in life. Society should never force people to choose between their dignity and a paycheck, they should be a given right.
- Safety- It is downright sad that poor households nationwide suffer higher rates of violence. When the underlying quality of life is made better, the insurance of an adequate life free of poverty and violence is much more likely.
- Justice- The fight or economic justice and quality has been going on for years. Many programs assist in this fight which includes ACLU- American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.
The NAACP, Legal Defense, and Educational Fund was founded in 1940 and served as the country’s first eve civil and human right legal organization. The founder of this organization was none other than Thurgood Marshall. This was during a time when that nation’s yearning for equality was being ignored due to the widespread amount of racial inequality.
I am going to share a few programs that were created to reach out to those in need.
Food and Support Through Community Coordination:
Provide Food, Shelter, Counseling and Support:
Support for Individuals and Families Struggling with Poverty:
The NAACP Foundation the best they can ensure that every person is treated fairly and is extended opportunities without race, gender, creed, religion or sexual orientation considered. The foundation will provide all children to equal quality education for academic success and will have the means to become productive individuals in society. The NAACP Foundation utilizes the Association’s Scholarship Program to promote higher education. This scholarship program acts to eliminate the roadblocks many of the youth faces today.
There are several scholarships available to those interested and qualify for. The scholarships include Earl G. Graves, Agnes Jones Jackson, Historically Black College and University Scholarships and the Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship. The scholarships have awarded over $600,000 to students, which have helped with combating the cost of college that are on a steady increase. More than 300,000 young people have benefited from these scholarships since 1977.
I believe that in 2020 something must be done to lower or eliminate the number of individuals living in the United States of America in poverty. In the list of wealthiest countries, the United States falls at 12. It would seem our poverty rate would much lower than it is, instead of having 40.6 million American’s trying to survive poverty.
We might all just simply say, “What can I do to help this devastating issue?” Some may just try to turn their head when we see a homeless person on the street because we do not know what we can do; after all, we have a family to care for and sometimes are barely making it. It is time we wake up and fight for those dealing with catastrophic struggles.
A few things we can do to help those living in disastrous times are: we can take the time to write to our Congressional representatives demanding stable work schedules for those in a low tax bracket and equal pay for any given job. When writing to those that have the power to make a change, we should require after school programs that provide meals and support for the innocent children. Sadly children who come from impoverished homes are often forgotten. These children face so many challenges with their education and it isn’t fair. Again, there are things we can do with a little effort including:
- Reach out to local libraries for book donations.
- Requests to the community for school supply donations.
- Establish summer reading programs that will help lower-income children build on their reading skills.
- Create donation drives to collect necessary items like food, clothing, toiletries, first aid items, blankets, furniture, etc
Instead of fighting against each other, we can start working together as American’s and turn things around for a greater good. I do not think is farfetched, but we can achieve so much if we stop the hatred and false judgments. I must believe we are better than some have been acting.
Thank you for visiting my site today. This post was sad, but this is a real issue that needs to be corrected. There are small things we can all do that may make a huge change in other’s life. I look forward to reading your thoughts on this devastating issue because I know y’all have a huge heart and this issue will cause you to think. I hope y’all are having a great weekend so far and of course I hope you are feeling well. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love , comfort, and many positive vibes!