Former property manager turned real estate and marketing B2B freelance writer.
How Can We Fight Poverty in America?
What is the poverty solution in the United States? How does one get out of poverty? They likely got into poverty due to their own poor choices. They may not have known those choices were poor at the time, but they were still poor all the same. There are those who actually really want to do what it takes to get out of poverty. Some genuinely want to make a better life for themselves and their family, but they don't know the solution to their poverty problem.
1. Provide Job Training and Skills
This is a huge reason why we have so many working poor—they don't have the skill set to obtain those higher-paying jobs. Additional job training and education are essential to their success.
2. Government Hand-Ups
The government is a large pool of money and resources for this, but there are aspects of government programs that are less than admirable. They tend to treat the symptoms and not the root cause. The government is known for giving handouts and not hand-ups.
A hand-up would require more time, patience, and diligence to try to help those in poverty who really want to get out. A handout treats the symptom and gets the person out the door, thus encouraging government dependence. However, this is not always the case; Maine has decreased their food stamp load by 80%.
Wisconsin Works: Wisconsin Job Training
Wisconsin Works is a job training program for single mothers in Wisconsin. It provides them with benefits to get by, which they can use as long as they are participating in the job training program. It sounds really great! If only more knew about this!
According to the Journal Sentinal, nearly two-thirds of food stamp recipients who qualified for W-2 were not enrolled in the program. Why? They didn't know about it. The article even states that diversion tactics were being used to keep people away from the program.
3. Enlist the Aid of Non-Profits
There are a number of non-profits out there that are dedicated to helping people who want to get out of poverty. I mean actually helping, not just giving a handout. They can help with job training, interview training, education, etc. They may need funding from the government to make it happen, but if they can work off tax-deductible donations, that's a way they can be self-funded. They can provide referral incentives to government personnel once a participant completes the program too.
4. Teach Self-Control and Budgeting
Those living in poverty typically have many self-destructive habits that kill their budget and prevent them from using their money wisely. For example, smoking. According to the Heritage Foundation, many of ABAWD's receiving food stamps were smokers. This is not only counterproductive to your budget, but it increases the amount of money spent on Medicaid too.
If you do get a good job, your health premiums would be higher. This expense is unnecessary. If you really want help getting out of poverty, stop smoking. Easier said than done, but if getting out of poverty is important, you need to quit.
Lack of self-control is another reason those in poverty stay in poverty. Do you really need the name brand cereal? Do you really need to spend $111 per month on cigarettes? No and no. Teaching self-control and budgeting will go a long way in determining someone's success in getting out of poverty. If it's that important to the person, they will do it.
5. Help to Set Boundaries
When dealing with a population that has everything handed to them, you have to set some firm boundaries. I've noticed this personally when dealing with those in poverty. Since they have had everything handed to them, they don't know any different, and expect the same from you. Giving in to this expectation does them a huge disservice, though it may be easier on you.
Setting boundaries and established rules forces those in poverty to really learn how the world works. If you don't show up to work, you will get fired. If you don't have that paperwork in by the deadline, you will not receive benefits. If you blow all your money at the first of the month on cigarettes, you will be hungry very soon. Those in poverty typically need some tough love since they struggle with self-control and self-destructive habits. If they want to get out of poverty, they have to change. They have to want to change.
6. Help Children Break the Cycle of Poverty
The children in poverty typically are not learning what they need to when it comes to getting themselves out of poverty. According to Healthline, they go to poor public schools where they are exposed to violence. They live in sub-par housing. They are not learning vital skills from their parents because they are working two jobs and don't have the time to do it. Thus, the children go into poverty, too, since it is all they know.
Putting training and support programs into the schools could be greatly helpful to children. You can help teach self-control and life skills at a young age before they pick up self-destructive habits. It shows them, at a young age, that they have control over their destiny. Just because they were brought up in poverty doesn't mean they have to stay there.
Poverty Is a Complex and Multi-Faceted Issue
Poverty is a complicated issue. Most of the time, people get themselves into the predicament they are in by making bad choices. However, it's not impossible to get out. One has to take into account that they have to make substantial changes in their life, which will be difficult but rewarding. It does take a lot of work, growing up, and dedication, but it can be done!
Understanding Poverty in the United States
- Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor | The Heritage
Analysis of poverty in the USA: poor children rarely hungry; poor often have cable TV, air conditioning, a computer, and larger homes than non-poor Europeans.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.