Looking Beyond the Numbers
We blogged last week about the increased number of Americans currently living in poverty, a record 46.2 million people – or one in six Americans. According to the same reporting agency, the top five poorest states in the U.S. are Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Louisiana.
The current poverty rate is the “highest of any major industrialized nation”.
This past week, reporters from the Associated Press scavenged the poorest areas of the country in search for a few of the stories behind this record-breaking number. The accounts include very real depictions of the prevalent poverty struggle in America. Most frustratingly, those without jobs often live in the communities with the fewest resources for finding another. Adding to this vicious cycle are the struggles of feeding a growing family or caring for ill loved ones who are unable to contribute. Families find themselves destitute once government assistance ends or help from the community isn’t an option anymore.
Among the accounts is that of Monique Brown, a single mom with four children who, up until two weeks ago, was homeless. When the recession hit in 2008, Monique lost both of her jobs in Florida and decided to move her family to Alabama in order to live near her brother.
The Salvation Army of Birmingham provided shelter to Monique and her family for several weeks, eventually helping her find a public housing unit. They paid for her furniture, appliances and rent deposits. She now has a home where she can adequately care for her two-year-old son and continue her search for work. With help from The Salvation Army and other donations, her children have beds again.
The Salvation Army works to provide housing and homeless services for those in need. Along with providing food and lodging for the homeless, The Salvation Army addresses the health and educational needs of residents and seeks to address the issues causing the need. If you’d like to contribute to our efforts by donating online, please click here. Your help changes lives.