How Does Poverty Affect Communities – This extract from research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reflects the reality of a family struggling to make ends meet on a meager income. One in five people in the UK live in poverty. Without resources to meet their minimum needs.
Money cannot buy happiness. But it can really make life a lot easier. From where we live to the food we buy and how we travel money is often a factor. Our latest infographic shows how poverty works
How Does Poverty Affect Communities
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This shows that more than half of those living in poverty are in working families. And many others are in vulnerable groups. Often the work is not adequately paid or people fall into poverty due to circumstances beyond their control. Poverty is partly caused by a lack of basic material resources. People have trouble putting food on the table. A recent audit by housing and homelessness charity Shelter found that one in 200 people in Britain are homeless.
But it is also about deprivation and missed opportunities, such as separating children from free school meals. Or people missing job interviews because they don’t have the “right” clothes, when people are denied access to resources and expertise. This can hinder their ability to participate and feel valued and part of the community.
The difference in life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas of the UK is 19 years. The reasons for this are complex and money is only part of the picture. The index of multiple deprivation also includes other determinants such as housing, employment and education. However, in many conversations I’ve had about inequality, “inequality” or “disadvantage” is quickly translated into “poverty,” even though we must not lose sight of other factors. The importance of having relevant but sufficient money cannot be ignored.
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Sufficient income helps people avoid stress and feel in control. Access to tangible experiences and resources Apply and maintain behavior and feel supported by a financial safety net. With these mechanisms, people have more access to the opportunities they need for life. These opportunities involve significant work. Safe housing and high self-esteem all have long-term effects on our body and mind.
Relations also go in another direction. Good deeds can give people access to social and economic opportunities, such as stable, quality work. Without these opportunities, people can become stuck in a cycle of poverty and destitution.
There has been much debate about the balance between individual “lifestyle” choices and the broader structural factors that shape our lives. It is true that individuals can have power over decisions that affect them. But this agency can be severely limited by poverty. Different decisions to buy food, cigarettes or TV should be seen in a wider context.
Novelist James Baldwin said it well when he said, “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how expensive it is to be poor,” although the connection between cold, damp housing and poor people is well known. But pre-paid energy meters could mean people on low incomes have to spend hundreds of pounds more each year on energy costs. This can be a challenge for many of the 48% of 21-24 year olds who do not earn a living wage. Similarly, our infographic shows how to get the necessary energy from different types of food. It can be three times more expensive than similar food.
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Poverty also uses up emotional resources and affects people’s ability to make sense of the future. Looking through this lens, you can see how foreign behaviors like smoking can be used as a quick fix in a stressful situation, or how if you’re experiencing loneliness and low income. Buying a TV isn’t as smart as it should be. Poverty also limits people’s ability to invest in the future. and improve their future opportunities, education and training or moving to a new city can open up valuable opportunities. But without a financial safety net the risks are simply too high for many people.
There are many stories of people overcoming poverty. This can be by attending school or college. Or use your talents in music or sports. But given the scale of the problem, a few “golden tickets” are not the answer. Alleviating poverty requires intersectoral action. Education and skills, good jobs, welfare systems that respond to needs, debt support and tougher gambling laws are all part of the operation.
We must seize the opportunity to develop. “More proactive policies to promote wealth creation across the country” and thereby address inequality across society.
The moral and economic basis for action is enormous. For every £5 spent on public services, £1 is required. This is due to the impact and cost that poverty has on people’s lives. A UK where more people live is not just about survival. A more ambitious approach is needed. It addresses the experiences and priorities of the 1 in 5 people who understand the problem best.
Ben Risinger, Author At The Green Apple Pantry
We are looking for talented and enthusiastic individuals. Because everyone plays an important role in the foundation. Where you live directly and indirectly affects the basic resources and opportunities you can expect, and many may take for granted. Your location affects the quality of schools available. Access to healthy and affordable food and your overall well-being and future economic success.
That’s why the Afterschool Alliance believes the role of after-school programs is under discussion. Playing (or not playing) in communities where poverty is concentrated is important. These are districts or groupings of districts. With many families living below the poverty line, this is the first time America’s post-3pm data has been used to look at high-poverty communities. Research has shown that there are problems with economic, academic and health indicators.
In our special report, Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty, we take a close look at the experiences of afterschool programs for children and families living in communities of extreme poverty. This includes participation in after-school programs. Preventive barriers to participation in program activities and services and satisfaction with the program
The report also includes recommendations to help create better after-school and summer learning programs for children and families living in extreme poverty communities. Integrate after-school programs and supplemental support for families in extreme poverty communities. Raise awareness of support available in after-school programs. and increasing investment in after-school programs to best serve children in communities of extreme poverty. These are just a few mentioned suggestions. Want more statistics on after-school activities and communities experiencing extreme poverty? Please visit America’s home page after 3:00 p.m. to read the full report or executive summary.
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