Friday, January 6, 2012

A Step Up the Ladder for Good

Harder for Americans to Rise from Lower Rungs

This article is not about good things.  It is actually about really bad things.  BUT, read it first and then let me tell you about the Circles Initiative (p.s. why is initiative the most impossible word in the world for me to spell):

There are two types of poverty, situational and generational.  I'm pretty sure I got my job by already knowing the difference between the two (I can't imagine any other reason they would have picked me).  So pay attention well.  Situational poverty, like it sounds, is poverty in a family caused by an unexpected crisis.  Someone loses their job, high medical bills happen, just any kind of unexpected expense that causes a family who has been doing fine to fall into poverty.  Generational poverty on the other hand, is poverty that continues from generation to generation.  Because parents living in poverty don't know how to teach their children the skills to get out of poverty or have the resources to help them, a kind of "poverty trap" develops.  Poverty is passed from generation to generation, with no foreseeable way out.

This is what this article is about and this, to me at least, is what the Occupy Wall Street Movement is, or at least should be, about.  There has to be a way out for people caught in the trap...

Let me introduce you to one possibility.  The Circles Initiative matches low income families with a middle-income family sponsor, called an Ally.  They meet once a week and discuss strategies for getting out of poverty.  On top of that low-income participants must complete a once a week course, complete with text book and work book to further train them on moving out of poverty.  Child care and a meal is provided at each meeting as well as financial assistance, if needed, to help people get into a position where they can take the necessary steps to get out of poverty.  It is a solution and studies show that it works.  Studies on the program have found that for every dollar donated into the program, $2 in welfare and food stamp subsidies were returned to the government and $4 entered into the community as new earned income.

The program is just a pilot program in a few states across the country, but it is a beginning and to me it seems pretty good.

Learn more here!  and here!

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