The Effect Poverty Has on Us

Staff Writer: Maya Walstead 

The rate of poverty is rising. This is largely because of Covid and the impact of unemployment. Human Rights Careers says the international poverty line will go up from 1.90 to 2.15. This is talking about the amount of money that a person makes. “This means anyone living on less than 2.15 is in extreme poverty.” 

So, what actually is poverty? Poverty is defined as “The state of having few material possessions or little income.”  

Poverty has affected people in many different ways. According to apa.org, in their article “Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youths” it states, “Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as homelessness, inadequate nutrition, and unsafe neighborhoods.” Depression also runs high with people who are in poverty because they feel helpless and think there is no way out.  

Photo Credit: Shannon Stapleton 
Caption: Where People Live in High Poverty Areas 

The chance of living in an unsafe neighborhood tends to be higher in places with a higher poverty rate. This is because people in poverty usually don’t have jobs or have lower paying ones. In an article from Huduser.gov called “Understanding Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Poverty,” it states, “Many neighborhood level indicators are linked to important outcomes for people residing in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, including crime.”  

Photo Credit: The Guardian 
Caption: Starvation in Poverty

Inadequate nutrition has killed so many people. It can also affect children’s brain development, and as a result neighborhoods in poverty have worse education. An article from Wilder Research called “Nutrition and Students’ Academic Performance” states, “Nutritional deficiencies early in life can affect the cognitive development of school-aged children.”  

One of the students here at Woodstock High School, Sage Godfrey, has experienced this firsthand. They said, “My mom was stuck in Canada. And because of that my dad was depressed. And when I did have a place to stay, it was with my grandparents, but they were abusive.” These are the main reasons that so many people are homeless.  

So, what was the impact poverty still has on you today? Sage also said, “It absolutely did. I can’t be in shared spaces with people without feeling unwanted. This is because of my grandparents not wanting us to be in their home.” This is how homelessness has affected them. But Sage isn’t alone in this, many people are also affected just like this.  

How can we help people that are in poverty? On the website commonbond.org from the article “7 Ways You Can Help Fight Poverty in Your Community” it states, “You can challenge ideas and assumptions, create jobs, donate funds, and find volunteer opportunities.”  

There are several organizations around the world and in Georgia that will help people in poverty. In Georgia we have Project South and HOPE Atlanta. Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are two of the most successful anti-poverty programs in America.  

It might seem like there is no hope when you are in poverty, but there is. It is very easy to get stuck in this cycle, but you can get out. If you seek help people will listen. Sage is living in her own home now. They got out, and so can you. 

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