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Updated by Simona Combi on Jan 07, 2016
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Poverty

Poverty isn't just about not having much; it's about never knowing how much you're going to have

More than 45 million Americans live under the poverty line, and roughly 30 million more are near-poor (defined as 1 to 1.5 times the poverty line), according to the latest Census Bureau data. thinking about poverty as being only about income levels obscures the important dimension of income uncertainty Poverty, of course, is determined simply by figuring out who earns below a certain threshold.

Reflections on Linda Tirado's Hand to Mouth - Talk Poverty

Linda Tirado, Hand to Mouth In an essay called Why I Make Terrible Decisions, Linda Tirado explained how behavior that seems irrational or irresponsible might actually be sensible and smart if you are poor and the only options available to you are bad ones.

These Are the Stories of Daily Struggle in America

This may be the most depressing story of the week: Maria Fernandes, a Newark woman who worked four jobs, died as she napped in her car Monday. The police said she regularly slept in her car in between jobs, but this routine became fatal when she fell asleep with her car running.

Cutting the Poor Out of Welfare

Over the past three decades, Congress has conducted a major experiment in anti-poverty policy. Legislators have restructured benefits and tax breaks intended for the poor so that they penalize unmarried, unemployed parents - the modern-day version of the "undeserving poor." At the same time, working parents, the aged and the disabled are getting larger benefits.

Finding a job, but with an hour-long walk home from work

This article is part of Richmond: The legacy of poverty, an ongoing Storyline series about the city's ambitious plan to combat poverty and confront its past. We've created a Facebook group to discuss unemployment, underemployment and poverty in the United States - and what cities can do to help.

Demonizing the Minimum Wage - The New Yorker

With the midterm elections approaching, the United States Congress finds itself in an exaggerated version of its customary posturing gridlock. Among the many urgent issues that it almost certainly won't address this year are immigration reform, gun control, the Keystone XL Pipeline, the fate of the Export-Import Bank, and the federal minimum wage.

What happens to families on housing assistance when the assistance goes away?

Housing constitutes the largest expense that most of us bear every month, as well as the most essential. And yet of all of the forms of aid we offer the poor - food stamps, income support, school lunch, health care - housing assistance can be the most precarious.

The danger of being pushed off public assistance

The story is part of Richmond: The legacy of poverty, an ongoing Storyline series on the city's ambitious plan to combat poverty and confront its past. We've created a Facebook group to discuss unemployment, underemployment and poverty in America - and what cities can be doing to help.

Poor kids who do everything right don't do better than rich kids who do everything wrong

America is the land of opportunity, just for some more than others. That's because, in large part, inequality starts in the crib. Rich parents can afford to spend more time and money on their kids, and that gap has only grown the past few decades.

Why poor kids don't stay in college

BALTIMORE - It is a Tuesday in October and Terrell Kellam is running late. He usually wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to catch the first of two buses that will take him from southwest Baltimore to Morgan State University, just north of the city.

Poverty the Biggest Factor in Whether Students Go to College

Income level is the greatest indicator of whether a high school graduate will attend college, according to a study released Tuesday. The National Student Clearinghouse looked at more than 3.5 million graduates of public high schools over the past several years, and found that high school graduates from schools with more poor people are significantly less likely to attend college than their counterparts at schools with majority middle-to-upper-income level students.

Our criminal justice system is making it really hard for people to find jobs

Although the American economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, many people still struggle to find jobs. Politicians blame taxation, trade policies and automation. Some have even singled out the current welfare system. Often overlooked? The many punitive effects of the criminal justice system. Nearly 65 million Americans have a criminal record.

To Keep Poor Students in School, Provide Social Services

ARLINGTON, Va. - FOR the 16 million American children living below the federal poverty line, the start of a new school year should be reason to celebrate. Summer is no vacation when your parents are working multiple jobs or looking for one. Many kids are left to fend for themselves in neighborhoods full of gangs, drugs and despair.

Pedestrians Dying at Disproportionate Rates in America's Poorer Neighborhoods

In the middle of a four-lane roadway in one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods, Carl Jones stood over a solid double yellow line as he waited to cross one morning in 2012. Just before a car traveling west could pass, another vehicle heading in the opposite direction hit Jones, sending the homeless man airborne.

The Hidden Ways Urban Design Segregates The Poor

A few weeks ago, news emerged that a New York building was planning a separate entrance for residents of its low-income units--"poor doors." Outrage ensued, but the truth is, urban design that tries to segregate well-off from welfare is nothing new. Before poor doors there were anti-homeless spikes, pay-per-minute benches, public spaces secluded behind private infrastructure, and more.

More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries

Despite the economic recovery, more than 46 million Americans - or 1 in 7 - used a food pantry last year. And a surprisingly high number of those seeking help were households with military members, according to a new survey by Feeding America, which is a network of U.S. food banks.

The Only Food Poor Americans Can Afford Is Making Them Unhealthy

Americans receiving food aid have much higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure than the U.S. population as a whole, and some of the habits they resort to in order to stretch their dollars just make the situation worse.

1-in-4 Native Americans and Alaska Natives are living in poverty

On his visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota today, President Obama is using his first stop at a Native American reservation while in office to highlight the challenges Native Americans face. In an op-ed published in Indian Country Today , Obama called the poverty and high school dropout rates among Native Americans "a moral call to action."

The Way to Beat Poverty

AS our children were growing up, one of their playmates was a girl named Jessica. Our kids would disappear with Jessica to make forts, build a treehouse and share dreams. We were always concerned because - there's no polite way to say this - Jessica was a mess.

White poverty exists, ignored

In a small office on the first floor of the Owsley County Court House, across the street from the Hometown Cafe, Johnny Logsdon, chief of the two-man police department, is talking with a reporter about life in this town of 82 people in the hills of eastern Kentucky.

As welfare shrinks, some of the neediest are being left without a lifeline

The story is part of Richmond: The legacy of poverty, an ongoing Storyline series on the city's ambitious plan to combat poverty and confront its past. We've created a Facebook group to discuss unemployment, underemployment and poverty in America - and what cities can be doing to help.

When Living Wage Is Minimum Wage

A generation ago, people making the minimum wage were largely teenagers. Today, as President Obama pushes to give 25 million low-wage workers a raise, that's no longer true. The minimum wage debate hinges on an essential question: Who would be affected by an increase?

How America's poor are slipping further behind - in 3 charts

Let's take a typical worker in the bottom fifth of earners and look at what's happened to him in the 21st Century. Since 2000, his household's income, after adjustment for inflation, has dropped about 15 percent. The amount in his savings account, always meager, has fallen too - by about 35 percent.

The Hidden Ways Urban Design Segregates The Poor

A few weeks ago, news emerged that a New York building was planning a separate entrance for residents of its low-income units--"poor doors." Outrage ensued, but the truth is, urban design that tries to segregate well-off from welfare is nothing new. Before poor doors there were anti-homeless spikes, pay-per-minute benches, public spaces secluded behind private infrastructure, and more.

Child poverty in the U.S. is among the worst in the developed world

The United States ranks near the bottom of the pack of wealthy nations on a measure of child poverty, according to a new report from UNICEF. Nearly one third of U.S. children live in households with an income below 60 percent of the national median income in 2008 - about $31,000 annually.