WISCAP member agency Couleecap has released its quarterly Community Concerns report. This quarter’s topic is “Debunking Poverty Myths and Stereotypes.” In summary:
- In Couleecap’s four-county service area, almost 29,000 people, including 8,600 children, live at or below the poverty line.
- Poverty is the exhausting, unending, time-consuming struggle of juggling and just hoping to make ends meet with no end in sight. Poverty robs you of a sense of security and it destroys your self-esteem and your hope for the future.
- There are many myths that fuel stereotypes that negatively impact those living in poverty. One of the many myths related to poverty is that poor people are unmotivated and have weak work ethics. This is not true. The reality is that poor people do not have weaker work ethics or lower levels of motivation than wealthier people. Two-thirds of people living in poverty work an average of 1.7 jobs and 83% of children from low-income families have at least one employed parent.
- Americans have to move past stereotypes and focus on meeting the basic needs of those living in poverty, while setting them up for success, rather than berating them for not being middle class.