We need to change how we look at the impoverished in this country. We need to change the language.
The poor are most often poor not by choice but by circumstance. Sure, mental illness and addiction play a big part and need a great deal of reform in treatment and decriminalization, but people who live in poverty are not just dirty, crazy, drug addicts and alcoholics who pester us on the street for spare change. They are families, mothers with children, husbands that have, through no fault of their own, lost long-term, good-paying jobs.
We see the dirty, ugly face of poverty because that’s what we chose to see. We naturally want to distance ourselves from it and pretend that it is not a part of our lives. That is a luxury that we can no longer afford. The poverty line continues to cut its way into what we used to call the middle class, and I really don’t think anyone sees that trend reversing anytime soon.
How many paychecks could you lose before you were sleeping in a doorway?