January is Poverty in America Awareness Month

We’re back! After a few days of taking our own needed rest, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization is back online reporting the latest poverty news, welfare rights reports, and issues related to low-income people in Michigan and beyond.

Fittingly, January is “Poverty in America Awareness Month,” a designation by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). During this month, allied groups and organizations will be working to educate the public on the breadth and depth of poverty-related problems, encouraging the media to report on poverty issues, and promoting a greater respect for and sensitivity to the needs of those in poverty.

The CCHD’s poverty tour discusses what life is like for the 37 million Americans living below the poverty line. A family of four living on a budget of $20,614 must find ways to survive on similar measly incomes and make ends meet. Here’s the CCHD poverty budget example:

$20,614 family budget
-5,756 basic housing
-2,656 utilities
-5,330 transportation w/ a used car, maintenance and gas
-4,064 food (hopefully, supplemented with food stamps)
-2,339 health and medical expenses
479 subtotal
-2,600 child care (even w/ child care subsidies)
-2,121 over budget and there are needs still to be met

So, what gets cut? Utilities? Medications? Education? School supplies? Clothes? Shoes? Furnishings? Toiletries? Entertainment? Birthdays?

No one in this world should be living in such subsistence and worried about how their family will live and survive. Push your local, regional, and national representatives to alleviate poverty once and for all by voting for living wages, national single payer healthcare, better child care subsidies, low-income affordable housing and utilities ordinances, and overall quality of life and human rights policies.

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