At LEAF, everyone is welcome to come and ask for help. Middle class or in poverty, everyone occasionally needs some assistance to get through the month. A difference arises, though, when the assistance needed is for thousands of dollars, as opposed to help paying a utility bill or for transportation expenses. Here’s the difference: when a middle class person
absolutely NEEDS $2000, they can find a way to get it. There’s another credit card, even though it will make life hard. There’s asking family, even though they may have to eat crow to do it. There are even friends, although swallowing their pride to ask can be hard. There are people in the lives of middle class folks who have the money to lend.
For people in poverty, or within about 200% of poverty, especially if they come from generational poverty (meaning that their parents were in poverty and raised them in poverty), it is a different story. You can’t borrow money from other people in poverty; they don’t have any extra to lend. People in poverty live from check to check, often having to move money around during the month to meet expenses. They usually don’t have credit cards, or, if they do, they are often in a debt repayment program because they are having trouble meeting their payments. They often have no, or very low, credit ratings. When a large emergency expense comes up, they literally have nowhere to turn.
Middle class people, who always have some sort of safety net, find this almost impossible to understand, that life in poverty means living without a safety net. For the middle class, an emergency can mean living in difficulty for a few months or years.
For those in or near poverty, an emergency can mean payday loans, or even homelessness. That’s a big difference.
- See more at: http://www.lyonsrecorder.com/index.php/lyons-chatter/6315-living-without-a-safety-net#sthash.PdBOygfm.dpuf