Defining Poverty

Welcome to our first Poverty 101 module Defining Poverty. In this module we will talk about the definition of poverty and its 4 basic types.

Don't forget to download/print the Poverty 101 Study Guide. Follow along and work through debrief questions on pages 2 - 10.

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Module I -Key Concepts:

  • Most communities respond to the crisis of poverty using reactive strategies instead of proactively addressing the root causes of poverty. The goal of this training - to help create an understanding of poverty so we can better support our families in crisis and create resiliency in our communities.

  • The government definition of poverty - not having enough money to cover basic needs - suggests that the only solution to poverty is earning more.

  • The federal guidelines for cost of living are based on a formula from 1967 and do not reflect the current cost of living. In Georgia, a living wage is $34.54 while the current minimum wage is $7.25.

  • There are 4 types of poverty according to noted expert Dr. Donna Beegle:

    • Generational Poverty - in which a family has been in the crisis of poverty for two or more generations.

    • Working Class Poverty - is experienced by families who generally aren't eligible for federals assistance and struggle to make it to the next paycheck.

    • Situational Poverty - is experienced by families who have a crisis that temporarily moves them into poverty.

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"I grew up thinking people didn't care"

Check out this video with Communication Across Barriers founder, Dr. Donna Beegle in which she gives insights into growing up in generational poverty and the people who supported her.