Poverty is more than just a lack of money; it’s a lack of resources. People in poverty generally lack at least three of the resources necessary to be functioning, self-sufficient members of society: financial stability, emotional stability, mental health, physical health, role models, a support system, spirituality, and knowledge of the hidden rules of society.
At M-POWER, we aim to break the cycle of poverty by providing education and healthcare through unique program delivery models that incorporate these resources and enable people to live whole lives.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
In Jefferson County alone, 13% of adults, an estimated 92,000 people, are considered functionally illiterate, reading below a fifth-grade level. The high school dropout rate hovers around 40%. An estimated 60,000 adults lack health insurance, while even more lack adequate access to care. While better healthcare, improved reading skills and a GED alone aren’t enough to pull people out of poverty, providing opportunities for these adults to move forward is vital to reversing the trend of generational poverty.
Generational poverty affects everyone. The Institute for Research on Poverty asserts that the costs to the U.S. associated with childhood poverty totals about $500 billion per year, or the equivalent of nearly 4 percent of GDP. This is the summation of costs of unearned wages and productivity, high crime rates and poor health associated with adults who grew up in poverty-stricken households.