Life At The Poverty Line In The Usa Essay

Being poor taught me things about myself I wish I didn’t know. They come back with bags of shopping and put money in my bank account and I am curled in a ball of mortification and gratitude. I needed a new laptop because I can’t do what little work I get without it.But I had no savings so my only option was to borrow. An 0 laptop can cost nearly twice that with interest and late-payment fees.As the second year ground on, it morphed from being a threat to seeming like an inevitability.

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In Perry County, 40 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty line, the highest of any county in the state.

At the other end of the spectrum is Shelby County, where the poverty rate is 8.5 percent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Black Belt counties have the highest rates of poverty while metro areas have the lowest."Poverty is not a state of mind; it's a complex series of barriers that hardworking people have to overcome every day," said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible, the statewide nonprofit that released the report."Although Alabama's overall poverty rate slightly declined, we still have work to do," she said in a statement.

Last year, Alabama ranked as fourth-poorest state in the nation.

Two years ago I wrote an essay for Meanjin titled ‘A View from a Treehouse’ (no. At the last minute serendipity gave me a sublet on a tiny flat with a jury-rigged enclosed wooden patio on the second floor, sitting just under a huge old tree.

Divorce, debt and redundancy had crashed me out of my comfortable existence and into a chilling moment where I lost my job and was within days of losing my home and my children as well.Not necessarily sleeping rough, but couch surfing, staying with friends or family and feeling they have become a burden where once they were a loved companion. They put wine in the fridge and are horrified to find it empty. I couldn’t afford to pay the registration on my car so it lapsed.I learned things about being poor I hadn’t known, hadn’t wanted to know. They use my bathroom and see it covered in dust but denuded of soap and toothpaste. Six months later my mother paid twice the cost of the registration to get my car back on the road so I could do work I couldn’t get to without it.The cost of the debts grows and I cut back further and further. Those designer outfits are the remnants of another life and eventually I sell most of them on e Bay.Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are long gone. More than half of all renters in Australia are in rental stress, defined as spending more than one third of their income on rent.In June last year I had a job interview in the city.I thought I had a good chance, but a payment I was expecting didn’t come through in time and yet again the bank account and the myki card were empty.I’m shabby and unkempt and I’m trying to hide desperation in job interviews. I’m good at those things but they don’t make for much of a résumé.I haven’t needed to present them in a résumé before.Alabama's median household income of ,833 is nearly ,000 less than the national median of ,775.The difference grows starker when comparing black and white households, however.


Comments Life At The Poverty Line In The Usa Essay

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