Sunday, November 16, 2008

Re: Why is there poverty? - Two Interviews

From: PW
Date: Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: Why is there poverty? - Two Interviews
To: The Amazing Long


You seem to have captured most of what I said. Either you had a recorder or you're an incredible note taker!
A few corrections, though, for the record:

1) A number of transient homeless individuals feel safer in smaller towns, rather than large cities. Williamsburg has a bus/train station where individuals get off, and it is a "microcosm" of what is happening nationally.

2) On the example of the homeless man in Connecticut, I let him stay on the couch at the halfway house/aftercare program that I ran (since we were full), not in my home. I was also the VP for the local homelessness coalition that started a shelter, etc.

3) Tioga Motel was here in Williamsburg, not Connecticut. It's been torn down as of this past year. Until recently, $39.99 + tax was about the cheapest price for one night's stay in a motel in this area.

4) I'm not sure how much of the "poverty' discourse was mine, but the root causes are complex and varied:
individual circumstances health issues: mental & physical; addiction; (old) age or disability; (lack of) education, training, or other skills; high cost of living; lack of jobs, health care, affordable housing; no family or community support, supply-demand economy, etc, etc.

Viable solutions are costly, labor intensive, and require a tremendous amount of collaboration & cooperation across the board. They require public and prviate partnerships on local, state, and federal levels, as well as goernmental, business, education, organizational, and faith-based cooperation within geographic areas. In history the "poor" have always been there. Their numbers and degrees of poverty vary by all these factors in a given region, and, to a great degree, are driven by societal factors. It's when people, despite their hard work and efforts, cannot advance and improve their lives, that creates a permanent underclass in any society.

Hope some of these clarifications were helpful.


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