In the richest country in the history of the world, we are never more than a degree away from poverty.
Hurricanes happen, but for those with resources, insurance payments, family and friends come to the rescue. For poor Americans, those safeguards are lacking -- friends and family are typically strapped themselves, and insurance coverage is thin or absent.
Given that the vast majority of Bread for the City's clients are African American (or other people of color) in a city that's nearly fully half Caucasian, this assumption not only ignores broader patterns of racism -- it becomes part of the pattern itself.
Poverty numbers have steadily risen for during the decade after Katrina. There's been no sign of a turnaround. For that to happen, there would have to be a massive commitment of funds to job training and education programs and greater tax incentives for businesses to hire the poor.
We must remember that health does not exist in a vacuum separate from wealth, from the laws we write, from the systems we create to protect our citizens, or from the injustices that exist in each of these things.
As Social Security turns 80 this year, we celebrate it as the nation's most successful anti-poverty program in history. In 80 years, it has lifted millions of our families out of poverty and never missed a payment. But millions of the seniors in our communities still live in poverty today.
Sometimes, no amount of research can prepare you for an interview. Such was my recent experience in interviewing Saint Fleur Junior Charles, a 32-year-old man brimming with courage, strength, and -- more recently, he says -- faith.
American families without clean water live lives totally different from our own. They often wake up and collect water from a source outside their home, fetching it in buckets and boiling it on the stove.
I became brutally mindful of the BS that clogs up the social change industry, specifically about the lies that we, as content creators, producers, and filmmakers are communicating to the public about the "glorious impacts" that foundations and non-profits have on impoverished communities.
These are the facts. They may not be startling or scary enough to garner attention on the nightly news, but they paint the accurate picture of our world. We are safer, healthier, and richer now than we have ever been.
The children of the South Bronx today are likely the unhealthy and vulnerable adults of tomorrow -- unless our leaders actively intervene to create enhanced health opportunities for Bronxites.
It's a lofty goal to shift things around for these villagers who battle extreme poverty and have a "zero" diet. They survive by growing and eating genetically modified corn, heavily laden with pesticides.
When power is available, it can be expensive: In many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, consumers pay as much as 20-50 cents per kilowatt-hour against a global average close to 10 cents.
Defunding the largest organization providing education and pregnancy prevention services will only increase the percentage of young people relegated into poverty, not only in this generation but also for generations to come.
America's come a long way, baby - from helping the poor to hating them. Today, almost every bullet point above is a knee-slapper, a political pipe dream. But that doesn't take away from the courage and dignity of the Act itself.
"I love you." That's what Jesus says. So that's what I say. I see a homeless guy, and I love him. I'm going to help him if I can. That's being Jesus. The movement to love our neighbor as ourselves is stirring in this world. It is awesome to see.