in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
Tackle poverty holistically -- then give people freedom to succeed
From: Michael D., Portland, OR
We often think of poverty as lack of money. But poverty happens on five levels: emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. When people have a need in one or more of these areas, then they experience poverty. Often, when people lack too much in a particular area, then they are affected in their ability to work and become financially stable. Government programs can fall short because they focus on the surface issues rather than looking at the overall health of a person. Each area must be strengthened for a person to be whole. Once people are stronger in each area, then they are in a place to be find stability in work.
There are many who are complete in all five areas, yet lack financial stability due to government obstacles. High taxes, rules that penalize people who achieve a certain level of income, and unnecessary regulations can put people in a position to not achieve their potential. The war on poverty can be won if we help people find healing and wholeness in the five areas, and if the government removes unnecessary obstacles to free people up to reach their potential.