Here are five actions you can take to meet people where they are and assist in eliminating poverty:
Get poverty knowledge
Understand the history of poverty in the U.S.A., and how we got to where we are in our actions/beliefs about poverty. Read my research on different types of poverty and how each impacts people differently. Research and know the facts to dispel the myths and stereotypes. Study evidence based best practices that work to fight the poverty, not the people.
Do the self work needed to examine attitudes and beliefs about poverty and the people who live in it. Most people are not aware of the subconscious bias that affect actions toward people in poverty.
Gain communication skills
Specifically, for communicating more effectively across social class barriers. In my research, 92% of people living in the deepest poverty (generational) reported not knowing what to do next after meeting with a helping professional.
Learn how to develop relationships that matter
Being in the room or a conversation is not a relationship. Relationships based on identification work to build connection, trust and shared meaning.
Broaden your approach
Take a whole-person, whole-family, community-wide, poverty-informed approach. No one organization can address the complexities of poverty. Band aid, siloed approaches at best assist people in coping and do not help with moving out and staying out of poverty.