I was asked to do a podcast for Umqua Bank on “poverty and money.” The first question from the interviewer was, Dr. Beegle, I don’t think poverty is really about money, is it? My answer, well it kinda is. Money determines if you have nutrition and health care. Money determines your zip code which research shows determines your economic future. Money shapes whether you attend the “good schools” or the ones that middle class people would never send their kids. Money determines if you have utilities, water, garbage service, access to internet and technology.
Blog entry on general poverty topics.
The average wait list for Section 8 subsidized housing nationally is 10 years. I am one of the privileged who got access to a Section 8 HUD housing voucher. These vouchers cover rent in low-income communities, but not in middle-class areas where rent is higher. For me, the voucher meant that—for the first time in my life—I would not have to worry about where my kids and I would sleep. I was 26 and had spent most of my life being evicted and living in cars, berry farm housing, and housing that was or should have been condemned.
This week was my son Dan’s birthday. I asked him what would make him smile. He said he would like the world to return to normal. I said, I don’t want it to go back to the “old normal.”