ERIC Number: ED485918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
The High Cost of Being Poor: What It Takes for Low-Income Families to Get By and Get Ahead in Rural America. Strengthening Rural Families
Annie E. Casey Foundation
The good news is that today more low-income parents--in rural as well as urban communities--are holding down jobs and bringing home a paycheck than at any other time in recent memory. Like all parents, they hold fast to the belief that their hard work and sacrifice will translate into a better life for themselves and their children. The bad news is that, despite working hard and playing by the rules, far too many low-income parents in rural communities still find severe obstacles in their path out of poverty. Despite their best efforts to succeed in the workplace, many find it nearly impossible to build the savings and assets that are, for all families, the critical ingredients for achieving genuine economic security. Even though low-income parents are working harder and longer, too many find it difficult to get by and get ahead. For the low-income rural working family it must seem as though they are bringing their hard-earned wages home in a leaky bucket--losing some of it to taxes, some to work related expenses, some to lost government benefits. And sadly, when they get home with what little is left, they find that the cost of caring for their families is greater than it is for everyone else. Clearly, if we are to level the "affordability" playing field for our most vulnerable families, much needs to be done. The good news, as indicated by the range of efforts taking place nationally, is that many are recognizing that paying more simply because you are poor is a practice that is out of sync with our country's core values. (Contains 35 endnotes.)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 701 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. Tel: 410-547-6600; Fax: 410-547-6624; Web site: http://www.aecf.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.