How Our System Traps People in Poverty

Our current system of anti-poverty programs and policies reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the structural causes of poverty and does little to address the systemic and internal barriers that make it nearly impossible to overcome it. The struggles of those in poverty remain nearly invisible to better-advantaged individuals.

For people living in poverty and near poverty, the cost of goods and services becomes the most critical factor in purchasing decisions. People in poverty have to prioritize those costs over opportunity, comfort, physical needs, emotional needs and even their safety.

We need to offset and push to progress beyond a system that institutes unnecessary and disproportionate cost and time burdens on individuals and families in poverty as well on the agencies that provide services to them.

It’s Outdated
It’s Fragmented
It Charges People for Being Poor
It Attempts to Punish People out of Poverty
It Lacks Sufficient Outreach & Efficiency in Benefit Delivery


Misconceptions About Those in Poverty Adversely Affect Public Support for Funding & Employers’ Hiring Decisions.