Running head: Community Problems
Problems: Minimizing Poverty
considered the lack of access resources need to survive on a daily basis.
Considerable resources needed to survive are considered as food, clothing, and
shelter. Others would also see poverty as lack of education, health care, and
positive relationships. People who live in poverty are marginalized: they are
sometimes excluded from society and treated as less important. According to
Marianne Hill, Ph. D. (2008), poverty is a major problem to confront,
especially in the South, where about 1 out of every 5 persons lives in poverty,
which the numbers are continuously growing.
A lot of elements
play a vital role in poverty. Some of these elements are associated with
individuals or families being irresponsibility with money, limited access to
education or jobs. Other elements saw poverty as not only an individual problem
but a social problem that needs politically and structurally attention. Although poverty is one of society’s major
issues, many would suggest that this sort of element is needed in society.
Sociologist have suggested, like Emile Durkheim, that it is through issues like
poverty that it helps to create more jobs and to allow the minimum work that
needs to be done to be completed by individuals within the socio-economic
status. Emile Durkheim further explains this within the functionalist theory.
Durkheim saw everything within society withhold a purpose. Functionalist theory
explains that society’s beliefs, behaviors, social structures, etc., are
functions that work together to ensure social stability. Through the functionalist theory, we learn
the importance of working hard and having the ability to enjoy life or being
apart of the “American Dream.”
Reducing poverty in society is going to take
the work of the government and community. The combination of support,
accessible resources, and policies to help all families and individuals in need
would be a great step to minimizing such a major global issue.Although poverty
has a continuous impact on society, there are various ways that we could
minimize the poverty rate in America. Improving community-based organizations ,
welfare and social policies would be a great start to decreasing poverty. Technical assistance (TA) approaches provides more than a set of
skills. It provides a framework upon which community development organizations
can analyze their needs, assesses their strengths and weaknesses, plans, and to
grow and help their communities to prosper (Lyon & Driskell, 2012).
Technical assistance can be helpful in minimizing poverty within various towns similar
to the Mississippi Delta. Technical assistance is likely to be effective if it
utilize the eight key principles: it must be shaped by community development
officials agenda’s; everything must start with a plan; technical assistance relationship
is a partnership amongst equals; it should deal with real issues rather than
topics; it must help develop the ability to anticipate; all key players must be
involve; building capacity takes time; it should promote networking; and start
with questions (Lyon & Driskell, 2012).
Delta has implemented community-based organizations like the Community Action
Agency, Inc. which is a private, for the purpose of providing education and
work assistance to the low-income of the Mississippi Delta in Bolivar County.
The Agency’s principal activities consist of carrying out Community Action
Programs through grants received from governmental and private funding
agencies. As a leading program in the State of Mississippi, the Community
Action Agency provides a variety of services ranging from preschool child-care
to a senior companion program; a transitional and homeless shelter to
a Homeless Prevention Rapid Re-housing Program; an adolescent
opportunity program to a general education diploma program; utility/rental
assistance to education assistance.
The agency’s mission is to enhance the
well-being, economic independence, and growth of low-income individuals and
families to become self-sufficient and foster community empowerment and
development. Along with providing
assistance to the community, the Community Action Agency also provides
self-help programs to help individuals to become less dependent on assistant
programs. Other programs consist of neighborhood watch programs, which help the
community to better protect themselves from home invasions and other criminal
activities. A community-based organization, like the Community Action Agency
and government assistance programs, could be utilized to help decrease poverty
in Mississippi, but many programs that are similar are either underfunded or
have limited resources to cater to the needs of multiple individuals or
families in need.
better community-based organizations and government assistance programs, these
programs should not solely focus on the individuals. Most programs and
organization make it hard for families to receive assistance because they
sometimes use punishment and the threat of punishment in order to change
behavior and get people off public assistance (see O’Connor, 2001,Quigley,
2003). A positive approach is to limit
the number of years recipient can be on family assistance and require
participants to work after two years on
welfare (see Levitan et al 2003: 59-72).
There are numerous
approaches public official, community leaders, churches, community-based
organizations, and families can take to resolve poverty. The best pathway out
of poverty is creating more job opportunities. To get back to pre recession
employment levels, we must create new jobs from private to public sectors. To
kick-start job growth in rural areas within the Mississippi Delta, the federal
government should invest in job-creation strategies such as rebuilding our
infrastructure; developing renewable energy sources; renovating abandoned
housing; and making other common-sense investments that create jobs, revitalize
neighborhoods, and boost our national economy. We should also build on proven models
of subsidized employment to help the long-term unemployed and other
disadvantaged workers re-enter the labor force. Raising the minimum wage is
another way of decreasing poverty. Raising minimum wage and indexing to the
inflation would lift more Americans out of poverty. Recent action taken by
cities and states such as Seattle, Washington; California; Connecticut; and New
Jersey, shows that boosting the minimum wage reduces poverty and increases
hourly jobs increasingly come with unpredictable and constantly shifting work
schedules, which means workers struggle even more to balance erratic work hours
with caring for their families. Ever-changing work schedules make accessing
child care even more difficult than it already is and leave workers uncertain
about their monthly income. By implementing the Schedules That Work Act would
require a two weeks’ advance notice of worker schedules, which would allow
employees to request needed schedule changes. Boosting investments in Head
Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant, as well as passing the
Strong Start for America’s Children Act; which would invest in preschool,
high-quality child care for infants and toddlers, and home-visiting services
for pregnant women and mothers with an infant. It will also help more
struggling families obtain the child care they need in order to work and
improve the future economic mobility of America’s children.
public transportation is another way to minimize poverty. Public transportation could assist workers
without vehicle transportation to and from, as well as to local healthcare
facilities. If the problem of poverty is in the system rather than in the poor
themselves, a community development response must be to change the system. Conclusion
It is possible to minimize poverty
in America, also in rural areas like the
Mississippi Delta. Between 1959 and 1973, a strong economy, investments
in family economic security, and new civil rights protections helped cut the
U.S. poverty rate in half. Efforts to successfully reduce poverty and advancing
development are certainly possible for the state of Mississippi. Rural cities
within the Mississippi Delta, like many other cities across this nation, has
great potential to getting more people off the streets and into stable jobs and
homes. Minimizing poverty has to start with communities bonding together to
remove division from the communities based on cultural and racial differences,
to tackle the issue of poverty. The collaboration of leaders from the
education, business and government sectors, and the active involvement of
leaders from families, churches and other organizations in the setting of
priorities and directions, can ensure success.
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