Carolena Pennsylvania

Living Below the Poverty Line

This letter explores American poverty.

Dear Future President,

I do not want to live in a country where 45 million of 318.9 million citizens live below the poverty line. New laws and bills are complicated for people to get back on their feet after home foreclosure, bankruptcy, and loss of jobs. So many people everywhere are affected by poverty and the result is that they are forced to live on the street. Everyone should have a second chance on living and laws are making it more dead set. Some citizens may believe that this is all their fault but we are only human. Everyone makes mistakes and we all need to stick together as one, because we all live in the same country and we all need to help each other.

In fact, Kansas passed a new bill in regard to welfare. The article, Kansas Law Gives People Less Time and More Rules for Welfare Money, explains that, “The law shortens the time a person can receive the money.” This is not fair because jobs are hard to find and not all people can get jobs in the blink of an eye. They should not be limited with time because we never know how much time they need. If we take time away they might not be able to get back on their feet quickly enough so they could fall right back into poverty again. The author of this article argues that it is not fair to the people that are getting restricted. I could not agree more. It is not fair that people in poverty are not being treated like people.

According to the article, “(money) cannot be used at movie theaters, tattoo parlors, or swimming pools.” I agree it should not be used on things that are not a necessity like tattoos but people need a break. They can not just work all day everyday. People need to do recreational things sometimes and not everything is free. Some things have to be paid for and that is not fair. So this law should be less strict and allow for some recreation, otherwise why be an American citizen?

The article also stated that, “Another provision in the law limits the amount of welfare money a person can withdraw from a cash machine to $25 a day.” $25 a day is not enough to get by in day to day life. This is barely enough to get food or get a good education. According to Rohan Prabhu on the average person gets about $200 a day! Which is enough to get by but $25 a day is unacceptable. It is not fair, the least amount they should get per day is $200. If they got $200 a day they would have more money to get by and find a job. Then they would get out of poverty quicker.

“Child poverty and homelessness in Kansas are at record levels,” Senator Anthony Hensley stated.” I thought this was especially important. Are we willing to have children, our future, out on the streets in poverty? We should not be restricting the amount of money they get. They are just kids and this is the time when they need a good education and need to be fed well. However this is all impossible to them all because they do not have enough money to live.

Some people are taking action. In Los Angeles they inserted parking meters that give to people in poverty and the homeless. “Pasadena leaders argue the meters could encourage the public to give more. They say people might feel better knowing that their money will not be used for drugs or alcohol.” I agree with this. This is why even myself, do not want to give to them because I want it to go to good use and not be wasted. I dislike seeing people in need being ignored and neglected. Many other people do not give to the homeless because they do not know what the money is being used for. With the parking meter people would give more because it would be given to an organization and then distributed among the homeless and people in poverty. “It found 44 percent of panhandlers surveyed admitted to purchasing drugs and alcohol with handouts, in addition to food.” This is why people do not want to give to panhandlers. This is why the parking meter is a much better solution. It would encourage people to give the money to the needy. “About 31 percent of visitors to San Francisco’s Union Square said they would prefer to donate to services supporting the homeless.” This is what the parking meters are doing because they are going to a place to be given to homeless people so the people can spend on necessities. “Officials claim the meters have cut down on panhandling while raising more than $30,000 annually for food, housing and therapy for the homeless.” This is a significant amount of money that is very helpful to those in need. This could continue to increase if everyone had these parking meters.

A few years ago I lived in Philadelphia. Everywhere I went it felt like there was someone on the streets. I felt so badly for them and I wanted to give them all the money I had so they could live a better life. My parents always said they would not give to them, only because they had no idea where the money would go. This is why we need more systems to get money for people in need. For example, fix the welfare situation, or even make a program so that it is easier for people to find well paying jobs. So, will you help us with this problem? Are you willing to let our family and friends live on the streets? Are you going to ignore the fact that citizens need help? Tell me, future president, what are you going to do about this?


Carolena G., Pennsylvania