Walking the Line: The New Face of Poverty

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:50 PM

In America, over 46 million people - 15% of the population - currently live in poverty. There's a common misconception that these people are impoverished because they don't want to work. At VFC, we see every day that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Over the past 13 years, Vehicles for Change has awarded 4,000 cars to low-income families. The majority of these families are single mothers with 2-3 children, who travel by bus, train and foot 3-4 hours each day in order to keep an $8.50/hour job, just so they can feed their children. Personally, we at VFC know that we could not walk in their shoes for a week, let alone endure this grueling schedule they maintain for years.

Being a single parent is, at best, a difficult life. These parents work an 8-hour job, come home and make dinner, get homework, baths, food shopping, and lunches complete. Pretty grueling, right? Now add to that schedule 4 hours of travel time and/or working a second job and making less than $23,000 a year. That is the face of the poor in the United States.

Do they want to be poor, no. Unfortunately, many believe that this is all they will ever know.

Breaking the cycle of poverty is not easy. Along with access to childcare, transportation is the greatest barrier to employment. Sometimes a car is just the tool needed to help these families escape poverty.

Give them hope and break the cycle of poverty. Find out how to help a poor family by donating your spare car to charity.