10 MAR 2015 :: Basic Needs :: Access to resources

I was adding a comment to a Richard Branson post on Facebook today, about (financial?) gifts and being able to reach your goals (my paraphrase).  I don't know how to find posts you make comments on so, from a faded memory of the entry, I remember I ended by sharing the idea that ACCESS to resources is missing in the lives of poverty households and it keeps them from even the most basic improvements to their lives.  I may have been having a bad attitude day, but the truth is no one makes it without help, and poverty households don't have many places to turn to. 

This lack of access to resources for emergencies is why loan sharks and pay-day loans become their prisons... and lead to more devastation.  Why aren't there regular financial services for low-income, poverty, and homeless populations?  Probably because these households are seen as a liability, not a long-term investment. 

Charities barely survive trying to provide food and shelter and clothes, money is flowing out faster than it comes in.  People in poverty, accessing charitable services, are often viewed as incapable, illiterate, addicted, abusive, criminal, and desperate.  How can any charity justify offering financial resources to people like that?  Charities have to account for what they spend and make sure their money is used to create successful recipients...  this evaluation and accountability responsibility reaches into the charitable process when hard choices have to be made between those who might be a bit better at success than others.

Government funding, which is becoming extinct, goes to programs, institutions, and charities, not to the individuals, not to the levels of real need, not without choking requirements and regulations and accounting.  We see reports of billions of dollars spent to help the poor, but don't really know the details about the end of the spending process. 

Both charity and government funding are big businesses that become dependent on the failures of the poor.  If you get rid of welfare, you eliminate jobs and overhead and communities and all the things that charity and government are linked to.  It is like the energy battles... the demise of oil and coal and fracking mean changes in the lifestyle and income of lots of people...the loss of jobs, and overhead, and communities, and all the things that are attached to these industries.  In time they may be absorbed into other places, but we don't know that, or how long it will take to recover.  We keep a lot of things going because there's no easy way to the next industry.

Who helps those in trouble until they aren't in trouble any more?  No one that I know of.

We like to make the government responsible for everything because it seems so huge and takes so much of our money.  It could become responsible for everyone in the same way socialist and communistic countries do.  We may not be able to avoid it.  The government already controls our money in many ways, and it has access, with or without permission, to everything in our lives. Our financial future is dependent on how the government legislates taxes and business and freedom and individual rights.  There isn't any place to hide from the government...not really...and it's becoming even harder because of technology.

In my search for solutions, I created Working Together.  What would you create?  How would you solve the problems that are so deeply attached to poverty and the people who are suffering because of it?  In my quest, I had to answer questions like these ::
  • How much help do you offer? 
  • What do you require for participation?
  • How do you manage the ongoing process? 
  • Who do you give access to?
  • How do you get the money back?
The main thing poverty households need FLEXIBILITY, to be able to juggle their payments, to find a way to get through unexpected hardships -- which plague poverty households. 

How can you help people with difficult histories and treat them with respect? How do you let them remain in charge of their own decisions, and consequences, and goals?  How do you stand with someone without controlling every penny you "help" them with?  It is a big challenge.

Let me know what you come up with.