January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month. The poverty rate in the United States increased from 9.3% in June to 11.7% in November, the biggest increase in one year since 1960. The federal poverty line is $26,200 for a family of four. Poverty can cause malnutrition and hunger; lack of proper medical care; social discrimination and exclusion; and limited access to education and other basic services.
Housing affects almost everything: it plays a critical role in providing stability to poor families. Housing poverty includes energy and fuel poverty, lack of access to water, and lack of sanitation. The housing market does not produce enough affordable housing, and the number of households paying more than 30% of household income for rent is at historic levels. Families with severe rent burdens are left with very little room for other necessities. Often, they face eviction, sometimes repeatedly, or in worst cases, end up homeless.
Poverty USA’s Poverty Quiz, will help you learn about the structures and systems that affect our communities. Some ways we can help to combat poverty in America is through contributing to charities with support and time. Different charities assist with food aid, access to education, and other areas. Charity Navigator evaluates charitable organizations in the US for efficient use of funds.