Most people, even those who hang around this blog, don't really understand much about poverty and its challenges.
Oh, lots and lots of folks can confidently offer up opinions about poverty, throwing out their abstractions.
That is not knowing poverty, I can tell you.
Rosella Kelly knows poverty. You tend to know what you live.
Pamela Yip published a story in The Dallas Morning News (October 31, 2005) about Ms. Kelly's struggle.
The 65-year-old grandmother who lives in the Pleasant Grove section of Dallas is typical of hard working people who live in poverty.
Yip's story focuses on increasing expenses and falling income.
Ms. Kelly's latest utility bills threw her for a loop--$346 for electricity, $113 for water and sewerage, $94 for natural gas. She can't pay any of them right now.
Ms. Kelly earns $15,000 annually.
Trouble is a few weeks ago she lost her custodial job due to a layoff. She has since been rehired, but she finds herself way behind on her bills.
Her church helped out some, but they can't solve her on-going, chronic problem, nor do they intend to do so.
Gasoline prices are out of sight. Interest on a credit card has gone up due to her inability to pay down her balance.
She takes perscription medication for high blood pressure that costs $68 monthly. She cannot afford to purchase a month's supply all at once. Thanks to a cooperative pharmacist, she buys 7 pills at a time. She takes the daily medication every other day.
Poverty is about stress, depression, hard choices and a seemingly endless struggle to "make it."
I have never met Ms. Kelly, but I see hundreds of people every day whose lives are much like hers, some even worse. The sadness is palpable.
Ms. Kelly, and millions of Americans like her, has worked hard all of her life. In her "golden years" life seems anything but golden.
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