Posted on : Monday July 9, 2012

Facts about poverty

As a people group, the poor now constitute the second largest minority cohort in our society, and they are the fastest growing.

More than 48 million Americans are living in poverty  – 16.2 million of these are children.

More than 1 in 7 people in the U.S. live below the poverty line, which is $23,050/year for a family of 4.

In comparison, 1 in 4 African Americans lives below the federal poverty line. The same is true for Hispanics.

In most cases, a family of 4 needs to earn at least two times the poverty line to provide kids with simply the basic necessities.

84% of low-income families have at least 1 working family member and 75% of single mothers who head households work.

A person working full-time at minimum wage earns $14,500/year.

An average of 23% of the requests for emergency shelter by homeless people has gone unmet during the past year.

Area Statistics

>>>Wilmington poverty rate = 22.4%

>>>Baltimore poverty rate = 19.3%

>>>District of Columbiapoverty rate = 18.9%

Resources that teach poverty’s effect

• MAKING IT IN THE REAL WORLD: GAME OF LIFE CD:  Life simulation game for students to learn about poverty

• PLUNGE2POVERTY CD:  Intensive 42-hour “plunge” poverty simulation experience for adults.  Includes instructions on how to take adults out for a day of “living on the street” and how to debrief that experience

• TRAFFICKED: AN EXPERIENCE IN CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES:  Life simulation game for students to learn how quickly a young person can be taken or recruited for trafficking purposes        (Source:

Ways to help those in need

Proverbs 14:31 – “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”

Looking for ways your church can become involved in serving those in need?  Here are just a few. For more, contact Lindsey Shaffer at or (443) 745-1534.

• Angel Tree©
• After School Program
• Apartment Program
• AIDS Outreach
• Beautification Project
• Block Party
• Childcare
• Clothing Closet
• Cold Weather Shelter
• Counseling Services
• Employment Assistance
• ESL/Literacy Programs
• Food Distribution
• Food Pantry
• Health Care Services
• Holiday Outreach
• Homeless Outreach
• Immigration Services
• Jail/Prison Ministries
• Laundromat Outreach
• Mental Health Outreach
• Migrant Ministries
Open Door Baltimore
• Parole/Probation Ministries
• Prison Gift Bags
• Prisoner’s Family Services
• Senior Services
• Soup Kitchen
• Substance Abuse/Recovery Support Groups
• Thrift Store
• Transportation
• Youth Center