Poverty is a misunderstood issue by those fortunate to not have direct experience with it, themselves. An essay submitted by Cole Chism connecting the dots between this perception and the extreme homelessness in the United States has won recognition as a Runner-Up in the Ark Law Group Student Voices Scholarship Program.
Cole illuminates the causes of homelessness, beginning with the 43.1 million Americans defined as below the poverty line by the Census Bureau. Persons in poverty may already be struggling financially, but then have a dual impact when they become unemployed based on lack of skills, lack of available jobs or criminal history. Top that with a lack of affordable housing, and “this system creates a race to the bottom.”