Writer Michele Catalano, telling it like it is at her Tumblr blog "in the fade," hits a homerun with this spot-on portrait of poverty that reads to be read and repeated far and wide. Here's just a part, but it's best if you go read the whole thing, because it is a pretty powerful piece of writing:
They are men and women, they are young and old. They wear suits and ties or dresses bought at Lord & Taylor when they once had money to spare. They wear hand me downs and rag tag clothing. They carry their papers in leather briefcases left over from that job they used to have or carry everything they own in a plastic WalMart bag. They are young mothers and senior citizens. They are families whose kids play soccer and make the honor roll and families whose kids don’t go to school because they are living in a fleabag hotel room at the moment.
They are people who have lost once lucrative jobs, whose houses are in foreclosure, who can’t find work because they have no experience and can’t get experience because they can’t find work. They are fresh out of college, already drowning in debt, unable to make this month’s rent and terrified of the sheriff knocking on their door. They are former business owners who lost everything when the economy went to hell. They are single parents struggling to raise their kids while working two menial jobs and getting no support from the other parent. They are people who were suddenly widowed or otherwise left alone.
I’m talking about people in need. People who need a hand. People who deserve a hand.
They had jobs. They had homes. They had uneventful lives. Then something happened to shatter those lives and they find themselves about to lose their homes, their cars, their sense of security.
This is reality. This is the new truth. Poverty is not something "you know when you see." Not always. It's important to keep this in mind so we can remember to really listen, to really keep our eyes open and be ready to lend a hand to those who just might sink without it.
Be sure to go read the rest of Michele Catalano's post. She deserves your clicks, and this piece deserves your time.
[Photo by Alfonso Surroca]