It could be you one day.
There’s a false sense of security that comes with being middle class.
Unless you grew up poor, few of us expect that someday we could slide downward on the socioeconomic ladder into poverty. Even fewer of us are prepared for it. Like becoming sick, we just don’t think it will happen – until it does.
The truth is, however, that poor people are not some small fringe on the outskirts of society. In fact the majority of Americans – 62 percent, will experience at least one year of poverty in their lives, according to 2015 research by sociologists Mark R. Rank and Thomas A. Hirschl.
Other statistics bear out similar truths.
Did you know that in 2019, before the pandemic, 30 percent of Americans met the definition of “housing insecure,” according to research by Harvard University? Being housing insecure means that you are burdened by housing costs that consume more than 30 percent of your household budget.
The ice middle-class Americans are skating on has only grown thinner since the pandemic.
With inflation heating up, 64 percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Furthermore, 56 percent could not pay for an unexpected $1,000 bill with savings alone. Both those statistics come from recent surveys by Bankrate.com.
And, of course, housing costs have only grown worse since 2019.
The point is that most of us are vulnerable, whether we realize it or not.
Individually, we are almost all one unforeseen accident or illness away from needing the types of services offered by the Soup Kitchen of Muncie and other nonprofit providers in Delaware County. Collectively, we are one economic recession away from experiencing the magnitude of poverty and need that could overwhelm our social safety nets and nonprofits.
So, what’s a person to do?
The answer is quite simple. When you can, support your local nonprofits, nonprofits like the Soup Kitchen of Muncie. A strong, collaborative non-profit community can help people lift themselves out of poverty by giving them the resources they need to navigate hardship. And for those in more dire circumstances, nonprofits are a lifeline, an absolute necessity for survival.
There are plenty of reasons to give your time, talent, and treasure to the Soup Kitchen and other organizations. Give because you can. Give because you have a big heart and genuinely care about the lives of others.
And give because it could be you one day.
Learn how you can support the Soup Kitchen of Muncie at soupkitchenofmuncie.org.