The Takeaway had a sobering broadcast (about 4/5 in) on homelessness. Although it was focused exclusively on African-Americans & includes prominent mention of “systemic racism” as a factor, it emphasized the key point that goes across all races – that poverty is not necessarily what plunges people into disaster. It could be an $800.00 car repair that leaves someone without a strong financial network able to make a loan without transportation to a job, which is subsequently lost, and they can’t get a new one because they lack wheels to get there.
The importance of financially stable networks. John & I didn’t have family members able/willing to step up with help when our financial stability cracked & crumbled after Mom’s final illness – four days after 9/11, the criss-cross of crises – some related, some not – that followed, plus my inability to get any sort of full-time employment at 50+, let alone at the corporate salary/perks I expected to pull in until retirement. BUT a strong friendship network/community connections kept us in our home. Multiple times. Today, we are slowly moving past being financially iffy, but will we ever feel the sense of security we once took for granted?
And we have no children of our own, no close family connections to the younger generations. That puts us in the heart of a demographic increasingly finding themselves with rising costs, low fixed incomes (and the loss of Social Security benefits when a spouse dies), and an increasingly shredded social net that once kept people out of dire straits. Oldsters & the elderly.
Listen & learn. The older couple you know, the elderly aunt or uncle, might be on the verge of financial devastation. Or already there & staying silent.