This is so distressing. Here are two articles about the rural poor trying to "survive" on whatever money they can get. One family relies on disability checks and the other on begging (and possibly selling drugs).
This article is about 4 generations on disability checks. The first generation, the father, got injured. The second generation, the daughter, got on disability after hurting her shoulder, although it took a while. She is also a high school dropout. Her daughter, the granddaughter, has a mild version of Down's Syndrome, although it sounded like she managed to graduate from high school. But with an IQ of 75, it precludes her from having a job - at least that is what the article says. Finally, the twin boys were on disability because of various supposed conditions, but they were just recently taken off of disability.
The twin boys' checks helped the family moved from "crushing poverty to manageable poverty".
When I read this article a couple of weeks ago, I wondered how do you ever get out of this kind of situation if you don't have sufficient schooling, there are no suitable jobs and you don't know of anything better? It seems to me that there is a learned helplessness. How do you get out of this? And how do you make sure you don't fall into this?
This second article focuses on the young son, and his decision to go to begging in order to get money for the family. His father used to work in the coal mines but his arms were damaged. Then he got addicted to opiates and he never worked again in over a decade. So now he spends his days panhandling and his son will join him.
The son doesn't see a way out. He's 19 now and his father was injured around 2001, so about 16 years ago when he was 3. So for most of his life he has known only poverty and despair. So in the midst of all of that, it can appear impossible to get out of this situation. How do you do this when your parents are addicted to opiates and are unable to work? It's hard to fathom.
In regards to the parents, are they lazy or are they so beaten down by the vicissitudes of life that they cannot see their way out? This is scary. I would think anybody could fall into that black hole.
How does one crawl out of it?
And how does one prevent such a thing happening?