Breaking the cycle of poverty through United Way

incomeimages20060422_0017Anyone who’s ever faced a hardship – whether a debilitating illness, a job loss, or any other upheaval – can tell you how difficult it can be to recover a sense of self-sufficiency.

And that’s not surprising. The parts of our lives don’t exist independently of one another; our health affects our work performance, our work performance affects our finances, our finances affect our health, and the cycle continues. When one goes off-kilter, it affects another, and by the time you’re able to address one, the dominoes have already started falling.

Social scientists aptly call this phenomenon the “vicious Cycle of Poverty.” Once someone gets stuck in this cycle, it can seem impossible to break out of it and the effects can span generations. In fact, 70 percent of children who grow up in low-income households continue to struggle financially as adults, according to a 2013 study from Pew Charitable Trusts.

The news isn’t all bleak, though. The cycle can be broken, but it often requires some outside help and a strategic approach.

That’s where the United Way approach steps in.

By focusing on targeted service areas — Health, Education, and Financial Stability — and forging partnerships among programs serving each of those areas, United Way of Williamson County connects people to the type of help they need when they need it. And while that often means lending a hand during an immediate crisis, it also means removing the barriers keeping someone from breaking out of that cycle of poverty and even preventing someone from getting stuck in the first place.

This is how United Way fights for the Health, Education, and Financial Stability of every person in the community

May 2, 2017 | Financial Stability

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