You may remember in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina – a lot of questions were raised as to why people did not leave New Orleans before the hurricane set in.
Different reasons were given for people not leaving; such as people not wanting to leave their pets behind; the lateness of the evacuation notice; evacuating in the past only for nothing to happen; and not having cars. Above and beyond everything else was the issue of poverty that inhibited people from acting.
Sadly there are those that concluded that the people were poor for the simple fact that they were lazy and refused to work. The reality that I have since discovered is that although there will be people that fit this definition. The vast majority are, however, what is classified as the working poor i.e. people who work (possibly even multiple jobs) whose income does not, however, cover their costs of living.
The fact that New Orleans economy is primarily based on Services Industry with a lot of low-income jobs makes the presence of the working poor more prevalent in New Orleans.
I could try and explain the implications of poverty in a developed country such as America, but I’ve come across a report from the Center for American Progress entitled, “What You Need When You’re Poor” which does a much better job that I could do.
Copyright 2011. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated