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Poverty in Los Angeles Essay

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Updated: May 4th, 2021

Recently I got a chance to work in a home care known as First Choice Home Company, which is owned by a Home Care Coordinator. The Home Care was started a while ago and is not part of a larger organization. It deals with the less fortunate elderly people who cannot assist themselves and are neglected by their families. The problem addressed by the home care is within the context of a larger social problem. It is because of poverty that families neglect the old since they see them as a burden to their lives. It is also because of poverty that the elderly persons fail to save for their old age since most people barely get enough to save for the future. In relation to this, a detailed study of poverty in Los Angeles is necessary in order to determine the most effective strategies that can help in solving this problem.

According to data presented by Los Angeles Poverty Department, Los Angeles poverty rate is above 15%. In 2007, the percentage of people living below the poverty level in Los Angeles was at 15% which rose to 17.5% in 2010. The most recent data shows that the poverty level is at 17%, meaning that poverty level is still high in this area. According to this information, one in every six people is living below the poverty level. On top of this, inflation caused more problems when household income increased to a higher level than before. South Bay Area is the most affected area in Los Angeles with the most evident poverty problem being homelessness. Children between 5-6years are the most affected followed by women especially single mothers. The Hispanic and the black American individuals are most affected followed by American Indian individuals. This does not mean that poverty does not affect other groups like whites and Asians (Ciment 68).

The major cause of poverty in this region is unemployment since a large number of people are jobless. The region is also known for its unequal distribution of resources and income where the gap between the poor and the rich is very high. Although unemployment is known to be the major cause of poverty, there are people who are poor even when working. This means that there are other causes of poverty like those related to the recent recession in the country. As seen earlier, recession led to the increase in household income from a lower level to a higher level. However, studies show that the level of poverty as a result of the recession is declining as the country is recovering. Some of the effects of poverty in this region are low income level and inability to rent or own a house. As a result, homelessness and other social problems like poor health and lack of food increases (Haugen 98). Many people also lack either private or public insurance, which affects their access to health care.

With such poverty problems being witnessed, it is necessary to come up with long term strategies that will help in total reduction of poverty. These strategies require the society to work as a group because this is important (Leon-Guerrero 48). First Choice Home Company has come forward to help the elderly who in most cases are neglected by the society. Since the elderly cannot do anything about their situation, the home company helps them with the basic needs including shelter, food and care. Unlike other individuals, the elderly cannot be helped by increased jobs since most of them do not have the energy to work. The homecare depends on support from different individuals including the government and donors. Their services are effective considering that not all poverty reduction strategies affect the elderly since they do not have the energy to work.

After working in the home care company, I learnt a lot on this social problem. I learned that poverty affects everybody including the employed. However, the young people who can access education have a chance to change their future through education. They can work hard and excel in subjects that can help them to obtain better jobs after school. I also learned that most of the old people suffer because of they do not save for their old age. Although many fail to save because of lack of enough money, it is advisable to try and save something little when given the chance. Some of the old people in this home had been neglected by their families. It is wise for families to take care of their loved ones despite the situation at their homes.

Works Cited

Ciment, James. Social issues in America: an encyclopedia. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2006. Print.

Haugen, David M., and Matthew J. Box. Poverty. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Print.

Leon-Guerrero, Anna. Social problems: community, policy, and social action. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 2011. Print.

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