Monday, October 6, 2008
High Cost of Being Poor
LOUISVILLE, KY (Catholic News Service) -- For more and more people, the American dream isn't turning out the way it was envisioned, said Cathy Hinko, executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition in Louisville. "So many people say of people who are poor, 'It's their fault,'" noted Hinko in a presentation to members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Sept. 26. "(They say), 'America is the land of opportunity; there's the ability to make it in America.' And that is true for some people," she said. "But there are also systems in place that say that isn't so." For one thing, she said, more people are moving into poverty, and the middle class is no longer rising. Hinko's presentation on "The High Cost of Being Poor" was one of more than a dozen small-group sessions and workshops held during the society's Sept. 23-27 national meeting in Louisville. A host of statistics and graphs punctuated Hinko's presentation. And as she quantified poverty in America, some Vincentians nodded in agreement, recognizing in the numbers the people with whom they work.