struggles or job loss. Regardless of how people find themselves in poverty, most need some help to find their way out, and this is why supportive, nonjudgmental individuals are necessary to work with those in poverty. You might have a mental picture of what a person in poverty looks like, but it’s important to note that people’s struggles are often not apparent on the surface. A family that lives in a large home could suddenly find themselves falling below the poverty line after company layoffs. A person who drives a fancy car could be mismanaging their money, or dealing with large amounts of debt, and may eventually find themselves living at the poverty line. People whose careers include working with those at the poverty level must have the ability to look at every person as an individual and the ability to withhold judgment on how they may have found themselves in a difficult financial situation. Working with folks living in poverty requires a mind-set focused on solutions, without causing them to feel guilt or shame for how they got themselves into a rough place. AVAILABLE CAREER PATHS A variety of different careers are available in working with people affected by poverty. No matter what your primary area of interest is—direct care, disaster relief, fashion, medicine, and so on—you can channel your passion into a career that helps those who also have financial problems. "The most commonly used way to measure poverty is based on incomes. A person is considered poor if his or her income level falls below some minimum level necessary to meet basic needs. This minimum level is usually called the ‘poverty line.’ What is necessary to satisfy basic needs varies across time and societies. Therefore, poverty lines vary in time and place, and each country uses lines that are appropriate to its level of development, societal norms, and values." —The World Bank Organization (www.bbc.co.uk). DEFINING POVERTY



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