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Psychology of Poverty is Hard to Overcome

While poverty can take away many things from people, dignity may be their most damaging loss. With low self-esteem comes a lack of hope they can rise out of poverty.

“I have seen, and I do see, self-esteem issues,” said Brandee Thomas, executive director of My Sister’s Place in Gainesville, GA.

Many people have been through generational cycles of poverty. "This is all they know," adds Thomas. "Their family only ever lived in public housing, so they think that’s all that’s available to them; that’s all that they deserve.”

Thomas said lack of dignity can be compounded by the others’ attitudes.

“There definitely is this perception that if you’re poor or you’re in poverty, you only deserve this,” Thomas said.

Some judge without all the facts. Thomas said she hears things like, “You shouldn’t be able to wear Nikes because you’re poor.”

“Well, those Nikes could very well have been donated,” she said. “Because they are in the shelter, people want to take away their ability to make choices.”


Haven Toronto operates a Clothing Room staffed by volunteers. Last year, Haven Toronto distributed over 9600 articles of clothing to elder men impacted by poverty and homelessness. Everything from socks and underwear to pants, shirts, jackets, boots and shoes.

All of these items are available at to purchase and donate in support of those less fortunate.

Looking to make a difference? You can also volunteer in the Clothing Room at Haven Toronto. Click for more information.

Source: Gainesville Times




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