Poverty in America

By: Mike Springer Email
By: Mike Springer Email

Tallahassee, Fl --May 16, 2012--

The face of homelessness in America is changing, as more and more people struggle with poverty.

"My perception of homelessness was you know, you know those people they just don't want to work they just want, you know, someone to give them something," says Beatrice Beverly whose family is struggling with poverty.

That was Beatrice Beverly's perception three years ago. When she had a home and steady job that put food on the table.

But her life soon changed. She became pregnant and resigned from her job as a caregiver with psych patients. She says she was concerned for the baby's safety.

Out of work, she lost everything. Now, this is home. An 11 by 12 square-foot room that Beverly shares with her two daughters and granddaughter.

"Having a family and being here is really, really, really tough because as a mom I'm supposed to be the caregiver, the caretaker of the family. And by being here, you know? I feel like, you know? I've gotten defeated in that purpose," says Beverly.

Defeated, but not broken Beverly continues on. Searching for work and a way to provide for family once again. As they've taken shelter here at the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.

"With the economy being so bad, it's not been easy, you know? I've gone, I've done applications, but I've gotten nowhere," says Beverly.

Beverly gets up at 7 a.m. everyday. She gets her little ones dressed and heads out the door. Walking up and down the street, applying everywhere and anywhere. All while trying to care for her three year old daughter who has bronchitis. Beverly is putting in the long hours because she knows time is against her. Her family can only stay at the home for six months.

" I feel like this, everything in my life happens for a reason. A lot of times I don't understand the reasons," says Beverly. "But again, life don't stop because of a bad decision. Life don't stop because of a mistake. And now I'm in the process of living through those bad decisions. Living through those mistakes."

"Poverty is a significant problem right now," says Susan Pourciau of the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.

Susan Pourciau works for the Big Bend Homeless Coalition helping families like Beverly's through those mistakes. Pourciau says the troubled economy along with rising health care costs have led to the rise in poverty.

"We see a lot of folks who have lost jobs. A lot of people who have lost benefits from the government," says Pourciau.

According to the 2010 U.S. Cenus, about 46 million people across the country are living in poverty. And about 5 million of them live in Florida and Georgia. But for those like Beverly, the only benefit they're seeking is a job and the chance to reclaim the life they once had.

"Kind of like that old saying, 'Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, feed him for life'. If you know, we had more people that'd be willing to take a chance on us as far as employment, you know?," says Beverly. " And you know, kind of like teaching us to fish. Giving us a chance to rebuild our life."

That's what Beverly is hoping for, a chance to learn how to fish and to reel in a better life for her and her family.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anon on May 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM
    The problem is more and more people accept living in poverty and as long as the government provides the safety net it's all good. We have millions of people who will always live in poverty and they're proud of it.
  • by HMA on May 17, 2012 at 08:39 AM
    Very interesting story... A woman with three apparently illegitimate children to care for quits her job and now can't afford to live. No surprise there. I was surprised that she admitted that her own mistakes and bad decisions caused this. If she is truly trying to become self sufficient, this is the first step.
  • by Lack of Knowledge Location: florida on May 17, 2012 at 07:53 AM
    How many people that has post comments on here are unemployed or not behind on their bills for some apparent reason. Why are so many people becoming so judgmental but have not solution to the problems that are going on in our world. We are quick to point the finger at our President but look at the man in the mirror and ask yourself what have I done today or what can I do today to make a difference in someone's life today? Why don't the people of this world have any feelings for a human being, but will cut off your arm or leg for a dog if it was hungry? If you can't be a help to anyone don't be a hinder with your comments and your nasty intentions on doing nothing. What if a mom got laid off while on maturnity leave? what would you say about her? I'm sure she deserved that? Repent people because our time on earth is almost up. God Bless American
    • reply
      by GV on May 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM in reply to Lack of Knowledge
      I did look myself in the mirror this morning and asked myself"what have I done today or what can I do today to make a difference in someone else's life"?Then I finished getting dressed and went to work like I do everyday.What have YOU DONE TODAY?
      • reply
        by Lack of Knowledge on May 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM in reply to GV
        Wow.... You are one of the ignorant people living in America, but i'm not going to lower my standards to combat with you, i'll demand you to come up to mind so that we can have an itelligent conversation and not allow you to aire your dirty laundry or dump your filty trash online for someone else to pick up on. I have compassion for you and don't even know you. Be careful how you look down on someone else today, because your tomorrow is not promise to you and your circumstances could change at the wink of an eye. May God Bless your weiry soul.
        • reply
          by Gerry on May 17, 2012 at 07:45 PM in reply to Lack of Knowledge
          Producing more than you consume benefits everyone, the opposite benefits you only
        • reply
          by GV on May 18, 2012 at 05:21 AM in reply to Lack of Knowledge
          Hey ignorant,I get up everyday and go to work,I am already helping people like this.I already work hard so lazy people don't have to.What more do you want?Where do you think that money comes from,obama's stash?Answer my question,what have you done today?
      • reply
        by Lack of Knowledge on May 18, 2012 at 07:13 AM in reply to GV
        GV, the more you reply the more sympatheic I feel for you. I hear your cry for HELP!! You are sick person. You don't get up and go to work for the lazy people, you get up and go to work for you. I vowed not to lower my standard to entertain you but I feel in my heart that you need this conversation because without it, you are a lonely old sumb bag. What does our President have to do with this? I'm sure his taxes are paid and so is Michelle's. I pray when your day come that you can't get up to go to your job, what ever that is, it want be a black woman that have to clean your nasty rearend. Your family want I'm sure, they never do. God Bless Your Weiry Soul. Stop worring about those things that you have no control over. Relax while you can. By the way, you have not paved the way for others all by your weiry self, but I do want to say THANKS for giving to others with a grudge. God is not please with you. By the way, you wanted to know what I have done to benefit someone today. I'm typing this message to you....
        • reply
          by GV on May 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM in reply to Lack of Knowledge
          Can you just tell me what have you done today to help these people?You keep bouncing all around about how sick and sorry I am because I have a job and pay taxes,but you keep avoiding that question.I'll ask one more time,what have you done today to help these people?
  • by Think About This! Location: Tallahassee on May 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM
    We all talk about the problems but what we need are solutions. Locally we are building a useless mall with wasted parking space when what we really need to use all that land for is a community garden. Parking lots with asphalt deplete the oxygen from our planet as does the gasoline burned by the cars getting to them. How many vacant shopping centers do we already have in this county? Do we have any land locally that could be turned around for use as a community garden for the homeless or poverty stricken individuals? A lot of folks would be proud to grow food for themselves given the chance! Not all are looking for a handout!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 17, 2012 at 06:33 AM in reply to Think About This!
      LOL!!!
      • reply
        by Think About This! on May 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM in reply to
        No surprise that an idiot would respond to my outreach for constructive comments and community response. The greed and sickness in this community is so evident from our government leaders on down. Our own sheriff and state attorney are taking two salaries to do one job and still want to be re-elected to continue another four years of double salaries. GREEDY!!!
  • by Gerry on May 16, 2012 at 08:23 PM
    The war on poverty has failed. The US has spent 15 trillion and poverty has gotten worse. QUIT
  • by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 06:17 PM
    I didn't think you could get support if you voluntarily quit your job.
  • by Jason Houge Location: United States on May 16, 2012 at 06:00 PM
    It's a very sad truth that poverty in the U.S. is increasing, and it is not the traditionally poor who are increasing, it's families who are hardworking, some educated, who are unable to keep their finances equal with their expenses because incomes have dropped and so have the number of jobs all together. I am a photographer currently working on a project where I am photographing this change that occurring to create a record of it. To stand as a reminder for the future of what happened in the first two decades of the 21st century. I am currently trying to get investors to help me take on such a massive effort - please visit my project page if you would like to help me accomplish this record of our time. http://kck.st/KRAy5u
  • by FED up Location: Tlh on May 16, 2012 at 04:45 PM
    Where is the papa(s)? They just keep breeding, generation after generation, because they play the victim, keep bleeding the taxpayers and keep getting more handouts. The crooked politicians need to stop giving away the taxpayers' money for votes for these welfare leeches. Who would hire someone to work, who cannot even manage and make smart decisions in their own life. The prospective employer would probably be thinking about what he was going to get hooked in to paying and sued to boot. But Obama has pretty much closed down the new hiring because of how he has trashed everything and loaded all the government payrolls with more useless jobs for the taxpayers to pay for.
  • by dilligas Location: havana on May 16, 2012 at 01:24 PM
    She shouldn't have gotten pregnant, then quit her job. How or who did she think was gonna support her? I think the writer of this article omitted facts to make this person look a victim. Where is the baby daddy? I have a lot more questions than this articles have answers. My guess is now she is desperate looking for a bone. Hope she at least fot fixed.
    • reply
      by Agreed on May 16, 2012 at 04:34 PM in reply to dilligas
      With everything you said. Too many questions here. And a very effective birth control method..."clozeyadanglegs".
  • by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM
    The rich like Romney already said they are not worried about this issue as there are programs in place for the poor and needy. Romney, Boehner, Ryan, and Rubio want to balance the budget by cutting these programs believing they are not necessary.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM in reply to
      She quit her own job. When she was expecting...yet another...kid. Get off the programs, people. It's costing the rest of us...who don't voluntarily quit our jobs.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 09:36 PM in reply to
      Six of the ten richest Americans are Democrats and yet they got you pointing fingers at Republicans. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet Steve jobs all sticking it to the poor and everyone loves them....hypocrites like you
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