Help Wanted

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Help Wanted

Postby tblankenship » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:14 pm

I would like to write a book about helping families and children living in poverty. The book will give an introduction to the culture of poverty and then I aim to offer tools, strategies and support for helping those who wish to climb out of poverty. I need a variety of folks to ask me questions about all of this. The harder the questions the better. Ask anything that comes to your mind, or questions you think might come up for others. I appreciate you taking time to read this, and a special thank you to those who can respond! :lol:
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Postby Serial Diver » Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:53 pm

Post on Craig's list, asking for questions by email. Call local service organizations and ask what issues they struggle with. Send an email to everyone you know asking them to send you a question or two, and to also pass the email on to 5 other people who they think might be willing to answer. Go to the mall or stand outside the library or go to another crowded place, take a clip board and some paper & tell people your doing a survey, and would they mind answering a question. Do this in different types of neighborhoods. Go to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and ask the people you meet there what questions they have about poverty. Call a local high school and ask if you can ask your question in civics or economics class & have every student write one question for you. Jump on in... -------------------------------------- About the questions your seeking, I'm not too sure if you're writing a book aimed at an audience that wants to help people who live in poverty, or if it's a book for people who do live in poverty that want to help themselves. Your request for questions is so vague and open-ended, that it's rather difficult to answer. If you say a little more about your book, it's audience, and your ideas & I'm sure I'll have some questions. Just to start off, how can you help children with parents who live in self-destructive ways, if they haven't crossed the line into abuse at a level that would lead to forced removal? SD
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About book on poverty

Postby vtaylor » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:48 am

Years ago I read, "Blaming the Victim," by William Ryan, wherein he questions the concept of a "culture of poverty." He rails against the Moynihan Report of the 60s or 70s for how it taught us to think of poor people as broken/fallen potentially middle class people, instead of simply accepting that living with less money is an acceptable way of life and, perhaps, our ridiculous, ever-increasing cost of living is the greater problem. Years before that I read, "Culture of Inequality," by Michael Lewis, which I credit for changing my view of the impoverished from a deficiency-based view to a socio-critical view. I.e., I now question, "Why have we structured life around the acquisition of material goods?" instead of "How can poor people learn to play the game better?" Not everyone's perspective has to mirror my own, but I did want to offer those texts as possible places to start as you begin formulating questions on the subject of the remediation of poverty.
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Thank you!

Postby tblankenship » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:47 am

I want to thank everyone who has responded and for the great suggestions. I apologize that the request was vague but that was somewhat intentional. The idea is to get a huge variety of questions to help the writer know what interest other people about their subject....when the same questions appear again and again you want to make sure you answer those in your book. Thank you all very much! The book I am writing is about more options for the poor, and tapping in to their natural problem solving ability and also knowing/finding their unique gifts, talents and abilities. I believe they can improve their quality of life and their children's lives despite having less cash. I believe communities have to step up and help regulate or preferably eliminate the predators of the poor....rent a centers, payday lenders, JD Byrider, H & R Block, pawn shops, the corner store that charges $2.95 for a can of soup and so forth. The Government has a responsibility also, not to just keep giving "stuff" to those who have nothing, but to help support the person who is trying to fight their way out instead of pulling the rug out from under people the minute they make a dollar. I want the book to speak to the individual living in poverty, those working with individuals living in poverty....and even (I'm stretching here) to the person who knows nothing about poverty to help them understand that the individuals are a lot more than the stereotypical "lazy, lots of kids not taken care of, using the system, not working, not trying, good for nothing but cleaning toilets"...blah blah blah. Thanks for your help guys, i will step off the soap box now! Tam
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Postby Almathea3 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:35 am

Dear Tammy, I would like to suggest an author to you that you may or may not have heard of yet in your research: Dr. Ruby K. Payne. (this is correct spelling) She specializes in writing books and materials for teachers/educators who work with poor students so that they, who are mostly middle class, understand the daily lives of their students. My husband's school has used her materials and when I looked at them at home they knocked my socks off. I understood better then that there are other ways of living in our country, different from the way I am, but equally valid life choices. It is fascinating reading. I'm suggesting this writer because you don't mention whether your approach for helping people is because you have been poor and want to share what you've learned with other poor people or if you are middle-class and want to create more understanding between these two groups of people with such disparate daily lives. Good luck to you! I look forward to hearing how your book comes out.
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Postby Firefairy » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:57 pm

As someone who grew up middle-lower class, I have a few that middle-class types don't seem to ask, I think because they are not PC. For the record, I'm not bitter, you just asked for hard questions. :-) 1: What social problems do people have dealing with people who grew up wealthier than they did? (This is the US, so it's not as extreme as, say, Britain, but I have had some very odd interactions with my boyfriend and other friends because we grew up with very different amounts of wealth.) And was it the poor person or the wealthier person who was upset by it? 2: Why, when everyone involved knows the Catch-22s of the current income limits are poisonous, are we still using the current numbers to decide who gets government help? 3: Why do many people seem to think that helping the poor is a government job when private charities have much better results and return? (This one drives me nuts- when I have income, I pay taxes to support the systems that failed to help me when I had no income.) 4: Not sure how to phrase this as a question, but it confuses me- there are many touchy-feely stories about the parents just barely buying birthday presents or Xmas presents for their kids, but in real life, if you are poor and in debt and decide to buy a $1 candy bar as a stress reliever, people act as if you are being a spendthrift. Why is it only okay to buy the \"little things\" for your kids?
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Postby DStaub11 » Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:28 am

Almathea3 wrote:I would like to suggest an author to you that you may or may not have heard of yet in your research: Dr. Ruby K. Payne. (this is correct spelling)
On the other hand, progressive educators are very critical of Ruby Payne. Here are two examples: http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archiv ... m212.shtml http://www.edchange.org/publications/Sa ... ridged.pdf. It might be good to get this perspective too--I find it more respectful of all people, including those living in poverty, and paying attention to structural issues, not just cultural and individual ones. Do Mi
Intimate Landscapes in Colored Pencil http://www.domistauberart.com Facing the Text: Content and Structure in Book Indexing http://www.domistauberindexing.com
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Thanks again everyone

Postby tblankenship » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:03 am

These questions and suggestions are fantastic! Thank you!!! Tam
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Postby expatana » Thu May 10, 2007 8:15 pm

Firefairy wrote:if you are poor and in debt and decide to buy a $1 candy bar as a stress reliever, people act as if you are being a spendthrift. Why is it only okay to buy the "little things" for your kids?
I'm soglad someone finally had the courage to ask this vital question. Why indeed? It's like this ridiculous health insurance for kids thing. Fine, I'm all for health insurance for kids, but it's not enough! What good is it for a kid to get medical care if mom or dad can't??? How does that help the kid? Does our worth decrease in adulthood? Ana
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Thank you Ana

Postby tblankenship » Fri May 11, 2007 7:36 am

It seems as though our culture sometimes neglects the elderly, or I should say mostly... not sometimes. I agree completely about the health insurance issue! You have to be so poor to receive Medicaid that many individuals feel as though they have to turn down possible income because they can't live without the medical coverage. In Ohio you have to be under 100 % of poverty (or pregnant and under 150%) to receive Medicaid. We also have Grandparents raising children and the children receive medical benefits but not the Grandparents!!! Why would we not keep them well? If the children have to go to foster care because the Grandparents are unable to care for them then we pay for everything and it is much more costly! Thanks for your comments. If anyone has any more questions or insights I welcome them. I will be working on this book ALL year, so ask on! :-} Tam
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Postby urbanpioneer » Fri May 11, 2007 10:39 am

I would start by reading every book you can find that has already been written on the subject, and then see if you have anything to add that is not already published. Ask yourself what new information, ideas or research your book will bring to the table. Also read every research study you can get your hands on, and review it with a critical eye. Some reesarch, while well-presented, is just bogus and is comig from a faulty premise. If you still think you have an area or angle that has not been covered, then start talking to people who are actually dealing with poverty. Those on the ground floor with daily interaction will be a wealth of information and keep your work real.
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Thanks Urban, good advice

Postby tblankenship » Fri May 11, 2007 11:43 am

I actually run a program that visits children under three that are at risk due to the environment they live in. We make home visits to the families and help link them to services, offer parenting strategies and support as well as crisis intervention. I am lucky to have so many people to talk to and 8 years of experience working in the trenches. One angle I want to include is using some of the tools typically only pursued by middle class and wealthy folks...such as life coaching and the law of attraction. People living in poverty are natural problem solvers....they have to be to survive. They have a lot of great strengths and are born with unique talents and abilities. Often they are so busy living in the tyranny of the moment that they don't have/make time to plan. Thanks again Urban. Tammy
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Postby dani » Sat May 12, 2007 12:03 am

tblankenship, With all due respect, I have to ask you why you didn't frame your original question in the context of your experience. Many people who posted, with sincere and helpful intentions, did so. If you wanted to stimulate a good discussion, you certainly achieved that goal. I learned a great deal. FYI, I spent several years in employment programs for low income people. There truly was just too much desperation for them to plan a career, as folks with more resources might do. On the other hand, I'm not so sure that the middle class of the fifties is a reality anymore. Books and articles have been written for at least the last twenty years about the decline of the middle class. So, what happens when we're all in the same boat except for a small percentage of wealthy people?
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Thanks Dani.

Postby tblankenship » Mon May 14, 2007 7:45 am

Dani, I apologize for any misunderstanding...it was certainly my fault for not being clear. The goal was to stimulate conversation. I am taking the writing and speaking class with Barbara and one of her techniques is something she calls FAQ's. An FAQ is where you ask people of a variety of backgrounds to ask you questions regarding your topic and then you answer them. The conversation lets you know what people are interested in about the topic, what some of their thoughts are, and brings up questions and issues the writer might not have thought of alone. My intention was not to waste any ones time and I have enjoyed the process very much. I am sorry I wasn't more clear. Thank you for your input! I appreciate you. Tammy
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Postby dani » Mon May 14, 2007 9:35 pm

tblankenship:
Dani, I apologize for any misunderstanding...it was certainly my fault for not being clear. The goal was to stimulate conversation. I am taking the writing and speaking class with Barbara and one of her techniques is something she calls FAQ's. An FAQ is where you ask people of a variety of backgrounds to ask you questions regarding your topic and then you answer them. The conversation lets you know what people are interested in about the topic, what some of their thoughts are, and brings up questions and issues the writer might not have thought of alone. My intention was not to waste any ones time and I have enjoyed the process very much. I am sorry I wasn't more clear. Thank you for your input! I appreciate you. Tammy
Apology appreciated, as well as the clarification. Best to you in Barbara's class. :D dani
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