Poor kids eating watermelon.
Situational poverty is a period of poverty caused by situational factors, in contrast to generational poverty, which is a form of entrenched poverty that can span multiple generations of a family. There are several reasons for this condition to arise, but some of the most common are divorce, death of a spouse, unexpected health care expenses, and loss of job. These uncontrollable events can cause a spiral of events that leads to a loss of income and material possessions.
Understanding the difference between generational and situational poverty is crucial for people working with the poor and for poverty advocates. People in different types of poverty tend to approach their circumstances differently and may have very different values or priorities. By not trying to understand the circumstances of the poor in a region, activists can sometimes do more harm than good, even when they think they are trying to help.
People donating food to people in poverty.
Someone living in poverty generally has a higher level of education than people experiencing deep-rooted poverty. He or she is also typically familiar with the complex hidden rules and social codes of the middle classes, and this knowledge can be helpful when that person tries to deal with the situation. People in this situation are also more likely to receive help, in the form of family members and community supporters, and this can make a big difference.
Sudden bankruptcy and homelessness due to job loss are a form of situational poverty.
Poverty can be exhausting, especially without a support network. For people who have worked hard all their lives, it can also be extremely depressing as it can feel like everything is being taken away for no apparent reason. Many people who work with individuals in poverty point out that such circumstances are a serious lesson, as they can hit anyone; many people in the middle classes, for example, are just a catastrophic accident away from losing everything.
Children are at greater risk of facing situational ownership if their parents grew up in the same conditions.
To get out of short-term poverty, it is often necessary to identify and address the cause and look for a job that will help alleviate the situation. In many cultures, assistance is provided in the form of temporary government benefits, job placement assistance, food banks, and so on, in hopes of keeping people from falling over the edge. If situational poverty is prolonged, it has the potential to become generational, which most advocates would like to avoid.