Poverty has been an ongoing issue in Venice Beach and across the country for decades, yet few successful strategies address these problems. As the cost of living continues to rise and the number of low and no-income households increases, challenges like homelessness, hunger, and limited resources for a decent quality of life rise. If you happen to be among this group of citizens, you may be wondering what you can do to overcome these challenges.
Take Advantage of Financial Assistance Programs
Whether you face a utility shutoff or need to feed your family, there are programs to assist you with these challenges. While they may not be primarily publicized, you can find many opportunities to acquire the bare necessities by checking state and federal sites for a list of programs. If you meet the income requirements, you could receive assistance with healthcare, housing, transportation, childcare, utilities, groceries, and job placement to help get you on the right footing.
Don’t Overlook Nonprofit Organizations
The state and federal governments aren’t the only ones offering assistance to families in need. There are a ton of nonprofit organizations doing what they can to give back. You can find places that offer financial assistance, free food, clothing giveaways, job training, and more to help you through everyday hardships.
Schools, Religious Organizations, And Community Centers
Sometimes the best place to get help when facing financial hardships is in your community. Schools offer a plethora of services to students and families in need ranging from free tutoring to access to clothes and shoes. Churches often have programs designed to help residents with everything from food and housing to jobs and financial management. Finally, community centers offer free and affordable programs for youth and seniors to enhance social development, physical and emotional well-being.
Get A Side Gig
These days, the average salary isn’t enough to cover everyday expenses. While in times past, this would mean taking on another full or part-time job, today, you can get a side gig to bring in more discretionary income. If you have a working car, you can deliver groceries, fast food, packages, or offer mobile services. If you have professional skills, you can contract your services as a freelancer and earn cash on the side. You can also sell products online, start a blog, answer surveys, test products, and more to make money to boost your household income.
While it may not be something you want to do, downsizing is becoming a significant reality for low and no-income households. If your income doesn’t accommodate your lifestyle, sometimes you have to make sacrifices to stay afloat. Whether this means moving to an apartment, relocating to live with family, getting a more affordable car, or eliminating specific entertainment sources from your budget, it can make a big difference in your financial circumstances. Take a hard look at your income and expenses and determine whether downsizing is the most efficient solution to overcoming your biggest challenges.
Develop A Political Voice
Getting involved in politics might not seem like a strategy to survive today’s economic hardships, but it’s a necessary step. The local and federal representatives in office serve as your voice and are hired to ensure that you have a decent quality of life. If you want to see changes in your personal life, you have to develop a political voice. Don’t be afraid to sign a petition, protest, write letters to officials, and vote to have your story heard. As you encourage change with government officials, you spark positive change that can turn things around for families in need.
It’s a shame that there are so many people struggling to survive. Unfortunately, it only seems that those problems will multiple as times go on. The best thing you can do for yourself and those you love make changes like those listed above. Take advantage of opportunities for assistance, look into government and nonprofit programs, increase your household income, and, if necessary, downsize to avoid going into debt. Finally, let your political voice be heard so that change can begin across the nation.