NBC12 Viewpoint: Poverty and Homelessness

By Kym Grinnage, NBC12 Vice President and General Manager

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The face of poverty and homelessness is taking on a different face here in Central Virginia and across the country.

You may have seen the latest national statistics which indicate that 1 in 7 Americans are living in poverty. This is the highest number in 51 years.

In addition to the obvious homelessness problem in Richmond, many families are just two pay checks away from becoming part of this statistic. Many of the homeless we see today are families that were very recently working class and middle class people who have fallen on hard times.

This economy is negatively affecting more people than most of us have seen in our lifetimes. More help will be required from family, friends, churches, non- profit organizations and the government, in ways that may be unique from the past.

It is not always comfortable for us to see people asking for a handout, sleeping on the street or holding a  sign that says "Will work for food," but what is important to remember is that each person is someone's child, mother, father, sister or brother.

Most of us want to help in some small way with our time, money or talent. There are many organizations that could use your help at this critical time. If you are in need of help or you want to be there for someone in need, the United Way of Richmond and CARITAS are waiting.

Unfortunately for some families, and possibly someone you know, today is that second week without a pay check.

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