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Impacts of Poverty

The experience of living in poverty can impact on many areas of life. It goes beyond having to live on a low income and can affect access to services, right to participation in society, health, educational attainment and overall life chances.

There are a number of forums in which people living in poverty can share their experiences such as

It has been reported that the personal cost of living in poverty can have the following impacts.

  • becoming isolated from family and friends
  • lacking hope and feeling powerless and excluded with little control over the decisions that affect your day to day life
  • lacking information about the supports and services available to you
  • having problems in getting your basic needs met and accessing decent housing, health services and schools and life long learning opportunities
  • living in an unsafe neighbourhood with higher levels of crime and violence and poor environmental conditions or in a remote and isolated rural area
  • going without basic necessities because you may not be able to afford essential utilities like heat and electricity or to buy healthy food or new clothing or to use public transport
  • living from day to day with no savings or reserves for times of crisis such as losing a job or falling ill and thus falling into debt
  • being exploited and forced into illegal situations
  • experiencing racism and discrimination
  • being unable to participate in normal social and recreational life such as going to the pub or cinema or sports events or visiting friends or buying birthday presents for family members

People experiencing poverty often feel they are judged or blamed. The stigma surrounding poverty has to be tackled in order to increase individual's self-confidence and feelings of worth, dignity and understanding which can give people the ability to overcome their personal barriers to escaping poverty.