Photo: The Salvation Army
Although more than one-third of Americans say they’ve accepted some form of charity in their lifetime, an alarming number of consumers blame laziness as the root cause of poverty, according to The Salvation Army. In the group’s annual Report to America, 27 per cent of 1,000 Americans polled said poor people were simply lazy, while 38 per cent of respondents reported having relied on charitable offerings (food, shelter, or finances) at least once.
“This report highlights the critical issue of poverty at a time when many Americans are struggling to get by,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army.
The report found a whopping 63 per cent of households earning less than $25,000 turned to charity and 26 per cent spent nights in shelters — or on the street – at least once, a trend that seems to only increase with age. Nearly half of Americans aged 35 to 54 said they received assistance in their lifetime.
Although the vast majority of Americans still believe the poor deserve help, more than 40 per cent said poverty was no excuse for not finding a job.
In the U.S., 636,017 people were considered homeless in 2011, according to the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Justice, labour, Commerce and Health and Human Services. The figure was slightly lower than 2009.
Today’s young adults are more likely than ever to be asked to take in parents who can’t sustain themselves in retirement, according to GoBankingRates.com contributor Luke Landes.
“While this is not common in modern American, middle-class life, it wouldn’t be unsurprising to see three, four, even five generations of one family living together under one roof in different parts of the world or in other time periods,” he says.