The word shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation and distress. There’s a lot of shame surrounding poverty. That’s one of the reasons why so many are afraid of falling into it, afraid of admitting it, and afraid of asking for help.
A group of women from Leeds set out on a mission to show that it’s the every day little things that so many others take for granted most of the time, that many living in poverty are lacking. For instance, not having a secure place to live can become a huge barrier for being able to move forward in life. When you don’t feel safe you can quickly develop paranoid thoughts, and then feelings of intense disappointment and sadness can follow.
Having a life-threatening disease is also the cause of a lot of anxiety, which can lead to poverty. This happens because sometimes it means having to leave your job to be able to take care of your health issues. In some cases even getting to treatment can be difficult because of the rising cost of public transportation.
Another thing that many people have to deal with is not being able to afford food because their rent has gone up while their wages remain the same. The cost of living is so high that sometimes one has to choose between a meal and utilities. Asking for food is very difficult for many because of the shame of being judged and the fear of being rejected. Statistics show that about 8.6 million people struggle to afford to eat in the UK. Also, some people can’t even afford the basics they need for their personal care and hygiene, while others take toilet paper and tampons for granted.
Getting up in the morning and knowing that your electricity won’t be cut off seems common, but there are those who have to decide which appliance to use to be able to keep the bill down to an affordable amount. When the electricity is cut off, everybody in the neighborhood knows, and that leads to reinforcement of the stigma and shame of poverty.
Funeral poverty is almost unheard of, still there are many who wait months before they’re able to gather enough money to give loved ones a decent burial.
Having a decent standard of living is about much more than just having money.