The Need

The face of poverty

Root Causes of Poverty Locally


  • Lack of education, job skills, and knowledge to acquire jobs and remain employed.
  • Lack of assets, particularly small capital, to generate employment and income.
  • Lack of economic opportunities and access to capital, social services such as education, health care, and affordable housing.
  • Prolonged economic slowdown, loss of businesses and industries, or economic stagnation that results in job loss and underemployment.
  • Creation of dependency through safety nets to meet basic needs –“giving people fish without teaching them how to fish” that would result in self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
  • The nexus of large families/ unemployment/underemployment, and lack of assets that results in a vicious circle of poverty or generational poverty.
  • Lack of support for children and women at the household level in education, good nutrition, and health care.
  • Loss of dignity and self-respect due to being caught in a poverty trap that undermines confidence, creates indifference, and generates fatalism.
  • Failure of development initiatives to focus on root causes of poverty replication, sustainability, and impact on the quality of life.
  • Failure to involve the poor in defining priorities and in finding solutions.

Useful Links

The United StatesPoverty in the United States [3] – U.S. Census Bureau
Poverty Analysis [3] – World BankSouth Carolina

U.S. Census Bureau Statistics on South Carolina [4]

News Stories about Poverty

March 21, 2009: A sign of hard times [5] Island Packet

March 9, 2009:          SC unemployment rate hits 10% in January [6] –

December 11, 2008:  SC unemployment expected to hit 14% by spring 2009 [7] – Associated Press

November 29, 2008:  As the economy falls, requests to food banks soar. [8] – Island Packet

November 16, 2008:  Rate of hunger among children rose 50% in 2007 [9] – Island Packet

November 15, 2008:   SC layoffs at state agencies mean less support for the poor and disabled [10] – Beaufort Gazette

November 12, 2008:   12% of SC children have no health insurance [11] – Island Packet

November 10, 2008:   History island church finds joy, hope in Obama presidency [12] – Island Packet

November 3, 2008:     State budget ax falls on special needs home [13] – Island Packet

September 19, 2008:  Community Organizers help folks overcome poverty/powerlessness [14] – Island Packet

July 1, 2008:             Help native islanders preserve neighborhoods [15] – Island Packet, editorial

June 19, 2008:          Hard times in the Lowcountry [16]… – Island Packet