Teachers, police, judges all have roles in interupting cycle of poverty

April 19, 2019

Matthew Desmond’s book “Evicted”introduces you to nine people who live in the Milwaukee slums. You come to understand how they live and the causes of why they live that way.  They are people who have adapted their lives to survive with some sense of worth and dignity in the truly harsh world of American poverty, in the land of the free and the home of the brave. They are both free and brave to just live in the circumstances life has dealt them. Most people can really visualize both their sense of worth and desperation to survive as decently as they can.

These nine people can be found in probablyevery city and village of America.  

The Menasha Police Department utilizes the people found in “Evicted” to better picture lifestyles of the situations they encounter as they discuss in their debriefings, analyzing what they find in crisis intervention situations. Those nine people are somewhat duplicated in many of their discussions. Empathy.

People are not “those people who deserve what they get.” They are people. People who do not deserve what they got. However, to solve these problems as adults, with all of the complexities that have developed over the years is an almost impossible task for communities. 

We need to interrupt the cycle of poverty in childhood. We can interrupt the cycle of poverty in the teenage years.

Read "Bottom Half Teens." Discover how to create value in life for teens. If we can save 3 or 4 out of 5 bottom half teens, which can be done with 5 hours of productive work in high school, imagine the impact on taxes, the value and quality of life in America throughout their adult lifetimes.

Teachers, police departments, judges at the very least need to understand, discuss and think about the people of“Evicted.” There are bad people. But let’s not punish poverty. They need to know the people of "Evicted" and understand the pressure points. Pressure points are not good, not safe, but they are not daily events and they can be decompressed.  Family life and the risks children suffer in crisis need continuity.

Teens cannot successfully be locked up in classrooms unengaged, not curious, but simply bored and filled with energy. Relieve some of the school time, employ teens, teach them to work successfully. This solves so many problems of excess energy, sense of worth, and creates value and purpose of life.


John Wiley

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