Breaking Out of Poverty

Jenny Macias, Community Program Manager

Many of the teen moms served at Hope House of Colorado grew up in generational poverty, which means they see and interact with the world differently than someone from middle class.

For example, a person living in generational poverty functions almost constantly in survival mode. Usually their basic needs are not met, which leads to the inability to get ahead.

At Hope House we are committed to helping our teen moms become self-sufficient. This requires helping them get ahead – which requires that we learn to understand how they see the world and “speak their language.”

Speaking her language allows us to gain the teen mom’s trust – and then teach her how to “speak the language” of the middle class so she can accomplish her dreams of self-sufficiency.

I have put together a video (password: teen) that outlines the differences between generational poverty and middle class – designed to allow you to learn how to be bi-lingual between the poverty and middle classes.

Much of the information in this blog comes from Bridges Out of Poverty, a book written by Ruby K. Payne and Phillip E. Duval. Please watch the video and then go to the Aha Process website to get more information on generational poverty as well as other educational materials.