Discussion #2 – WHH Ch 2

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Think about the following story:

During the 1990s, Alisa Collins and her family lived in one of America’s most dangerous public housing projects in inner-city Chicago. Alisa got pregnant at the age of sixteen, dropped out of high school, and started collecting welfare checks. She has five children from three different fathers, none of whom help with childrearing. With few skills, no husband, and limited social networks, Alisa struggled to raise her family in an environment characterized by widespread substance abuse, failing schools, high rates of unemployment, rampant violence, teenage pregnancy, and an absence of role models. From time to time, Alisa tried to get a job, but a number of obstacles prevented her from finding and keeping regular work. First, there were simply not a lot of decent-paying jobs for high school dropouts living in ghettos. Second, the welfare system penalized Alisa for earning money, taking away benefits for every dollar she earned and for every asset she acquired. Third, Alisa had child-care issues that made it difficult to keep a job. Finally, Alisa felt inferior and inadequate. When she tried to get vocational training or a job and faced some obstacle, she quickly lost confidence and rapidly retreated back to where she was comfortable—public housing and welfare checks. Alisa felt trapped, and she and her family often talked about how they couldn’t get out of the ghetto.

  • Click here to watch the When Helping Hurts Online UNIT 2 VIDEO

  • Chapter 2 Questions

  • Click here to watch the When Helping Hurts Online UNIT 2 VIDEO


Poverty Alleviation Definition:
A process in which people, both the materially poor and non-poor, move closer to living in right relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.

Material Poverty Alleviation
Working to reconcile the four foundational relationships so that people can fulfill their callings of glorifying God by working and supporting themselves and their families with the fruit of that work.