After 81-year-old Louise White won the $336 million Powerball jackpot, a lot of people will be talking about average people suddenly striking it rich.
But lost in that discussion with be something that occurs far more frequently: average people suddenly striking it poor, or becoming the "nouveau poor" as reported by American Public Media's Marketplace.
The report, focusing on Forsyth County in Georgia, is describing the phenomenon of people like Steve and Suellen Daniels, who had middle class jobs at one point, but now have to work five part-time jobs just to make ends meet.
Forsyth County’s foreclosures are a staggering reminder of the decline of the county. To help do their part in helping others who are struggling, Steve and Suellen Daniels have started a group called “Meals by Grace.” And so, one thing that people can do in Forsyth County, and all over Georgia, is to volunteer with organizations like this.
But for many, volunteering can only happen after their own house is in order; and sometimes, putting the house in order means getting assistance. Obviously people are already aware of the government programs out there that provide assistance. However, did you know that there are other options as well?
If you are financially stressed, even if you wouldn’t call yourself nouveau poor, one place where people can go for a meal is a local food program like the Forsyth County Food Pantry.
Another useful Forsyth County assistance program is the Direct Emergency Assistance Program. You bring proof of your income, as well as the bill that you are trying to get paid (like a utility bill for example), and potentially get assistance.
Despite its tough economic situation, with volunteering and community action, Forsyth County might again be a great place for Georgians to live.