Poverty May Mean Hardship. Beyond Poverty, Destitution Is Life-Threatening

black and white image of upturned hand
The Hand photo by Alex Proimos is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Begging is becoming more common in the world's wealthiest countries.

Poverty comes in many shades, from careful spending, through struggles to stretch limited income, serious belt-tightening and deeper into financial desperation. All the way to destitution.

Destitution has been defined as missing 2 or more essentials to life that we simply must have. These include food, shelter, heat and clothing. Destitute people are often homeless, or cling to shelter by skipping meals for days in a row.

According to a recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Heriot-Watt University, with UK campuses in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders and Orkney, 2019 saw as many as 2.4 million people in the United Kingdom destitute, including roughly half a million children. Thanks to flaws in the UK’s benefit system, in the face of the pandemic, separate research by Heriot-Watt suggests this figure will double over the next two years. This could happen in spite of the extra benefits that have been released to help counter the massive coronavirus impact on the economy. Read more at The Big Issue: Five million people to face ‘distressing’ destitution post-Covid-19

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s report is published every two years: Destitution in the UK 2020

Sure, many people in every country are struggling with poverty every day in a COVID-19 world. But are you aware how many adults and children are destitute in your region?

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