Fighting Poverty with Passion
This January I learned that being part of being in AmeriCorps is learning how to to live below the poverty line. Earning less than a fourth than what most of my friends and peers across the country are making is difficult. I am more than grateful to have housing provided for me through the Tulane VISTA program. I am even luckier that I have an amazing roommate who puts up with my quirks. However, I still face challenges living on this tight budget. It is no surprise that I must carefully allocate money to spend on certain things, like groceries and transportation. It is incredibly frustrating to me when we are not paid on time as my budget depends on the timeliness of my paycheck. While I realize that everyone is in a different financial situation, not being paid on time is simply unacceptable to me. To me, it seems that all of my hard work at my site is not respected enough to warrant me getting paid on time. Not only does it show a lack of respect, but it also has immediate consequences on my life. While I am fortunate to have accumulated a modest amount of savings through employment over the past year, I should not have to utilize those funds when I painstakingly watch every dollar and cent I spend. I am curious to see if my fellow VISTAs have any ideas of how to prevent this type of problem in the future. We must realize that every aspect of this program is a team effort. I think writing about this struggle is an important way to show how these paycheck delays effect us negatively.