We began researching the NPL and found aspe.hhs.gov/poverty, which stands for Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Upon further reading, we found that “poverty thresholds” is the term used by the Census Bureau and “poverty guidelines” is used by HHS. The Census Bureau uses thresholds—determined by what they call a 48-cell matrix—for statistical reasons, calculating the number of people in poverty, while HHS uses poverty guidelines for administrative reasons—determining financial eligibility for certain programs.
These so-called poverty “thresholds” or “guidelines” are phenomenally unrealistic—how does a family of four survive on an income of $23,050 a year? A family of four.
A cheap one-bedroom apartment in South Pasadena in a decent but not overly new or lovely apartment complex goes for $1,100 a month. That adds up to $13,200 a year, leaving $9,850—or $820.83 a month, for a family of four—for food, gas or metro passes, clothes, school supplies, co-pays (if health insurance is even in the budget), visits to the eye doctor, the dentist, etc. We’d love to see some politicians try to squeeze by on that for a month, then maybe these thresholds and guidelines would be raised to more realistic levels, and not so many people—children, parents, the elderly—would fall through the cracks.
The nonprofit Foothill Unity Center was founded in 1980 and is a provider of food, crisis help, and access to health care services, serving eleven cities in San Gabriel Valley. “The number of people served by the organization has more than tripled over the last five years.”
The Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer (LODPS), a Pasadena family law firm, held a “Monte Carlo” charity event earlier this year to raise money for Foothill Unity’s annual Mobile Dental Clinic in November, “where USC’s Mobile Dental Clinic provides more than 3,000 pediatric dental procedures to approximately 120 needy school-age children.”
On Tuesday, August 13th, LOPDS will be volunteering at the Center’s 15th annual back to school distribution at Santa Anita Racetrack. Over 1,800 local school kids will be able to get dental screenings, vision screenings, and back-to-school supplies—backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, uniforms, clothing, and more.
Volunteers from USC School of Dentistry will determine whether or not a child “qualifies for pediatric dental procedures that will take place at the Mobile Dental Clinic event in November, including sealants, fillings, extractions, and minor oral surgery.
The Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer (Mr. Schweitzer served as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County for 8 years) donated 100% of the proceeds that they raised at the Monte Carlo fundraiser, helping to offset the $51,000 out-of-pocket costs for the mobile dental clinic. Those who would like to support this effort, may find the donation form online here.
Foothill Unity Center Back to School Event
Tuesday, August 13th, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Santa Anita Park Racetrack, clubhouse, 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia 91007 FoothillUnityCenter.org/BackToSchool
Foothill Unity states that in 2012, “volunteers contributed a total of 41,000 hours to the Center” as they strove to full their vision of “helping neighbors in crisis.”