What have you learned from your first-hand experience about poverty here in the City of Rochester and how has that affected you?
Hi, my name is Anait Tamanian and I live in a mansion on East Avenue that was designed by the same guy that designed the Eastman House. I receive food stamps and eat organic and gourmet food. I’m feeling healthy and strong. I get breaks for amazing opportunities from places like the Memorial Art Gallery because I am in the AmeriCorps. Apparently I’m living at 5% above the county’s poverty line.
I’m not feeling too poor.
This experience is making me understand one thing more than anything else: poverty does not equal lack of money. There are many things that comprise the state of being impoverished: lack of opportunity, knowledge, social network, access to goods and services, etc. Again I’m convinced that throwing money at problems is not the answer, to say the least.
I am confronted with the same reality again. All the money in the world would not alleviate all the problems in the world. And honestly, if I knew the solution for global, national, regional, or local poverty, then Sachs and Bono would be hard at work writing a foreword to a national bestseller by Anait Tamanian.
Ciao for now!