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There are levels.
All of them fall below the federal poverty guidelines.
Imagine that you are a person responsible for supporting a family of five in poverty. No matter your family size, any level of poverty can apply to you depending on different mitigating circumstances.
Level 1- Completely impoverished. Cannot mobilize in any way, shape, or form without being provided outside assistance (Think: Someone receiving housing assistance, employment assistance, foodstamps, welfare, Medicaid, etc.. all at the same time).
Level 2- Receiving one or more forms of government assistance to maintain at this level, but could move on to Level 3 with the right support and circumstances.
Level 3- May be receiving some government assistance, but at a minimum (Foodstamps and/or Medicaid, as requirement), but can very likely move from Level 3 to lower- middle class with the right support and circumstances.
You can be homeless, or not. You can have a job, or not. These things carry significance only in concern of the exasperating effect not having them present to you; in addition to your level of poverty and mitigating circumstances.
When you live below the established poverty guidelines for your household size, the next thing that must be determined is which level of poverty you fall into, and how close you are to reaching the next level. This is THE determining factor that has to be understood for the proper assistance to be provided to you. There is no other understanding to be had in this matter.
Poor- Lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society.
Impoverished- Exhaust the strength, vitality, or natural fertility of; extreme lack. -Definitions courtesy of Google Dictionary.
More to follow on this topic...