Poverty’s visibility is likely to increase soon due to the drastic cuts to SNAP made by Congress last month. Those cuts, along with other efforts to trim back social welfare, will likely cause lots of Maine children to go hungry and suffer more acutely from all the side effects that come with growing up in poverty — from lower educational attainment to worse health.
The city of Portland is taking serious steps to reduce homelessness, but apathy about the poor at the federal and state levels is rapidly undermining these efforts. If poverty continues to increase, and if cuts to social welfare cause the poor to become a more visible presence, maybe a broader swath of the population will finally get fed up and hit the streets in protest. If that happens, just don’t stand in the median or you might face a $100 fine.