Isolation is one of the consequences of poverty. It has a direct bearing on health. Chronic isolation, which is frequently experienced by people in poverty and the elderly, is a predictor of functional decline and death among people 60 and older.
For many, poverty poses a choice between isolation and shame. This might not make sense to someone with a steady income. A person who wonders why someone would isolate themselves from others just because they are poor is often the same person who judges the grocery cart of those using SNAP and says pull yourself up by the bootstraps or you need a hand up, not a handout. These people dont understand the shame that is felt by those who have to come into a food bank, or who have to ask for help with utilities or medicine.
One of the ways Humanity House reduces the shame felt by people who need some help is never judging a person or their circumstances. We ask questions to get information so that we can see if there are other long-term ways that we can help those in need.