How do you break out of poverty

"Poverty means a lack of opportunities: With poorer education and a low income, one can participate less in social life," says Dr. Michaela Puhr. She works in debt counseling at the Burgenland State Government Office in Oberwart and knows: “Social activities such as going out, hobbies or sports activities cost money that many do not have. Those affected withdraw, which leads to social exclusion. Manifest is poor if you also have to consider whether you prefer to have a warm meal or heat the apartment. "

People with a migration background and the unemployed are particularly affected by poverty. Single mothers, people with poor training and those returning to work are often among the “working poor”: “They work 20 hours a week in poorly paid or insecure jobs, but despite this gainful activity they are poor or at risk of poverty,” explains the consultant . “The situation can affect anyone in any situation, whether through illness, job loss or separation. When the network collapses, a spiral develops: those affected by poverty withdraw even more from social life and get into loneliness and isolation. The fear of existence leads to psychological and physical complaints such as sleep disorders, headaches, cardiovascular diseases or depression. "

What many do not know: There are possibilities. The Austrian family counseling centers can provide information and advice as the first point of contact. "Nobody in Austria has to sleep under the bridge," says Dr. Michaela Puhr. “Anyone who loses their home can go to an emergency shelter, and anyone who loses their job can apply for unemployment benefits. Parents are entitled to family allowances and child care allowances. In addition, there is the needs-based minimum income, housing allowance, heating cost subsidy, 'help in special situations' as well as fee exemptions (radio, television, recipes, ...) and transfer payments (a detailed list of the assistance offered can also be found on the website www.oesterreich.gv. for many it is temporary poverty, but for some it is the normal situation: around 300,000 people in Austria have no more than 600 euros a month at their disposal ... Nowadays, careful handling of money and reserves are important prerequisites that must already be suggested to children. There are information about this in schools and kindergartens, as well as preventive projects, "says the expert in conclusion. and it helps them if, for example, they are accompanied to advice, discussed afterwards and given feedback from outside 'there. "