jueves, 16 de marzo de 2017

Baltimore: This is what poverty in the US looks like

Ian Pannell reports from the city of Baltimore, where 25% of the population lives in poverty.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.



1. The poor of Baltimore are given shelter at Manor House.
2. There is a lot of business activity in Baltimore.
3. The crime rate in Baltimore is very high.
4. America became a richer country with President Obama and poverty diminished.
5. Marcus Allsop repairs the city's homes.
6. Marcus Allsop says some families have been living in poverty for two or three generations.
7. The Stewards have $30 a day to live on.
8. The Stewards argue and fight all the time.

Say hello to Jackson, a citizen of the wealthiest country the world has ever known, and yet he's clothed in handouts. His parents can’t find work. They have no home of their own and every morning they come to the Manor House charity where the poor of Baltimore meet for a little food, warmth and compassion.
What is your message to President Trump?
Come and help us. Instead of critiquing us, come help us and you will see we need help… bad.
Like much of America, this is a story of two worlds. Baltimore is actually something of a boom town these days, but it doesn't feel like it in many parts of the city. In this economy, there is no trickle down.
Gun crime is surging here. Baltimore was even more violent than Chicago last year, driven by gang tuft wars. For some of its residents, this is a city where selling your body or selling drugs is the only job available.
If you want to know what poverty in America looks like, well, this is it. Incredibly, this entire block here is pretty much made up of dilapidated, abandoned houses. Incredibly, some people are still living in between this, though. Under President Obama poverty grew in America and President Trump says he’s going to fix it. He's going to deal what he calls the carnage in America of crime, of drugs, of gangs, of violence and of poverty. Well, there are few places better to try and do that than Baltimore.
Marcus Allsop has lived here for 40 years, he repairs the city's homes, an eyewitness to the worst Baltimore has to offer.
The poor living are in the single houses, the real houses in Baltimore city where they're generally rat-infested regardless of what you do as a person living there. Roaches, mice, I mean, an epidemic in bed bugs. I mean, the neighbourhoods are falling apart, not because the people are bad people, we're underpaid, undereducated and so many of us have been living like this for the second and third generation until we don't even know how to change. Despair is the way of living.
And this is where it resides, on a bleak row of abandoned homes. This is the end of the line for Americans gripped by poverty. Here we met the last family living on the block. Three generations of the Stewart family are crammed in here. They're months behind on the rent, unpaid bills are piling up. Not surprising, when they have just $30 a day to survive.
I love you, be careful. Have a good day.
They've been evicted before, forced to live in one of Baltimore's many abandoned homes.
It hurts, it hurts that they have to stay wrapped up in blankets every day because they are cold. They don't want to get out of bed because there's no heating to keep them warm. People talk about us. They get bullied in school because of it. It hurts. They got to where they didn't even want to show their faces outside, but we had no choice but to live there because of the economy.
I'm struggling for seven years, seven, hard years.
What pressure does that put on your relationship together?
Oh, we argue and fight all the time, all the time. I love this woman to death, she's my best friend, but to see her go through the things she goes through, it hurts me, it hurts me.
For so many people, this is no longer a land of opportunity. Hope has given way to despair. And the children who clamour for charity handouts have no American dream. It will be perhaps the greatest
challenge for the new President.
Ian Pannell, BBC News, Baltimore.

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