Generational Poverty

Generational Poverty Defined

Generational poverty is often defined as poverty that exists within a family or group for two or more generations.Those who are born in generational poverty continue in poverty due to prevailing attitudes about money, society and work. Those in generational poverty have fewer connections and resources than their middle class counterparts, making it difficult for them or their children to rise above their circumstances. Without help, these precious people are on a path to continually repeat the cycle.

Further, we have come to believe that for many, poverty is an addiction. How does an addict recover from an addiction? It is a difficult cycle to break. Typically it requires an acknowledgement of the addiction, taking ownership of the addiction, and turning one’s life and will over to God. The next step is then establishing a support group including sponsor(life coach) to stay grounded and focused and motivated to succeed in breaking the addiction.


In the U.S., when one grows up in poverty, unless that individual is lucky enough to have exceptional intelligence matched with drive or possess exceptional athletic talent, they have little of what the world values. And what they do have that the world values, is easily taken from them.

The children who grow up in poverty are typically part of a family headed by a single mother and have several brothers and sisters, some with different last names.

They do not live in a community that values education and work and their worldview becomes one of survival and societal dependence and instant gratification.

Unless the heart is changed to understand that in Christ, one has dignity and worth, these children tend to remain in bondage to the poverty mindset.

How do does the church change that?

The Bible is very clear on this issue:

  • We are to care for the poor
  • We are to help the poor
  • We are to give hope to the poor

SAYM believes that the keys to breaking generational poverty are relationships and education.

Through mentoring, relationships are created and the love of Christ is spoken and lived. Through the mentoring relationship, information and perspective and knowledge are shared.

Once the relationship is established, and the children can then be persuaded that education is the way forward in our society. Then, tutoring assistance is needed to help the children succeed in school.

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