Week 2 SOC310


Option #2: The Poverty Line

For this assignment, you will write an essay that reflects upon the following:

Imagine you work for a nonprofit organization that helps place families in affordable housing based on their overall household income and coasts. You may either look at your own family or come up with a fictional family. If you choose the latter, think about what makes up the family: Is it a single parent? How many children? Is it a nuclear family? An extended family? You’re going to provide a report as well as discussion/analysis and next-step suggestions for this family’s placement.

Decide how your fictional family will look or use your own family and do the following:

Make a list of everything you need in a given month: groceries, travel (work and school), day care or babysitting (if there are children), entertainment, health care, savings, car payments, etc.

Come up with an estimate of these costs. You will need to do some research to find out how much things cost. Go to a local supermarket and price things out, call a local daycare center and find out what their fees are.

Once you’ve figured out these monthly costs, multiply by twelve to get the annual budget for your family.

Look up the poverty line for your area (it is roughly $28k for a family of four, but it changes so check for the current amount).

If your estimate is higher than the government’s poverty line you’ll need to start cutting back on some items. Make a note of what you cut.

Is your family going to be eligible for government assistance?

How will that factor into your budget?

In your reflection, think about your quality of life (or the quality of life for your imaginary family). What is in your entertainment category? What about budgeting for bills? What might it feel like to possibly not be able to pay your bills? What about feeding your children before feeding yourself? What other things might factor into a subsistence living for American families?


Write a 3-4-page report for your imagined supervisor—or about 1500 words—not including the title and reference pages, which are required.

Your paper must be properly cited and formatted according to the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA (Links to an external site.).

Include a formal References page.

You must support your analysis with at least three scholarly references and can include resources from this course. Sources such as Wikipedia, USA Today, Fox News, or MSNBC news will not be accepted. The CSU-Global Library (Links to an external site.) is a good place to find acceptable sources.

Turn the paper in via the Module 2 Critical Thinking folder and select the Submit Assignment button.

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