This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
This story first appeared on NBCPhiladelphia.com.
Sherita Mouzon describes her younger self as suicidal, bitter, and angry.
“It doesn’t go away,” Mouzon said during a Facebook Live interview with NBC10.
The trauma associated with poverty is not new. But a new report released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts shines a light on the experiences of Philadelphia’s lowest-income residents and shows how financial insecurity can affect everything from education to health.
Researchers have studied this link for decades, determining that exposure to violent crime, inadequate schools, and physical and emotional trauma make it difficult to climb the economic ladder.
In Philadelphia, that ladder is especially tall. Philly has long been ranked the poorest metropolitan area of the country’s biggest cities. The poverty rate hovers at a stubborn 26 percent. Pew’s latest study found that 41 percent of those living under the poverty line said their health was poor, compared to just 18 percent of wealthier residents. More than half of respondents interviewed for the study said they grew up poor or near poverty.
“With poverty, you can never unwind,” said Sandra L. Bloom, associate professor of health management and policy at Drexel University. “There are no days off. No weekends. No vacations from poverty.”