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Sonoma County PACEs Connection (CA)

I think toxic stress can result from poverty, and this is concerning considering:  40% of Americans Lack Savings to Cover a $400 Emergency.  Despite low unemployment, this Washington Post story notes that 'an alarming number of Americans are still struggling to get by. In the past month, two reports - a new Federal Reserve survey of more than 12,200 Americans about their finances and a new United Way report on financial hardship - reveal how unstable life remains for a large number of people.

Do you agree poverty is an ACE?

Last edited by Holly White-Wolfe
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Poverty can certainly constrain your options, limit your opportunities and make a person's life unstable and unpredictable. However, the term "poverty" is relative: compared to what? Compared to the US, people in many other countries live in poverty, but do they see themselves as poor in comparison to their neighbors? It may make more sense to look at specific indicators of basic survival needs, such as lacking housing, not being able to afford meals, or as you mentioned, lacking savings to cover a $400 emergency.

Intertwined with considering whether something is an ACE or not is the consideration of how that ACE might cause toxic stress/affect brain development.. I think many are still trying to figure out the answer about how poverty might directly affect brain development. I bring this up because on May 3rd, 2018, The Economist published an article detailing a new study to ask this exact question: Does growing up poor harm brain development? See article here:

I think its a great question that many people are asking and now starting to explore. 


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