While I know this may be a little too close to the "no-no" side of HTF, I just thought I'd strike up something that's bugged me for a long time. First, let me say that I know what it's like to be financially poor. From the ages of 2-8, my single mother raised me and my two sisters on minimum wage without any child support. My mother did not attend college, so she had a difficult time finding any decent job. However, she worked her ass off to provide us with the necessities. I have so many fond memories from these times. We ate a lot of bologna(baloney) sandwiches, to the point of hating them now. But, the point I bring up, we did not look or act poor. We kept our house in great shape. We kept the inside and the outside clean. We didn't keep a bunch of crap thrown all over the yard, and we mowed, regularly. Ok, enough of my background. So, I want to ask what makes SOME people who are financially poor look like trash? Do they just not care? Did they just give up? I see people who wear clothes that look like they dumped a bottle of ketchup or smeared dirt on. Their kids are dressed the same way, which kills me to see. (Not looking forward to seeing those children living like that when I teach elementary school.) Then they go home to a house that looks like it is being held up by duct tape and rubber bands. And then they have toys, clothes, trash, cars on blocks, etc. scattered throughout their yard. It just boggles my mind to imagine living like that. If you're poor, fine. But you don't have to look trashy. Maybe you all can enlighten me. The main reason I'm curious about this is because as I go to the elementary schools to observe and teach for my El. Ed. degree, I have to see those children who have to go home to that stuff. It kills me. I know not all who suffer financially are like this, but there are a lot that are. Any comments?