Learn about Poverty

Join Catholic Charities in lifting up families who struggle to meet their everyday needs.

One in six families in our community struggles with poverty.  It’s easy to assume that we don’t know anyone living in poverty, but that may not be true.

Catholic Social Teaching proclaims that all people should be treated with dignity and respect. That belief lies at the heart of the mission of Catholic Charities.  We are people of faith, helping people in need achieve self-sufficiency and live with dignity.

Catholic Charities is a game changer for people in poverty. We offer a network of life-changing programs that work together to serve as a bridge to help people move from poverty to wholeness.

Everyone can do something to help. Volunteer. Be a voice for people in need. Make a financial gift.

Join Catholic Charities in lifting up families who struggle to meet their everyday needs.  

Join us in creating hope in the hearts of our impoverished neighbors.

Poverty is often invisible and could easily affect someone you know

Poverty takes many forms.  Families can be trapped in generational poverty, meaning that children are born and grow up in a low-income environment, and eventually become parents themselves while never escaping from a life of want.  By federal definition, a family of four making $30,000 is living in poverty.

Poverty also can be situational, or temporary, often brought on by a crisis – for example, a large medical bill or car repair.  According to recent research, more than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with insufficient savings to handle emergencies – even families with six figure incomes.

Poverty Facts
  • The federal poverty threshold for poverty for a family of 4 is $30,000 (2024).
  • The minimum wage is below poverty: Someone making Texas minimum wage of $7.25/hour makes just over $15,000/year – based on a 40-hour week, times 52 weeks annually.
  • In Harris County, 16.5% of the total population is in poverty; in Galveston County, 13.8%; in Fort Bend County, 8%.
  • In the City of Houston, 20.7% of the total population is in poverty; in Galveston, 19.2%.
  • 20.8% of children under 18 in Houston are in poverty.

United Way of Greater Houston:  Four in 10 households – most of them with jobs – are working hard but can’t afford the basic necessities of life.  Read about ALICE.

Poverty USA is an initiative of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.


Find out how you can help