Low Income - What does it mean in Wareham?

By Archangel | Nov 09, 2017

With all of the comments posted on this site about low income people; can anyone tell me what annualized income they believe would place someone in the category of being a "low income type"? I'm hoping for honest, straightforward answers to this question.

Comments (26)
Posted by: Cindy | Nov 10, 2017 07:06

I suppose that's in the eye of the beholder but here's how mass housing defines it for voucher and housing programs:  there are a number of links here that are informational.


Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 12, 2017 17:22

Perhaps when you see comments referencing "low-income" posted, you should ask the individual who posted the comment to define "what annualized income they believe would place someone in the category of being a "low income type"?

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 13, 2017 08:11

like porn, you know it when you see it

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 13, 2017 09:25

The category cannot be defined by an income.  That would be unfair to good hardworking people that have a lower income and live responsibly within their means.  There is a big difference between low income and a "low income type".  I feel that I have covered the topic well in that response without any WBTS candor and could leave it at that.  But just incase...


Here's two scenarios to help better understand.  Forgive me if I get carried away.  Lets just say that there's an apartment building in town called The Woods of Brandy Hill.  In apartment #1 we have a nice family.  Dad works at a warehouse in the industrial park.  Mom works part time at a market.  Son is in the Middle School.  Daughter is at Decas. They have one car.  They manage to pay rent, pay for the car, buy food, etc.  They are responsible.  According to the chart, for a family of 4, they are low income.  Otherwise all is well. They are great members of our community.  They just happen to be categorized as low-income.  No big deal.


Now, in apartment #2 is a single woman with 3 kids likely from 3 different men.  Mom doesn't work much because she has 3 kids.  We pay her rent and buy her food.  Mom has a boyfriend.  He isn't the dad of any of the kids.  He lives there too, so we pay his rent and buy his food as well.  He is no fool.  While boyfriend sleeps in because he doesn't work much either, Mom waits for the bus with the kids in her pajamas.  She stands out there with the others just like her.  $800 iPhone in one hand, $5 cup of coffee in the other, and a cigarette from a $10 pack hanging out of her mouth.  Get the picture?  That's what the "low income type looks like".

Posted by: 181mph | Nov 13, 2017 13:15

and this ladies and gentlemen is  what is known  as profiling,, wbts, why don't you go back to the woods at brandy hill and profile the rest of the apartments so we can put all what you call undesirables on a bus and send them to where ever you think they should be sent, you really are a piece of work, y'all come on here and post all kinds of hate and personal opinions on people you judge by how they look/live,, a lot of people are having tough times by no fault of their own, but of course in your world, it does not matter, if someone is not up to your standards they automatically become trash, you are like the nosy old busy body,  there is one in every neighborhood, up in everybody's business without knowing anyone's personal situation, but it's your way or the highway

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 13, 2017 16:19

181, what part didn't you like?  What was described behind door #1 or door #2?  Come on.  You cannot possibly be defending the welfare baby mama epidemic with the bonus freeloading boyfriend.  That scenario is as common as the day is long around here.  If you are defending it, maybe it's you I see out there in your PJs blowing smoke in the faces of our future.  I thought my first paragraph and then my sensitive description of the nice family in apartment #1 would keep me from getting beat up.  Geeze...even when i try to be nice...

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 13, 2017 16:28

181, Something you don't understand is there are many that are in that position due to their lack of work ethic, lack of personal responsibility , lack of values, lack of respect. There are folks that need a hand up and folks that are only looking for a handout, Wareham has far too many of the latter. You call if profiling, i call it opening your eyes to reality. WBTS #2 scenario is what you see, day in and day out.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 13, 2017 17:01

The question (discussion) that Archangel posted asked what annual income (annual dollar income range) readers believed would place someone in the category of low income. The question did not ask for stereotypical descriptions of the lifestyle of those whose incomes are believed to qualify for the category of "low income."


As for WBTS's "the category can not be defined by income" look again the category about which the question was posed is "low income." The word "low" is an adjective which defines the level of income which is being queried.


WBTS - Nice "try" but no cigar.





Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 13, 2017 18:12

The question has been answered.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 13, 2017 18:47



This has the potential to go in circles due to semantics.  I see reference to "low income people" and "low income types" in both Archangel's original post and in your comment.  My point was to explain that those terms are totally different.  Low income has a dollar range.  Low income types does not.  Quite possibly, someone that  makes good money but looks and acts a certain way can be a low income type.  Maybe someone that married well.  How's the saying go?  You can take the manure away from the farm but you can't take the stink out of the manure.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 13, 2017 19:14

"The report defines low-income working families as those earning less than twice the federal poverty line. In 2011, the low-income threshold for a family of four with two children was $45,622."


Using the same formula as above, but applying it to the 2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines (family of four $24,600.00 X 2 = $49,200.00) a family of  four earning an income less than $49,200.00 qualifies  as low income.


Quote in bold type from:


U.S. Low-Income Working Families Increasing

2017 Poverty Guideline Statistics from:
Simple, direct, factual answer, no one's living circumstance were profiled or stereotyped and I didn't have to try to be nice.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 13, 2017 19:54

You have defined low income very well.  Those stats are interesting.  Funny, on a side note, it wasn't too long ago when 50 grand was considered good money.

However, those stats have nothing to do with low income type..which was Achangel's question.



Posted by: Archangel | Nov 13, 2017 20:56

Yes; I do get the picture WBTS. I have always gotten the picture in relationship to the low-income comments posted on this site. That is exactly why I posted the discussion.


Thank you for the very informative information Cindy and Andrea.


Posted by: greycat | Nov 15, 2017 19:52

Does low income include a cell phone and a body covered with tattoos, smoking a MARLBORO while pushing an occupied  baby carriage to the beer store?  While this fictitious person is ultimately personally responsible for his or her behavior, it does not speak well for the parenting or education that should have avoided these circumstances.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 15, 2017 22:00

Greycat -  To answer your question as to whether of not the fictitious person you described is low income: according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if your fictional person is single and has an annual income of less than $24,120 then statistically they are considered low income. If however your fictitious person is single and has an annual income of $12,060 or less, they fall within the Federal poverty guidelines.


If your fictitious person is a member of a family or household and you would like statistical information regarding how that impacts whether of not they are considered low-income, the statistical information necessary to determine that can be found at the following website:




If you or others reading this would like more information about the degree to which  parenting, education, and other factors impact the life circumstances of those who statistically qualify as "low-income" or "meeting Federal poverty guidelines" an online search for "cycle of low income in the United States" and/or cycle of poverty in the United States' will provide a wealth of resources.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 16, 2017 09:16

Greycat, I thought I was the only one that saw stuff like that.  The fictitious is describing a common sight around here.  Such a sad situation.  How can that cycle be broken?

Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 16, 2017 09:31

Two old sayings that remind me of this situation.. It's not a direct correlation but it's close.

" You build it, they will come..."

" You pay peanuts and you'll get animals..."

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 16, 2017 10:24

Cranky, you also can apply your "build it they will come" saying to the other article on the housing project.  It is beyond logic why anybody would ever want to allow housing for more of them.



Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 16, 2017 10:32

I'm not trying to be stereotypical, no such thing as easy living today. It's unfortunate that they want to put lower income families on that stretch of road. There's nothing there for them. Lower income families generally don't have transportation or they share transportation. Now we're gonna have more foot traffic on route 28. Tell this Dakota group to go knock on Duxbury's door. There's nothing out there for lower income families either but at least it's a safer environment.

Posted by: Archangel | Nov 16, 2017 18:50

Let me pose the question differently. How much money does a Wareham family need to earn not to be stereotyped by you, WBTS?


Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 17, 2017 00:35



My alleged stereotyping has nothing to do with how much money a family earns.  I tried to make that clear when I described the family behind door #1.  There is nothing wrong with young couples, families, retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities that are technically low-income due to where they fall on the chart.  I am sorry that my normally satirical style makes it seem like I'd be opposed to that, I'm not.  It's fine with me.


The problem is not with the low-income people.  The problem is with the low-income types and an even worse category that hasn't come up yet.  What about "no-income" people?  That is what I described behind door #2.  Baby mamas on welfare, freeloading boyfriends,lazy system abusers, etc  We cannot have any more of them in any more of our housing in this town.


So I guess I need to correct my answers a bit.  I will stereotype someone if their earned income is $0 yet they live rent-free and eat for free, have an $800 cellphone, drink $5 cups of coffee, and smoke $10 packs of cigarettes on my dime.



Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 17, 2017 07:58

Unearned income credits anyone ?

Nevermind, you work too hard for that.

Posted by: Archangel | Nov 17, 2017 17:22

WBTS, when it comes to system abusers and fraud or criminal activity, which is what I think you are trying to say, I fully understand your point of view and agree that more needs to be done to correct those issues. I don't care for the "Warehamy" term because I think it reflects poorly on the town as a whole.The more the term is used, the more it is likely to become attached to all of us. Perhaps our neighbors in Marion, a more affluent community than Wareham, might begin using it in reference to anyone that lives in Wareham (even you).

Cranky, if you are referring to the earned income credit. Are you saying the that the working class families that receive it don't work hard?

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 17, 2017 21:34

Wareham by the Sea - you know people to be "no income" because, you have access to State of Federal financial records specific to them? You have access to their medical records, medical insurance information? You stand behind them in a grocery line, see they have food assistance, and don't understand that those who struggle with full time minimum wage jobs sometimes qualify for food assistance? You lurk around coffee counters and question those who buy a "$5.00 cup of coffee" as to their income? You hang around cigarette counters and ask those who purchase a pack of cigarettes for proof that they are employed? Or maybe you just look at someone, decide their clothing to be less than posh, their hair style less than classy, or the location at which you see them to be limited to use by only those people you assume to be, in your words, "no-income?"

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 18, 2017 08:37


Obviously I don’t have access to records but let’s just say that I know a few things.  Through my employment and various social & living situations over the past 30 years.  I have come to know and understand many shocking things in general and about specific people.  Maybe my immersion has left me jaded?


Now, as far as the grocery store and the food stamps.  I completely understand that good people struggle.  They deserve the assistance. However, when I look in a carriage of someone with a food card and see all name brand junk food, frivolous items, and nothing healty I get a little agitated because my carriage contains healthy food, store brand items, and and items on sale. Yea, yea, who am I to judge what someone eats...I get that.  Maybe a requirement of food assistance is a consult with a nutritionist.  Less Ben and Jerrys and more apples.  That would be a good investment because obese unhealthy people on welfare end up costing us more in the long run.  No, I don’t have stats to prove that.  Just a hunch.


And for the coffee...as I leave for work each day with my brewed at home coffee in my travel mug.  I see the same characters with their $5 cups out near their subsidized apartments.  Some carrying trays of 4 back with them. That’s like $20!  Come on.  Buy a freaking Mr. Coffee machine at Walmart and spend more wisely.  Yea, yea, who am I to judge what someone drinks.  Maybe a requirement of welfare is a consult with a financial advisor.  Simple math shows that a month worth of Dunkin could be a car payment!

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 18, 2017 15:12

That was weird.  Why are all those funny looking letter A s in there?

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