We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The people that you think of as "poor" -- like the people you see living on the streets, the beggars, the people in the shelters and those in the low income housing -- all of them, if they ask, have full access to benefits that, if counted, will immediately lift them out of measured poverty. Now, could there be some who, even though entitled to such benefits, somehow fall through the cracks because they fail to apply or to take advantage of what is offered? Of course. On the other hand, there are government workers out there every day looking for these people to try to help them. The remaining "real poor" can't actually be a significant part of the residual 2%.
There are mentally ill people who don't really know how to get help. Often the "help" requires filling out paperwork and meeting deadlines for applying for help. This level of cognizance isn't there so they fall through the cracks.
Agreed. And even if you get $753/mo SSDI, subsidized housing (pay 30% of income for rent), and food stamps it's not much. Medicare and Medicaid are valuable to those requiring expensive ongoing care, and costly to taxpayers, but you're still poor.