Why is there not a poverty matchmaker show?

My wife likes to watch the millionaire matchmaker show from time to time. This show has a strong-willed female matchmaker working with some strong-willed male millionaires to find them a significant other. More often than not, the clients hold high opinions of themselves and feel anyone should be lucky to have them. For many that is fine, but the show tends to have more than its fair share of arrogant men.

Yet, as I thought of this show, I asked my wife why is there not a show to make matches for people in need. In other words, why is there not a poverty matchmaker show? I am being facetious, as people like to watch people with money whether it is houses of the rich and famous or wives of some rich suburb. So, very few people would want to watch what too many Americans look like these days, people in need.

So, rather than a show, maybe we could have a matchmaking service where people in need could match up with someone who is also in need, pooling their resources. They need not necessarily get married, but could co-habitate to share expenses via a roommate agreement. The matchmaker would make sure that people are vetted to minimize any problems.

With more adult Americans single than married as of a survey announced this week, the sharing of expenses with some mutual understanding may help the two singles or heads of household make it together. This could be a temporary arrangement until both families can get back on their feet. And, since this is a platonic arrangement, the head of families could be of the same gender.

At the agency I volunteer with, we help homeless families get back on their feet. If needed, we shelter them in temporary housing where they have a bedroom and bath, but share kitchens in a communal arrangement. Once they have saved enough and get their sea legs beneath them, they move into their own apartment paying a subsidized rent. All of this is based on the concept that they are assigned a social worker to help them work through issues. Eventually, the families exit the program when they can sustain themselves and over 86% remain housed after two years of exit.

So, the matchmaking concept could work, although it would make for less exciting TV. Maybe we could assign one social worker to the co-habitated families. What are your thoughts? Am I all wet?

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10 thoughts on “Why is there not a poverty matchmaker show?

  1. All wet? I think it is a brilliant idea. I am not a grant writer, but if you can find one, wouldn’t it be a wonderful test case, to set up a test system in your area. Hire one of these “matchmaker” as well as social workers and psychiatrists to set up a testing system to see who works well together (hey, maybe you should get with that “e-Harmony” guy to set up the questionnaires!) (ok yes, I am being facetious) With Obama still in office, I think you could get governmental attention for the whole thing. Keep us up to date and I wish you luck!

  2. Note to Readers: One thing I left off that might be pertinent is we have experienced that people in need and/ or who are homeless, have smaller, if any, networks of people to help them navigate. Or, they may have exhausted their network. So, by pairing people up, we may be increasing the size of their networks. If you are looking for ways to help people in poverty, be it through food banks, shelters, children’s homes, etc. providing your time and helping people network is an easy way to leverage your resources. It could be as simple as reviewing a resume and cover letter or forwarding the resume to a key contact with a good word. Or, it could be teaching how to follow-up with people or advocate for themselves. The psychic income you receive by helping is huge.

  3. Reblogged this on brainsections and commented:
    I know of more than a few elderly people living in 3 to 6 bedroom houses all by themselves, and are lonely; families don’t want anyone to move in with them (either from inside or outside of the family) because they are waiting for the old person’s demise to sell the house. Talk about greedy.

  4. Its a great idea. But it has to be voluntary on the recipients part. Mandatory matching with a “roommate” would end up as dreadful and mandatory roommates were in college. How about even some volunteers to start the ball rolling?

    • Agree on the volunteer part. Facilitating options would work part in parcel with our placement in apartments we use now. We give our homeless families three choices from apartments of landlords who are sensitive and want to help our audience. I am going to speak with our ED as well as a couple of others, one who runs an agency designed to keep people who are about to be homeless in their house. I think we could pilot this with some eager volunteers as you said. TJMcFee notes elderly with empty rooms who are lonely. This could start with a focus on the elderly and pair some folks with young families where both could help each other.

  5. Sadly, I bet if it were a prime time reality show, it would be scripted so that many folks would fail or drop out or be constantly immersed in conflict and drama. I agree with you on the support systems issue. One advocate or friend or just a few guiding words make a big difference.

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