Honors Theses


Leslie H. Picca, Ph.D.


Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


This paper looks at why those in poverty have not taken advantage of self-sufficiency programs that are offered through Miami Valley Works along with other self-sufficiency programs offered. This paper looks at the general reasons why those in poverty do not go through self-sufficiency programs, whether they chose not to participate or leave a program prior to completion. This paper delves into multiple factors that could contribute to why an individual would forgo to participate in the program or would choose to leave the program before completing it. The study examines how governmental policies, the culture of poverty, race, housing, education, and stigma affect the individuals choosing to, or not to, participate in the programs offered, specifically through Miami Valley Works. The question arises as to how organizations can keep their retention rate higher in order to increase the number of people in poverty that have the means to achieve self-sufficiency. Those in poverty in the community have expressed interest in involvement in self-sufficiency programs, however enrollment rates decrease considerably throughout the stages of the process, including inquiry, orientation, and the program itself. This study will ideally shed light on how organizations can better reach out to those suffering with poverty in the Dayton community and make sure to achieve high rates of program participation. The ultimate goal is to achieve a better understanding of the barriers that those in poverty face when trying to achieve self-sufficiency.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research


Anthropology | Social Work | Sociology