Through situations not under my control and awfully complicated, I was a teenager on my own. To my fathers credit he did pay for an apartment for me until I graduated high school and stopped by every 10 to 14 days with a weeks worth of groceries. The shortfall of food, clothes, books etc fell to me and my wits. I kept a very low profile as, if anyone found out, I would be put into the child welfare system. All in all the financial poverty was the least of it. The emotional emptiness was the killer. Being cash poor taught me things that most suburbanites can't even comprehend. I am sucessful beyond my wildest dreams today, and largely, because of hard lessons learned. A bit or scuffling to make ends meet can be of true value.
I do shutter sometimes when I think of all the dumb luck things that carried me through. I'm quite sure that I am luckiest man I ever met. Had just a few things been different in the story of my life, I would still be struggling to keep body and soul together. I know there are others that did not get the breaks that I did and face a lifetime of disappointment and poverty.