I just moved out of the second-poorest neighborhood in my (small) city. In my experience, it’s the apathy that gets or keeps them in the slums (for lack of a better term) that leads to the slovenly lifestyle. Ever notice how many poor people can also afford beer to drink on the corner, but they ‘can’t’ afford to keep their children clean? It’s a whole lifestyle. Not all people are like that, but the type you see on COPS don’t think much of tomorrow, or they wouldn’t be on COPS.
Other shows find the worst conditions to emphasize their point, even if part of the blame falls on the tenant, not the premises. As I say, I lived in a poor neighborhood and didn’t keep my place up, either, because why clean up a dump? Ya can’t shine a turd, as the saying goes. Now that I’ve graduated from school, I have a place to be proud of, so I do a better job taking care of it.