In Poland 50k zł (~$15k) is a lot. It's about 1/3rd to 1/5th of value of new apartment (50m2) in major city.
Homes to renovate are chosen by hosts (you won't see them renovating someone's tidy apartment in a city). They choose people with bad to very bad situation to actually help them.
And yes, in rural areas situation can be quite dire mostly due to history of Poland and because people are unable to help themselves due to poor financial situation of themselves or local community as well as whole families are impacted by alcoholism (of one or many persons).
Due to that people of poorer communities are sometimes jealous that someone is now in better situation than was before and one renovated home was already devastated by neighbors and single parent living there is constantly harassed...
There is quite a contrast between rural areas and cities in Poland.