It is good that I care about the people around me. Even when I can't do anything tangible to help, it doesn't mean that I'm a failure.
If I allow the desire to be helpful to be my only motivation for self-improvement, I will be affirming the idea that I'm not worth my effort, only others are, thus making real self-improvement impossible.
So enough with this idea that if I spent as much time on stabilizing my situation in life as I do worrying about others' problems, I'd be able to offer real help to them. I can offer help now, and only allowing myself to expend effort for the benefit of others is the shovel that dug me into this hole in the first place.