Monday Program – Week in Review #13

A recent data report done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has shown that in the United States, poverty has worsened in areas where it is already concentrated despite the apparent economic expansion in the last decade. The foundation’s goal is to “develop a brighter future for children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.” All of the information gathered from the report was retrieved from the latest U.S. Census, and leaves many worried as to why 10 states including Puerto Rico saw a rise in percentage regarding children who are living amongst areas of concentrated poverty. An alarming statistic brought up in the report tells that 8.5 million children in the United States are currently living in these conditions. Certainly troubling to think about, as high-poverty areas are known to have a lack of access to quality medical care and healthy food while having an increased chance of being in an environment filled with unsatisfactory air quality and toxins. Lisa Hamilton, President, and CEO of the Casey Foundation stated that “We all know that children thrive when they grow up in neighborhoods with high-quality schools, abundant job opportunities, reliable transportation and safe places for recreation, yet across the country, millions of our kids are living in poverty,” she further stated that “Following such a long period of national economic growth, we should see widespread poverty reduction for more communities. It is imperative that we implement policies to revitalize the children and families that remain left behind.” The foundation believes that local, state, and federal leaders must come together to help lift these families out of the harsh environments that they are forced to raise their children in. Supporting the development of affordable housing, expanding workforce training that targets high-poverty communities, and creating small-business loan programs for those who lenders tend to reject are some solutions that the Casey foundation believe will help to correct this on-going issue that thousands of families across the United States are forced to live in. Now, it is up to the leaders of today to help mend these communities to give the future generations the best upbringing possible…will notable action be taken?

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