Poverty News Round Up

Here are some of the most notable stories about poverty that were in the news this week.

1. The Boston Globe reports on the devastating impact the sequester is having on public housing.

“Thousands of the state’s poorest residents are losing or being denied federal housing subsidies as a result of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, forcing many to choose between food, rent, medicine — or the streets.

The cuts are pummeling the Section 8 voucher program, which offers assistance to poor individuals and families renting apartments in the open market.”

2. Suburban poverty brings several new challenges for anti-poverty efforts, including transportation. From the Council of State Governments:

“Being away from the bustle of the city was always the point of suburban living but this creates a unique transportation barrier as the poor are now  farther away from their jobs and traditional programs which serve them.”

3. As more women join the workforce and become the primary breadwinners for their families, pressure is beginning to mount for improved child care services.

“Demographers say the change is all but irreversible and is likely to bring added attention to child-care policies as well as government safety nets for vulnerable families. Still, the general public is not at all sure that having more working mothers is a good thing.

While roughly 79 percent of Americans reject the notion that women should return to their traditional roles, only 21 percent of those polled said the trend of more mothers of young children working outside the home is a good thing for society, according to the Pew survey.”

4. With all the attention to tax expenditures in the wake of the new CBO report, it’s worth pointing out that the majority of charitable contributions don’t actually go towards the poor, in fact, only around 30 percent of charitable giving is targeted at alleviating poverty.

From Wonkblog:

wonkblog charitable donations

Clergy in North Carolina Invite ALL Clergy to Descend on Raleigh in Solidarity on June 10.

Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, one of the NCC’s Pastors Ending Poverty, is mobilizing clergy in North Carolina to speak out against actions by the North Carolina legislature to undermine the well-being of people living in poverty. Please see the message below about the mobilization he is planning. ~Shantha

I am sure that you are aware of the acts of civil disobedience which have occurred in Raleigh over the past month. It’s has been a sign of discontent on the part of many North Carolinians who disagree with the policies coming out of the state legislature.

While it has not been discussed in the media, clergy have played an important role. But there is a desperate need for our collective voices to be heard. For many are asking, where is the voice of the church? And many more have been asking, where is the voice of the clergy?

We, as NC members of the clergy, want to gather in Raleigh on June 10 at 5:00pm on Bicentennial Mall. We are not planning on anyone getting arrested. We do not plan on entering the legislative building. But we are planning on lifting our voices to be heard as men and women of God to say that “We Are For the Poor”. That we stand in opposition to any policies, any person who would produce actions which injure the most vulnerable around us. And as men and women of faith, we gather for prayer and for a public proclamation of faith in a God who is a God of salvation and justice.

Download and distribute this flyer for more information.

ImageIn Christ,
Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins