Poverty

Poverty
3:27 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Sen. Casey Releases Report on Income Inequality in PA

More than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians, or about 1 in 8 state residents, live in poverty.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) believes he knows how to lower that number.

He released a report Tuesday that showed the income inequality among Pennsylvania counties in 2012.

It revealed that the commonwealth has a poverty level of 13.3 percent, which is below the national rate of 15 percent.

Philadelphia County had the highest rate of poverty at 26.2 percent while Bucks County had the lowest at 5.8 percent.

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Community
4:52 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Light of Life Rescue Mission Offers Holiday Meals to the Homeless

Troy Millbourne (left) enjoys a meal with (left to right) Michael Tiller, David Kelley, and Frankie Harris at Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Many of us will spend the next few days with friends and family, sharing meals and opening gifts. But for the poor, homeless and hungry, the holidays can present special challenges.

“I would think the holidays … could be a really difficult time for someone who might not have family or might not have the means to provide the gifts or the food that are so traditionally associated with the holiday,” said Kate Wadsworth, public relations manager for Light of Life Rescue Mission.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:22 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Challenges Of Suburban Homelessness and Education

Homeless student Kevin Lee, Penn Hills graduate and winner of a national scholarship
Michael Lynch 90.5 WESA

Listen to an Essential Pittsburgh conversation hosted by Kevin Gavin, 90.5 WESA Executive Producer for Special News Projects.

Guests include: Elizabeth Kneebone, Fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty, Chuck Keenan, administrator in Allegheny County's Bureau of Homeless Services, Kyoko Henson, a home and school visitor for the Penn Hills School District, Joe Lagana, founder and CEO of the Homeless Children's Education Fund, and homeless student Kevin Lee, winner of a national scholarship, with his mother Tamara Williams

There are nearly 20,000 homeless school age children in Pennsylvania and that’s a small portion of the 1.2 million across the country.

Local and national experts gathered in Pittsburgh on Friday for the fourth annual Homeless Education Network Summit to discuss an issue of rising concern: suburban poverty, homelessness and the challenge of education.

Since 2000, the number of poor people living in the suburbs grew by 64 percent. And today, about 16.4 million poor people are living in suburbs, compared to 13.4 million in the cities.

Allegheny County is no different.

In the Pittsburgh region alone, the suburban poverty rate increased 15.7 percent between 2000 and 2011; while the city saw a 6.3 percent increase.

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Government & Politics
5:45 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Food Banks Plead for Piece of a Diminishing Federal Funding Pie

Representatives of more than a dozen local food banks and other public service organizations made their annual plea to Pittsburgh City Council for Community Development Block Grant funding on Tuesday.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank asked for $200,000, which is consistent with what they received in years past.

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Community
3:30 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Dollar Energy Fund Celebrates 30 Years of Helping Low-Income Families Stay Warm

Winter can be an especially difficult time for low-income families, when the cost of heating a home can skyrocket.

For the last 30 years, Dollar Energy Fund has been providing grants to people who are struggling to pay their utility bills during the coldest months.

Jody Robertson, director of communications for Dollar Energy Fund, said the nonprofit has helped keep the heat on in over 362,000 homes in nine states, doling out more than $103 million to needy families.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:47 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Increase In Pennsylvania’s Poverty Rate

While PA's poverty level has increased slightly, Pittsburgh is holding steady.
Credit marsmettnn / flickr

Despite being below the national average of 15 percent, the Census Bureau recently reported a slight increase in Pennsylvania’s Poverty rate. Up from 13.8 in 2012 to 13.9 in 2013, almost 1.8 million Pennsylvanians are considered to be living below the poverty line.

A tenth of a percent may seem paltry but a retrospective look at the past twelve years determines a full 3 percent increase. Associated Press reporter Kevin Begos believes that the economy just isn’t growing the way people hoped it would. There simply aren’t enough jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people looking to support themselves and their families.

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Census
12:59 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Pennsylvania's Poverty Rate Inches Up

Poverty in Pennsylvania has risen slightly, but remains below the national average.

The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that almost 1.8 million people in Pennsylvania, or 13.9 percent, were living in poverty during 2012. That's up slightly from 13.8 percent in 2011 and 13.4 percent in 2010. Pennsylvania's population is almost 12.8 million.

Nationally, the number of people living in poverty was 15 percent in 2012.

The Census Bureau's annual report offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2012.

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Poverty & Hunger
4:36 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Food Bank Hosts Hunger Discussion with State Lawmakers

State Rep. Dave Reed speaks with volunteers at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Streamlining the assistance process and making it more user-friendly were among the goals laid out when state policymakers and community leaders met Wednesday at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for a discussion about how to best combat hunger and poverty in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said Representative Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny) approached him earlier this summer about holding such an event.

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Government & Politics
3:30 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Representative Travels Across PA to Learn About Poverty

A Republican legislator is traveling across Pennsylvania to learn more about the state’s 1.5 million people living in poverty.

Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana), who chairs the House Majority Policy Committee, embarked on what he’s calling “Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty.” Reed is looking to assess the government’s role in fighting poverty in urban, suburban and rural areas.

Reed said the government’s efforts in fighting poverty need to be evaluated.

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State Government
6:57 am
Tue July 16, 2013

State Lawmaker Says House Panel Should Focus on Poverty

A Republican state lawmaker says the next big focus of one House panel will be how poverty afflicts people across Pennsylvania and what can be done to make the problem better.

Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana), who chairs the House Majority Policy Committee, said he hopes his initiative is eye-opening to legislators on both sides of the aisle.

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Poverty & Learning
3:30 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Pitt to Host Summit on Race, Ethnicity, Poverty

Researchers and scholars from across the U.S. are gathering in Pittsburgh to create a network devoted to studying the issues of race and poverty.

About 30 directors of academic centers and institutions on race, ethnicity and poverty throughout the country will be attending the summit hosted by the University of Pittsburgh to begin Thursday and Friday in an effort to start dialogue and create possible collaborations between institutions aimed at battling social issues.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:18 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Financial Literacy and Overcoming Generational Poverty

Exploring generational poverty and money management
Credit Lucia's Clay / Flickr

  Money, everybody wants it, everybody needs it, yet we struggle to understand it and to talk about it. Especially those of us who have never had much money to speak of. At this point in financial literacy month we want to take a look at money management from the perspective of generational poverty. What circumstances and financial habits perpetuate poverty and how can families prevail? Tammy Thompson is a Community Liaison and Certified Housing Counselor for NeighborWorks Western PA, she works with adults, kids and families on financial planning at all socioeconomic levels.