November 22, 2015 |
Philadelphia has made some strides in helping its poor over the last two years, but has a long way to go as the most deeply impoverished of the nation's 10 largest cities, according to a City Hall report released Friday. An office established two years ago to reduce poverty in the city reported that in the last year alone, a new network of benefits centers has helped connect several thousand impoverished Philadelphians with about $13 million in local, state, and federal benefits. Other measures also have yielded results since Mayor Nutter created the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity in 2013 and placed Eva Gladstein at the helm as executive director, the group reported.
November 16, 2015 |
Even as poverty leveled off in New Jersey last year, it remained at a 50-year high and showed no signs of abating given persistent structural problems such as income inequality and changing employment trends that are trapping the poor, a new report has found. "New Jersey's current and long-term employment outlooks are ominous and raise the possibility that we are witnessing profound and long-term shifts in employment opportunity, potentially requiring corresponding paradigm shifts in government economic development and antipoverty strategies," reads a 146-page annual report of the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute.
November 13, 2015
WE ARE HEADING toward the holiday that encourages gluttony. Supermarkets are already overstocking their shelves with traditional Thanksgiving food items. But in many homes, there will be people who won't have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or a meal at all that day. How many of us stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving not fully appreciating that many people regularly go hungry, scraping by on a few dollars a day? Typically at the beginning of the month, I select a personal finance book with wisdom or strategies to help individuals improve their financial situation.
November 5, 2015 |
FIRST, WE congratulate Jim Kenney on his victory in yesterday's election, after an impressive campaign that revealed the mayor-elect as a man of passion and purpose. After more than two decades in city government, Kenney understands the challenges that the city faces in the years ahead. Succeeding as mayor means being attuned to the street-level issues, as well as the ability to focus on the "long game" of big and complicated issues. We believe three issues in particular are of overriding importance for the Kenney administration: * Poverty . The figure is always shocking, however many times we hear it. More than one in four Philadelphians live in poverty, nearly 400,000 in a city of 1.5 million.
October 23, 2015 |
Leave it to a Canadian to put a positive spin on SNAP (a.k.a. food stamps), a program whose ungainly full name is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . "We don't have food stamps in Canada. A lot of Americans don't appreciate that the program is actually really cool and effective," says Leanne Brown , author of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day (Workman). She'll discuss the book and sign copies Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Free Library of Philadelphia . The book has become an unlikely phenomenon, and the interest in it started before it was officially published in July.
October 1, 2015
ONE OF THE MANY bright spots of the pope's visit to America - as well as his presence in the Vatican - is his insistence on talking about poverty. Last week, he reminded Congress that capitalism is a worthy system, as long as it helps benefit all. Francis is certainly not the first voice on the subject, but his actions and humility backing his sentiments has brought a new dimension to the subject; the pope has infused poverty and those who experience it with dignity that has long been lost in the divisive and bitter political dialogues that has emerged in the last decade - one that blames the victim while ignoring the underpinnings of an economy that bolsters only a select few. Despite Francis' words, real change is going to require something closer to a miracle.
October 1, 2015 |
Philadelphia has the highest rate of deep poverty among America's 10 biggest cities, an examination of federal data by The Inquirer shows. The city is already the poorest in that group. Deep poverty is measured as income of 50 percent or less of the poverty rate. A family of four living in deep poverty takes in $12,000 or less annually, half the poverty rate of $24,000 for a family that size. Philadelphia's deep-poverty rate is 12.3 percent, or around 186,000 people - 60,000 of whom are children, an examination of the newly released U.S. Census 2014 American Community Survey shows.
September 18, 2015 |
Philadelphia remained the poorest of America's 10 largest cities in 2014, with more than one quarter of its residents - 26 percent - living below the poverty line. At the same time, Camden recorded a seemingly significant drop in poverty in 2014 from 42.6 percent to 36.5 percent - a change experts had a hard time explaining. Both findings were mined from the massive data trove known as the American Community Survey 1-Year Estimate, a product of the U.S. Census Bureau, set to officially be released Thursday.
September 17, 2015 |
Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney wants to reduce the city's high rate of poverty by ensuring that Philadelphia's community college and adult learning institutions better prepare students for the job markets. "I think in order to strengthen Philadelphia both socially and economically, we have to have a workforce that is trained and making a living wage in the 21st century," Kenney said during the Peirce College Thomas May Peirce Leadership Award breakfast Tuesday, where he was the award recipient.
September 1, 2015 |
Let us pray that the biggest impact from Pope Francis' visit doesn't come from selling commemorative T-shirts, candles, mugs, and photo albums. The pope may not mind all the tchotchkes with his image being prepared for sale in anticipation of his arrival. But the World Meeting of Families he is hosting wants to give the city a more important keepsake: a reduction in its homeless and hungry populations. Leading that effort is Sister Mary Scullion, executive director of Project HOME, and Anne Healy Ayella, associate director of the Philadelphia Archdiocese's nutrition program.