January 6, 2016
(Trigger Warning: The following includes political opinions that make some feel uncomfortable.) THE 99TH mayor of Philadelphia was sworn in yesterday, and I wonder if James F. Kenney was thinking, "99? Geez. Why didn't I let Darrell run? Then I could have been the 100th, and that's so cool. If I get reelected now - and there's no chance of a Democratic mayor not being reelected - I am still 99, not 100. " Chances are Kenney was not thinking that. More likely he was thinking of the challenges of the next four (really eight)
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.
October 16, 2015
ALTHOUGH THE shelves in my home office are packed with books by financial experts offering really good advice, it was my grandmother Big Mama who taught me most of what I know about handling money. And she did it while living below the poverty line. To this day, I marvel at how Big Mama raised five grandchildren on her tiny salary. Pride and frustration with the welfare system made her refuse monetary assistance from the state. At times we may not have had enough for seconds during meals, but we never went hungry.
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.
January 27, 2015 |
The Lansdale project may still be a year from completion, but people in upper Montgomery County and across the state are already bubbling about what may be its most striking and unusual feature: The front door. When North Penn Commons is finished, the door will be the lone entranceway for seemingly disparate groups: members exercising at the local YMCA, seniors living in affordable housing, and visitors to a soup kitchen, Manna on Main Street. The design is intentional, part of a bid to reach across age and economic barriers to integrate struggling older people into the community.
January 9, 2015 |
LIFE ON the poverty line can mean getting some cupcakes in your stomach, even if you're dreaming of an avocado. Fresh fruit and vegetables might require a bus trip out of town or waiting until a check clears. Hitting up the corner store instead often means eating junk food. But news that Chester's brand-new supermarket, the Bottom Dollar on Edgmont Avenue near 15th Street, is closing seven months after it opened wasn't greeted with great shock by the people standing in the snow flurries with their bags Tuesday afternoon.
September 26, 2014 |
Already the poorest big city in America, Philadelphia also has the highest rate of deep poverty - people with incomes below half of the poverty line - of any of the nation's 10 most populous cities. Philadelphia's deep-poverty rate is 12.2 percent, or nearly 185,000 people, including about 60,000 children. That's almost twice the U.S. deep-poverty rate of 6.3 percent. Camden's deep-poverty rate of 20 percent is more than three times the national mark, but its population is a fraction of Philadelphia's.
May 13, 2014 |
IT WAS dusk, growing dark quickly, so when a man suddenly appeared at my car window in the parking lot of Home Depot, I instinctively moved to lock the door. But he wasn't acting like a predator. For one thing, he was elderly, and he was gesturing urgently, so I opened the door and got out. "Miss, please," he said, pointing to his mouth, which was twisted in grimace. "I'm sorry. I need help. " He spoke in halting English, so it took a while to understand what he was saying. Something like, "I need help, my family has no food.
March 23, 2014 |
A glitch in the Obamacare window-shopping tool that incorrectly responded "not eligible" to queries about financial help from households just above the poverty line was fixed hours after the administration learned of the issue, officials said Friday. For 35 days, Healthcare.gov used the wrong year's federal poverty-level guidelines for informal assessments of eligibility. And, while that website has been the only one empowered to make final decisions in most states, similar mistakes uncovered at independent sites raise the possibility that wrong information is still being disseminated less than 10 days before open enrollment ends for the year.