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 2, 2015 |
As it prepares to choose its next mayor, Philadelphia is on a roll. Crime and unemployment are down. Center City is undergoing a revival that is spreading to the neighborhoods. Residents new and old are living in a city that is cleaner, greener, and more enjoyable than it has been in years. But Philadelphia still struggles with the highest poverty rate among the nation's 10 biggest cities, epidemic gun and drug violence, a pension liability threatening to unravel city finances, growth-killing business and wage taxes, and egregiously underfunded, underperforming schools.
October 7, 2015 |
Each morning, after sending her two boys off to school - good, safe schools in far-off neighborhoods where they can arm themselves with an education - Angela Sutton asks herself a question: What will she put on the table for them when they come home? If she is lucky and can style a neighbor's hair, maybe she will earn enough to buy some Oodles of Noodles, eggs, lunch meat, and bread. Things to get them through. If it is near the end of the month, if the cupboard is empty, perhaps she will only have enough for fast-food dollar-menu meals.
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
A Sunday Business article about demand for office space in Center City misstated the address of the Icon apartment tower. The correct address is 1616 Walnut St. An article Thursday on U.S. Census data incorrectly reported the poverty rates for Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The poverty rate for Pennsylvania went from 13.7 percent in 2013 to 13.6 percent in 2014. The New Jersey rate changed from 11.4 percent to 11.1 percent during the same period. An article Thursday on the arrest in the Agatha Hall homicide gave incorrect funeral information.
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.
August 14, 2015 |
As Pope Francis' visit draws nearer, Sister Mary Scullion wants to make sure the whole city is ready for his arrival - including the homeless men and women who normally sleep on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. "We hope there will be alternative shelter, as well as places where people will be able to get meals," Scullion said during what she called a "pope-up" on the northeast corner of Rittenhouse Square. The event, one of three held Wednesday in Center City, was designed to encourage people to combat poverty and homelessness through her Mercy and Justice Initiative.
June 25, 2015
IN A BLACK AND WHITE world, the bad guys are locked up in prison and the good guys are on the outside, living blemish-free lives. But the world has never been black and white, and the issue of who gets locked up in jail has become increasingly gray over the past few decades, even as the prison population has exploded by a factor of four in as many decades. The fact is that who gets locked up is not inscribed in the Constitution. Society and its shifting mores has always determined who gets jailed - including the 17th century when people could be imprisoned for incurring debts.