July 27, 2013 |
In too many Philadelphia circles, there's a view that the answer to the city's poverty pandemic is to just open more coffee shops, more restaurants, more yoga studios. More Center City, in other words. In this view, virtuous "urban pioneers" - as they sometimes call themselves, seemingly unaware of what that phrase implies about the neighborhoods they are settling in - are eradicating poverty block by block, renovating row homes and old warehouses, or building townhomes on formerly vacant lots.
July 20, 2013
By Paul R. Levy and Jeremy Nowak We applaud Mayor Nutter for shining a spotlight on Philadelphia's soaring poverty rate with the release of Shared Prosperity. Well in advance of the next mayor's race, he has defined a central challenge: How can Philadelphia, with so many success stories, have an unacceptably high poverty rate of 28 percent, second only to Detroit among major cities? Shared Prosperity links the goal of job growth to the task of supporting residents in gaining the skills and resources to participate in that growth.
July 13, 2013 |
In an unusually frank document, the city has laid out stark statistical descriptions of poverty in Philadelphia, accompanied by a plan to try to deal with the problem. The Shared Prosperity Philadelphia plan, presented Thursday at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia, states that at a "staggering 28 percent," the poverty rate here is the highest among the nation's 10 largest cities. More than 430,000 of the city's 1,547,600 residents live below the federal poverty line, the report points out. The poverty line ranges from $11,490 for a single person to $23,550 for a family of four.
May 28, 2013
Remember when moving to the suburbs meant you were fulfilling the American dream of a life of plenty in greener pastures? That's less true today, with poverty showing up in communities where many Americans would least expect it. The Philadelphia suburbs, on both sides of the Delaware River, have become home to a growing segment of the region's poor. That disturbing national trend is being seen in communities across the country. The population of poor residents in America's suburbs jumped 64 percent between 2000 and 2010, which was twice as fast as the urban rate, according to a new book recently released by the Brookings Institution.
May 21, 2013 |
Say poverty in the Philadelphia area, and it conjures images of North Philadelphia or Kensington, not the suburbs. But the suburbs on both sides of the Delaware River are becoming steadily poorer, part of a national trend that confounds long-held beliefs that life is always better in greener pastures beyond urban limits. "People have this cliched notion of poverty being based in the inner city," said Adele LaTourette, director of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, which has offices in Trenton and North Jersey.
April 12, 2013 |
There is a specter haunting Philadelphia; it is the specter of job loss. In each economic cycle in the last four decades, the number of jobs attained at the top of expansion was less than what we had at the prior peak. There are 264,240 fewer jobs today than in 1970 - a decline of 25 percent. At the rate we are going, there will be 60,000 fewer opportunities for Philadelphians by 2023. Mayor Nutter's Five-Year Plan put it out there for all to see: We have the second-highest poverty rate among the 20 largest American cities, behind only Detroit.
March 20, 2013 |
Philadelphia 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. The annual salary for a single person at half the poverty line is around $5,700; for a family of four, it's around $11,700. Philadelphia's deep-poverty rate is 12.9 percent, or around 200,000 people. Phoenix, Chicago, and Dallas are the nearest to Philadelphia, with deep-poverty rates of more than 10 percent. The numbers come from an examination of the 2009 through 2011 three-year estimate of the U.S. Census American Community Survey by The Inquirer and Temple University sociologist David Elesh.
January 16, 2013 |
In a new effort to battle poverty, Mayor Nutter is creating a cabinet-level office that will oversee city efforts to deal with hunger, homelessness, job development, and other issues. Nutter was expected to announce the formation of the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity on Tuesday. It will be headed by Eva Gladstein, 60, deputy executive director of the Planning Commission. Gladstein was executive director of the Philadelphia Empowerment Zone from 1998 to 2007.
November 20, 2012 |
"Don't come in here with no soup, 'cause that's not Thanksgiving. " That's the edict 73-year-old Gertrude Johnson, the queen of the kitchen, issues to her fellow Faith Chapel volunteers, who prepare and serve meals for over 100 Germantown residents on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. They must take it to heart, because I didn't even see a ladle. What I saw was a feast - turkey, ham, stuffing, string beans, salads, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, rice and gravy, and apple, pumpkin, and lemon cream pies.
November 15, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The ranks of America's poor edged up last year to a high of 49.7 million, based on a new census measure that takes into account medical costs and work-related expenses. The numbers released Wednesday by the Census Bureau are part of a newly developed supplemental poverty measure. Devised a year ago, this measure provides a fuller picture of poverty that the government believes can be used to assess safety-net programs by factoring in living expenses and taxpayer-provided benefits that the official formula leaves out. Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceeded the 49 million, or 16 percent of the population, who were living below the poverty line in 2010.