“An employee at the main branch of the Worcester Public Library, speaking for herself and not the library, said the main branch serves as the city’s defacto day shelter for homeless people, but employees there often find themselves unequipped to help the homeless patrons. The employee, Elizabeth McKinstry, said the task force should look at staffing social workers at the library to help the homeless people who shelter there.
‘We really need someone onsite to help us do what we want to do as librarians, which is help people,’ said McKinstry.
She also added she was disappointed no one from the library was included on the task force.”
“It’s like if you don’t go into an area that’s poor, you don’t understand or appreciate the area that’s poor,” City Councilman John Garland, a native Roanoker, said during the kickoff meeting at the Jackson Park Library in Southeast Roanoke.
“The biggest challenge in an era of increasing inequality in income and wealth is the widening gulf between children growing up in strong, economically secure families within thriving communities and children who are not. Although African-American and Latino children continue to fall disproportionately into the latter group, a greater share of children of all racial and ethnic groups are facing conditions that can impede their long-term success.” Kids Count Data Book 2014
The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calls upon the United States to take corrective action to address laws that effectively criminalize homelessness, which in the U.S. disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities. The statement is part of the committee’s concluding recommendations following a review of U.S. government compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Among the laws cited as discriminatory were laws that prohibit activities such as loitering, camping, begging, and lying in public spaces.
“The global community agreed in 1948 that social security and health care for children, working age people who face unemployment or injury and older persons are a universal human right,” said ILO Deputy Director-General Sandra Polaski. “And yet in 2014 the promise of universal social protection remains unfilled for the large majority of the world’s population.”
In light of the escalating number of Americans living in poverty, and as a continuation of Tavis Smiley’s leading efforts on this issue, the Tavis Smiley Foundation’s new four-year initiative, Ending Poverty: America’s Silent Spaces, is partnering with the national anti-poverty organization RESULTS, to discuss the state of poverty as the country moves towards mid-term elections, and what actions the public can take to help address poverty including influencing public policy in local communities through their vote.
Tavis Smiley, national broadcaster, author, and advocate
Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS
Marianne Williamson, author and RESULTS Board member
Angela Sutton, participant and Advisory Board Co-Chair of Witness to Hunger
April 29, 2014, 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT
To register and join the conversation: https://engage.vevent.com/rt/results~042914
“The data clearly show that anti-poverty policies have been effective, but they’ve had to work harder in the face of increasing economic challenges facing low-income families. We could try to push the safety net further, but the politics aren’t there, to say the least. Moreover, unless we do more to deal with the underlying structural problems in the economy that are increasing poverty — especially the lack of decently paying jobs, which I link closely to the absence of full employment — we’ll have to increasingly ratchet up government support year after year.”
46.5 million Americans, 15% of the population, live at or below the poverty line according to the recently released United States Census Population Survey.
Poverty in households with children is rising in nearly all OECD countries. Governments should ensure that family support policies protect the most vulnerable, according to the OECD’s first-ever report on family well-being.
Doing Better for Families says that families with children are more likely to be poor today than in previous decades, when the poorest in society were more likely to be pensioners.
OECD (2011), Doing Better for Families