Tuesday, February 27, 2007

gather the women - part III

I still haven't finished Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World. Everytime I read a few pages, I get mad and frustrated and sad.

I'm going to have to finish it now, because I was invited to a gathering of women in Charlottesville, Women United in Philanthropy and I feel some hope.

The topic was local poverty, especially as it relates to families. Most of the presentation just reconfirmed what I've been learning through the affordable housing research committee of IMPACT.
- 15,000 below poverty in C-ville MSA
- self-sufficiency standard for VA says family must earn twice the level of poverty just to meet basic needs (housing, food, power, transporation, childcare & healthcare)
- that equates to 2 full-time workers earning $11.51
- average wage for low income worker is $7.07
- 18,700 people (point in time) on public assistance
- public assistance program is TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and many at just above 100% of poverty don't qualify for this assistance

While these are depressing stats, the encouraging thing is that more people in the community are becoming aware of the problems and want to do something to address the injustices.

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