The picture of poverty is uncomfortable and complex but very real for far too many in our region.
It’s more than worrying how to pay the month’s rent, choosing heat over food or life saving medicine over money for transportation to get to work. It means being faced with these choices all the time and continuing to come up short despite working hard to make it better. For some living just one town over, a train stop away or even next door, it is reality.
The struggles and trauma of poverty challenge our local families every day. Its effects are far-reaching, and often long-term, as each generation fights to break a vicious cycle.
Poverty is our most pressing issue: in our nation, for our children and locally, within our region. Consider that the Delaware Valley is home to Philadelphia, the nation’s poorest big city, as well as some of the most impoverished areas in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. In our backyard, 680,000 adults and children struggle to survive poverty every day. And even more gripping, research shows that 50 percent of children born into poverty will never escape its grasp.
At United Way, we feel that’s just not acceptable, and we’re fighting to end poverty for our children, families and communities.
We’re committed to ending intergenerational poverty by lifting up this issue and taking a trauma-informed, two-generation approach to building youth success and family financial stability with a focus on early learning, career pathways and pipelines, and economic self-sufficiency.
Because we know that quality early education is essential for long-term academic success, and the area a child is born into shouldn’t determine the educational experiences that set him or her on track for a lifetime of success.
We know that children succeed when their parents succeed and that the stability of a family’s finances and housing directly affect children’s mental and physical health and their ability to thrive in school.
We’re fighting for stronger communities, because we know that with the right interventions, resources and collaborative solutions, we can help break the cycle of poverty and uplift our entire region.
We know poverty is a complex issue and one that no one agency, individual or company can solve alone. It takes strong and dedicated partners at our side to make this work a reality. We recently launched our 2019-2021 funding cycle to identify partners to help support the development of youth success and family stability for the long term. (Agencies interested in learning more about partnering with United Way can stay connected by visiting our website for updates and information on the funding cycle.)
Join us in Living United against intergenerational poverty and standing up for the success of every child and the stability of every family in our region. Learn more about our cause.