Helping Poverty-Stricken Youth and Families in Crisis

Scribe/Converer: Anne Marie Mauldin

E209 5:45 p.m.

Attendees: Milcia Rodriguez, Jason Long, Gina Maudeville, Mary Beth Hill, King Mahon, Scott Wootten, Anna Noelk, Abby Motley, Michael Harnish, Heidi Miller, Marion Sharp, Jane Clemens, Don Driver, Jr.

The topic was how to help youth and families in crisis who are poverty-stricken.

The discussion started with individuals each speaking about his or her own background or profession, and then the experiences each had encountered while assisting those in poverty and/or resources known to him or her to be effective with targeting the problem of poverty.

For example, Scott Wootten of the boy scouts explained that there is an assistance program for those who are too indigent to help pay for the fees required by the boy scouts.

This led to an interactive brainstorming session among the group about what causes poverty, and ideas that could be used to combat poverty in the community.

  • Short term programs for children seem to be more prevalent that long-term programs, and there is a shortage of programs that work with children under six.
  • Cultural, linguistical, environmental, and educational barriers were listed as factors that compounded the problem of poverty.
  • It was also suggested that trying to help those in poverty should be  addressed on multiple tiers of influence: from the individuals, to local communities, to policy makers and those who fund them.
  • Several suggestions were made during brainstorming:
  • set up networking at the local level through monthly meetings, online, after-school programs, attending local meeting places (ex. OCP or churches),
  • or even have a car or van go to the local neighborhoods to deliver community information there;
  • hand out to local business persons or leaders in the community, such as CPA’s, doctors, lawyers, etc. basic community resources;
  • tap the local faith community to “fill in the gap” or contact the private sector to circulate networking and information on community resources;
  • put flyers in schools on resources available;
  • find “ambassadors” for neighborhoods to perform outreach (i.e. a leader in their local neighborhood who would be willing to take the time to network and educate on resources etc.);
  • have the local media (ex. WHSV) get involved in covering stories to highlight community resources; and focus on supporting poverty reduction programs that are successful at getting results and work to keep them up and running.
  • No actions were decided on, but it was clear that many thoughtful ideas were on the table for action to be taken.

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