1.25.2008

COMPLEX PROBLEM, COMPLEX SOLUTIONS

I finally got around to reading this report, which had been in my "to read" pile for a few weeks: "Increasing Opportunity and Reducing Poverty in New York City." (Note: large pdf file.) The report concedes that poverty is a complex problem deserving of coordinated solutions; easier said than done, but an important starting point. For adults, it's about jobs with upward mobility and access to training, financial literacy and consumer protection, and affordable housing. For young adults, it's about educational and employment opportunities, particularly for ex-offenders and single fathers. And for young children, it's about health insurance and pre-K and parental support.

Poverty is structural, and these are useful structural initiatives to consider and connect. Poverty is also spiritual and it is life-and-death, and so the faith communities and the emergency services agencies need to be involved as well. In New York City alone, 1.5 million people live below the poverty line. It is a daunting task, but one worthy of our attention, our resources, and our efforts.
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