“There is no silver bullet.”
Unacceptable Fact of the Month
While most people think a 40-hour work week should be sufficient to support a family, a typical single Indiana adult being paid the current minimum wage would need to work 108 hours to support him or herself along with one preschooler and one school-aged child.
(“2016 Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard,” Indiana Institute for Working Families)
That’s what Michael Marsicano, president and CEO of the Foundation for the Carolinas, said in the wake of a recent study of poverty in Charlotte, NC. (Read about that study under “Poverty’s Determinants” below). At the Faith & Action Project, we certainly agree, and we might add, “… and no one can tackle this problem alone.”
The good news is, in Central Indiana no one has to tackle this problem alone. If I’ve learned anything since I became Project Director of the Faith & Action Project, it’s that an army of individuals and organizations in this area are passionately committed to combatting poverty. From individuals trying to make even the smallest difference to big nonprofits and government agencies seeking sweeping change, our community is poised to reduce poverty and its effects.
I believe the key for all of us who want to end poverty is to pull together and ensure we aren’t working in silos or running unaware on parallel tracks. Rather, we must find ways to accelerate and contribute to our common campaign. That vision for collaboration is an integral part of the Faith & Action Project, and it will drive us as we push into the future, determined to help those who are helping, to encourage those who thirst for a better way, and to support those who have a plan for impact.
Thank you for choosing to join this collaborative effort. We look forward to working with you to make poverty a problem of the past.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
A Concentrated Challenge
Across the U.S., cities are seeing more and more poor families moving into areas of high poverty. While this might seem intuitive, the shift is outpacing historic trends and creating another vicious cycle. Families in poverty who move into poor neighborhoods will have a harder time rising out of poverty. A recent study from the Brookings Institute offers evidence of this concentration process and its impact in places like the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson area, which saw one of the nation’s highest increases in poverty concentration. While the Brookings report doesn’t offer a specific solution, it does highlight efforts being pursued in cities across the U.S. and notes that, whatever the ultimate solution might be, it likely will require regional collaboration. To view the report, click here. To view a table with information about individual metro areas, click here.
According to “Leading on Opportunity,” a recent study of poverty in Charlotte, NC, education and family stability seem to be the primary factors that will determine the likelihood of an individual or family living in poverty. The best weapons against poverty? Courage, time and hard work. Criticized by some for offering nothing particularly new, the report laid out three key “determinants” driving poverty in Charlotte: Early Care and Education; College and Career Readiness; and Child and Family Stability. In addition, the report’s authors identified two additional “cross-cutting” factors that cast a shadow over those determinants: Impact of Segregation, and Social Capital. Overcoming such deeply rooted issues will not be a quick, simple process, according to community leaders. As Michael Marsicano, president and CEO of the Foundation for the Carolinas, which helped fund the task force, said, “There is no silver bullet.” To read the report’s executive summary, click here.
The Project on the Air
On June 1, the Faith & Action Project took to the airwaves for “No Limits,” a weekly news and public affairs program on WFYI public radio (90.1 FM). Host John Krull discussed poverty and anti-poverty efforts in Indianapolis with Faith & Action Program Director Lindsey Rabinowitch, Christian Theological Seminary Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Leah Gunning Francis, and Faith & Action Project Advisory Board Member Jay Geshay. To listen in on the engaging hour-long conversation, which included questions from listeners, click here.
At first, one might say evictions are a symptom of poverty. Over time, however, as evictions leave the poor deeper in debt and increasingly incapable of finding affordable housing, evictions actually become yet another factor perpetuating poverty. In his 2016 book, Eviction: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond lays bare this both-cause-and-effect nature of evictions and exposes the machinery that thwarts so many in their quest to find housing.
This newsletter serves as our Faith & Action summer newsletter. Please note you will not receive a newsletter in July. Please watch for your August newsletter, which will include the announcement regarding our fall event.
|Key Dates||Mark your calendar for these important dates.|
|June 30||Grant applications due|
|Early Sept.||Grant recipients notified|
|Sept.||Grant recipients announced|
|Nov. 8||Fall event|