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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Faces of the Working Poor Imagine yourself working a job that does not pay well, not having a job at all, being forced to visitfood pantries, not being able to provide for your family, or not getting the proper assistance youneed. Those are just a few of the possible characteristics of someone who is struggling with theissue of poverty and it very easily could be any one of us. Poverty is not a new problem in oursociety, but it is one we are still continuing to learn about. Over 46 million people lived below the poverty line in 2012. Those 46 million people make up roughly 15 percent of the nation's totalpopulation. Only 23 percent of those 46 million people were actually considered "working poor".The essential question here is; who are those people? Do we really have an understanding of what types of people face tough times every day of their lives? Most of us hear about statistics similar tothese on the news but do not decide to take action. One of the main problems within this topic isthat certain demographics are more susceptible to falling into poverty. This particular trend putspeople, particularly young people and minorities, at an automatic disadvantage just because of their age, gender, or even ethnicity. Why is this important? Families who are affected by povertyare not just another statistic; they makeup 7% of the total workforce. The population as a whole isnot educated about the issue of poverty and they are unawareof effects it has on certaindemographics. If more people become educated about poverty, thechances of supplying proper assistance to those inneed increases. "It's a community issue. The challengesthose folks face are not just an issue forthem, it's a repercussion for the whole community. If we can get them on their feetand working, the tax bills go up and homeownership rates go up." - Mike Jaruszewics, United Way Erie What ethnicities make up the working poor? People who are Hispanic or African American are twiceas likely to become working poor when compared towhites or Asians. Is the younger generation affected more? "The notion held by many Americans that poverty is not a whiteproblem is simply false. The sooner all Americans realize thesefacts about poverty, the better chance we have of eradicatingit. - Jane Knitzer (National Center for Children in Poverty The same trend exists within Pennselvania as African Americansand Hispanics have significantly higher chances of becoming work poorwhen compared to Whites or Asians. Young people are more likely to become working poor when compared to oldergenderations. Adults Living in Poverty4.9% - Ages 45-543.9% - Ages 55-641.8% - Ages 65 & Over Children in Poverty10% of 4.2 million White Children27% of 4 million Latino Children33% of 3.6 million Black Children12% of 400,000 Asian Children There are 1.2 million more children children living in poverty when compared to 2012. Does gender play a role? What kinds of jobs do the working poor have? How can vulnerable people get help? Second Harvest Food Bank Second Harvest Food Bank Career Street Erie Together "We are in this together...It's aboutproviding folks with the resources, education, and skills they need tobe successful...It gets them to volunteerand to understand that it does involve them.- Mike Jaruszewics When people living in poverty do findjobs, they usually are the most unstable jobs and leave little room for anyadvancement. In 2013, there were just under8 million people ranging fromage 16 to 64 living in Pennsylvania. 0.4% Worked Full Time Year Round 8.1% Worked Less Than Full TimeYear Round 16% Did Not Work At All They are the largest non-profit food distributionorganization in northwest Pennsylvania. They serve 11 counties and will distribute over 14 million pounds of food this year. One program they are affiliated with is called "Kids Cafe". It serves as a soup kitchen for kidsbut also helps them learn and play after This program helps Erie youth understand their careeroptions. They ensure that the young people understand what they need to be successful in the "Working together to make the Erie region a community ofopportunity where everyone can live, work, and thrive."Their goal is to to have more children become successful adults, have more adults obtain family sustaining employment, and more families meeting their basic We need to make a movement to contact our legislatorsso they aren't working for big businesses, but they areworking for the common person.-Karen Seggi, Second Harvest Food Bank Links To Photos Other Sources PA Department of Labor and Industry By: Saxon Daugherty
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