Thursday, November 01, 2007

Poverty Task Force Reports To Mayor

from WJAR

PROVIDENCE -- Mayor David Cicilline received the recommendations of his Poverty, Work & Opportunity Task Force on Thursday.

Cicilline created the task force in January to bring together public and nonprofit organizations to look at the problem of poverty in the city and to help the working poor change the course of the lives for the betterment of their families.

The task force reported that 25 percent of Providence's families are living in poverty and that 35.7 percent of the city children under 18 live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold of $20,444 a year for a family of four.

Cicilline told a group of civic leaders what the city will do to change the numbers and move families out of poverty and into prosperity.

"It used to be that the American dream was available to anyone who was willing to work hard enough. But in today's economy, too many families are doing everything right and still getting left behind," Cicilline said.

Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island Kids Count, said the next step for the task force is to make sure the city and the mayor stay on track in implementing the recommendations.

Those recommendations include helping low-wage workers improve skills and obtain quality jobs, and finding ways to connect young people to quality jobs and to higher education.

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