The problem is that over 45 MILLION Americans live in economic poverty. One out of 7 of our neighbors do not have the means necessary for basic food, clothing, shelter and transportation. And 1 out of 16 people in America today live in “extreme poverty” with incomes 50% or more below the poverty line.
However, there is an even bigger problem. Government assistance can be a helpful crutch, although most programs systematically fail and often perpetuate poverty. Most nonprofits only focus on a piece of the problem and education by itself is insufficient. The poverty alleviation system is broken.
Our objective is to see 1,000 men, women, and children in northeast Denver escape poverty over the next 5 years. We need a community approach to solving poverty.
Solving the problem begins with understanding the holistic nature of poverty. It requires intentional engagement and significant relationships. It also demands that we not focus solely on the problem of poverty, but also on the potential of the person.
If we accomplish our objective, over 300 families will escape poverty with a total economic impact of $100 MILLION over 10 years!
In our pilot program, 19 families were living in poverty. Only six out of 19 were employed more than 20 hours per week. The remaining families had an average income of $186.50 a month. By April of 2014, after only 18 months, the income increased by 818%. That’s enough pay increase for a family to pay their bills, retain their housing and save for the future.
Through increased income, taxes paid, and decreased government assistance, these families could realize a total economic impact of $5.15 MILLION over the 10 years following graduation.