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Thanks to a survey from the Wall Street Journal, we now know that Americans are (finally) as likely to blame poverty on circumstances beyond people’s control than they are to believe the poor aren’t doing enough to dig themselves out of it. This is a major swing in public opinion, and a strong sign that more advocates will come together to fix the broken pieces of our economic system. 

As advocates, now is the time to press forward to eliminate poverty for the future generations. Community Action has long believed that one of the best ways to invest in children, is to invest in their families, and more research has arrived to support that claim. The news from Johns Hopkins is that our current housing crisis is having a direct impact on the cognitive ability of our nation's youth.  From the Report: 

“Families spending about 30 percent of their income on housing had children with the best cognitive outcomes,” said Newman, who is also director of the university’s Center on Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities. “It’s worse when you pay too little and worse when you pay too much.”

Read the full report here

Of course, the negative impact of poverty on childhood development doesn't stop at just housing issues. Just the fact that parents struggling with poverty have less TIME to spend with their children has a dramatic affect. Supplementing the Community Action ideal that investing in families NOW means protecting children LATER, researchers Greg J. Duncan, Katherine Magnuson, and Elizabeth Votruba-Drza have developed a model that shows that Boosting Family Income will Promote a Child's Development.

 

It would be amusing to see a Kansas City report published in a Californian newspaper, if the news wasn't so disheartening. Experts now believe meaningful mobility may be dangerously close to disappearing entirely. A wealth gap so stagnant that our culture is more like feudal Europe than can-do America.

The film, Inequality for All, is a plea for the Middle Class and a cry against the ever growing wage gaps in this country from Robert Reich. In the film, they propose 6 methods to improving our economy, and by extension, cutting poverty. Learn more about the film at http://inequalityforall.com

Films like this are more important as we consider the impact economic inequality has on our nation's children. Today, income is a STRONGER predictor than race in regards to predicting a child's success in school. 

If the concept of wealth inequality is new to you, visit http://wealthinequality.org/Home_Page.html   OR  http://inequality.is/real  for a concise overview.

Of course in May, we had official reports that unemployment is at its lowest in years, and private sector jobs are back at pre-recession levels. However, new research from the National Employment Law Project shows us that most of these new jobs are low-wage, adding another nail to the proverbial coffin of the middle class.  Further, research from the Institute for Research on Poverty suggests the lower your education level, the more unstable your employment is. 

At KACAP, we strive to be your portal to the best resources and research in the fight against poverty. Here is where we provide our favorite insights into the struggle to address the causes and conditions of poverty.

First we present a problem and a possible solution. NPR did explored how the increase in the lack of affordable housing is a cause of poverty, and not a symptom of the impact of those in it. Meanwhile, KACAP favorite NationSwell explored 7 different interpretations of the Tiny House movement, and how they are making impacts on diverse communities. 

Community Action and Legal Services were both born in the War On Poverty, and KACAP has long been a proud partner of Kansas Legal Services. That's why we were excited to read the new TalkPoverty piece on Legal Aid as a poverty solution. 

And, for the first time, more than half of the members of Congress are millionaires. The Atlantic Magazine explored what that means to those of us who fight poverty for a living