Poverty

A picture of Bill Bell at a podium.
durham.gov

Durham Mayor Bill Bell has set in motion his campaign to reduce poverty. 

Bell said Durham has a lot of resources: good universities, a creative class, and a growing number of jobs. He believes that by using UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies data about distressed neighborhoods, surveying residents, and planning area specific solutions, this push could make a difference.

“Poverty is an issue that I think we should be able to deal with in this community in a much more collaborative way than we're doing now,” said Bell.

Photo: Apples in a farmer's market
Amber Carnes via Flickr

North Carolina lawmakers are looking for ways they can help get fresh fruits and vegetables to corners of the state -- urban and rural -- where they’re difficult to access.

Non-profit organizations and local governments across the country have for years identified areas known as “food deserts” across the country, but the House Committee on Food Desert Zones is the first effort by state lawmakers to address the issue.

Rocky Mount Police http://www.rockymountnc.gov/police/gangawareness.html

Rocky Mount community members and leaders are gathering at Word Tabernacle Church tonight for a public forum. This comes just weeks after four boys were shot on the church basketball court, and another was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Word Tabernacle Church Pastor James Gailliard said the tragedies have been a catalyst for social dialogue. He said he sees people crossing the aisle politically and having constructive discussions about how to combat gang violence, poverty and joblessness in the community.

Photo: Rev. William Barber of the N.C. NAACP called for pickets outside Rose and Maxwell stores, which are owned by the family of state Budget Director Art Pope.
Jorge Valencia

The Rev. William Barber, who led weekly protests this year against laws passed by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature, gathered with a few of his supporters Monday outside the state budget office to criticize a man they say supports policies that hurt poor people.

Gene Nichol
UNC Law School

A group of public education, philanthropic and community leaders gathered at UNC-Chapel Hill yesterday to discuss ways to address growing poverty in the state. The conference was titled, "Poverty, Partnerships and the Public Good: A Call for Engagement by North Carolina Institutions."

The discussion was lively. Gene Nichol, Director of UNC’s Poverty Center commenced the group.

“Poverty is by any standard the largest problem that we face in North Carolina," said Nichol.

Gavel
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

Individuals facing criminal charges are entitled to legal representation even if they are unable to afford attorneys. But what about people facing civil issues like divorce, child custody and medical claims?

There are services that provide legal counsel, such as Legal Aid of North Carolina.  In 2010, Ashley Quiñones became a client of Legal Aid after Medicaid her denied a kidney transplant as she was experiencing renal failure.  Quiñoneschose to appeal the claim and she turned to Legal Aid for help. 

To Right These Wrongs  The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America
UNC Press / uncpress.unc.edu

    

In 1963, almost a quarter of North Carolinians were living in poverty. 

Governor Terry Sanford and his political associates decided it was time to get creative about building a strategy for eradicating poverty in the state. And with that, the North Carolina Fund was born.  The Fund was a way to sponsor community organizing initiatives in local communities across the state, particularly by getting poor people involved directly.

NC Fund
southerndocumentaryfund.org

Community leaders and residents are coming together this week in Durham to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the “North Carolina Fund.”

The “North Carolina Fund” was established by Governor Terry Sanford in 1963.  The idea was to create programs to help address the state’s vast disparities in housing, education and jobs.  It was North Carolina’s “War on Poverty.”

US Census
US Census Bureau

The latest Census report shows North Carolina continues a slow crawl out of the economic downturn.

In 2012, more people lived below the poverty level in North Carolina than they did the year before.  The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows 18% of North Carolinians live in poverty compared to about 16% nationally.

Ed Welniak heads the Income Statistics branch of the Census Bureau.

Raleigh NC
Dave DeWitt

Raleigh is taking more public comment about its food distribution ordinance. 

Monday night's meeting comes nearly a month after police threatened to arrest volunteer groups that were handing out food to the homeless in Moore Square.  A city ordinance prohibits food distribution in public parks without a permit, but at least one group says it had been giving out food on the weekends for six years. 

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