Anti-Poverty Fight Update - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Anti-Poverty Fight Update

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More than 400 people attended a community forum today for an update on efforts to fight poverty. It is the first major meeting in nearly a year of the Erie Together initiative.

 The group of leaders from all parts of the community was formed in late 2008. It's not about starting new programs. But about making existing anti-poverty efforts work better.

 Figures show the local poverty rate went down between 2010 and 2011. But childhood poverty actually went up slightly. Still leaders are not discouraged.

 Bill Jackson of the United Way of Erie County said, "First of all there are actually more kids living in poverty. That number is going in the wrong direction. But we are really just starting the lay the foundation work. Our progress is more about organizations that were not talking to each other to get on the same page."

 The latest figures show that more than 16,000 Erie County children are living in poverty.

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