skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Community leaders call for more housing to combat rising poverty

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 25, 2024   

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month and community action agencies across the state are working to change lives for the 5 million Californians who cannot afford the basics.

The poverty rate in the Golden State rose from 11.7% in fall 2021 to 13.2% in the first quarter of 2023.

David Knight, executive director of the California Community Action Program Association, said circumstances have been difficult.

"What we've seen is a tick back up in poverty as both the cost of living has risen, right at the same time that a lot of the resources are starting to shrink back to pre-pandemic levels," Knight explained.

Community action programs use block grants to help people who live at or near the poverty line, which is about $20,000 a year for a single parent and child.

Lawren Ramos, community services program director for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, said the lack of affordable housing is especially hard for older people on a fixed income.

"We have people who are staying in the shelter who found themselves in a situation where they rented a place for 25 years, and that place sold, and the new owner just raised the rent beyond their level of income," Ramos observed. "They found themselves on the street."

Community action programs in all 58 counties use block grants to fund a range of programs supporting low-income families. The effort began 60 years ago during the Johnson administration's war on poverty.

Biz Steinberg, CEO of the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, sees reason for optimism.

"I wouldn't still be doing this if I didn't see change happening every day," Steinberg noted. "Our little slogan is "Helping People, Changing Lives." And that has never stopped. It is the most challenging work but the most rewarding."

Misty Gattie-Blanco, director of sanctuary and support services for the Fresno Economic Opportunities Coalition, said the agency's board of commissioners voted this week for a pilot program to provide $500 a month to families with children living below the poverty line.

"This guaranteed income could potentially help them from becoming homeless," Gattie-Blanco pointed out. "It could pay for groceries or fuel, to help them focus on their family."


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Coal production in the Powder River Basin was 50% lower in the first quarter of 2024 than the first quarter of 2014, by about 49 million tons. (Robert Coy/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new policy could affect the future of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and in turn, Wyoming's tax structure. The Powder River Basin produced …


Social Issues

play sound

Health care advocates are speaking out against proposed cuts to a California program that provides in-home care aides to low-income seniors and people…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Children's advocates are pressing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase oversight on health plans when they deny mental health servi…


Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Save the Children is working with child care centers along the Mississippi coast, with plans and tools to help them reopen or resume …

Michigan consistently ranks high as a state for contact volume to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with the 11th-highest rate in the nation in 2023. (Africa Studio)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Four years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are still studying its effects on society. A new report focusing on domestic …

Environment

play sound

Arizona is already warming up, and a new report sheds light on how climate change is intensifying that heat. Last year, just under 650 heat-…

Social Issues

play sound

Residents of north Texas continue to clean up after the latest in a string of deadly tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021