United Way looking to overcome single parent poverty - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

United Way looking to overcome single parent poverty

(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)

After the release of the 2016 community status report, United Way continues to curb single parent poverty.

United Way's recently published community report states that one in every five people within Potter County live in poverty.

Now the organization is working with others in our area to lower this rate.

The goal is to target school aged children to educate them about the importance of school and work through their "Ed:Work:Wed" initiative.

"Some of the issues that we are dealing with is a number of single mothers in Potter County," said United Way of Amarillo & Canyon Community Impact Senior Director, Susan Barros. "54.5 percent of births in Potter County are to single mothers and we know that this is a root cause of poverty."

The report states that only 26 percent of Potter County single mothers have high school diplomas and those parents who only finish high school have a little chance of securing a job at the necessary wage to raise a family alone.

United Way is tackling these rates with other organizations to teach children three steps that could potentially reduce poverty by 98 percent.

"Research shows that if you do three things, you reduce your chance of living in poverty to two percent.' said Barros "First, finish high school and we always encourage people to get a further credential because that will increase your financial earning power. Then, try to work full-time, no matter what the work is and lastly wait until you are married before having kids because then you have that second support in the household."

United Way is working with no limits no excuses, family support services and junior achievement to work with their own clients to spread this message that Ed:Work:Wed supports.

These organizations have their educational and teen pregnancy prevention programs that help teens focus on their careers and also encourage them to advance even when they are now living in poverty.

"We have a number of program partners, some of them in the areas of education, some in the areas of income, and others in health," said Barros "We've asked all of our programs partners to spread this message to fight poverty."

If you would like to see the community status report and more work done by United Way visit their website.

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