Amarillo city leaders say ending the cycle of poverty is possible, but will take help from the community

Amarillo city leaders say ending the cycle of poverty is possible, but will take help from the community
Source KFDA
Source KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - According to the federal government, over 70 percent of individuals living within Potter County lines are classified as low-income.

These families are dealing with poverty, illness, and many other social stresses.

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Randall County, on the other hand, is known as an affluent, educated county with fewer people in difficult circumstances.

However, city leaders and advocates say it takes the entire community to end the cycle of generational poverty that continues to impact so many people.

"This is our economic future and if you want to think poverty doesn't affect you because of where you live or the money you make, it affects you everyday," said Community Innovator Anette Carlisle.

Carlisle said children born into poverty are impacted the most, adding, these children start out disadvantaged in comparison to their counterparts.

"We know it's a challenge, we know this is an issue, but it's an opportunity to move families into success through education," said Carlisle. "The schools can't do it alone, and, so often we look to the schools to be that resource for everything."

The United Way of Amarillo and Canyon continues to work with local families living in poverty each day.

The non-profit recently released a documentary entitled "Less Than" to shine light on this complex issue.

"As we are putting more resources into trying to prevent generational poverty, we still have to help the folks that are living in it now," said Executive Director for The United Way of Amarillo and Canyon Katie Noffsker. "Families in the poverty trap who are trying their best to meet the needs of their families. We've got to put programs and resources into helping them now."

Noffsker said United Way hopes the documentary serves as a conversation starter prompting tough, but necessary questions.

Advocates say we must connect these individuals with the resources they need to ensure their children and future children are afforded an equal playing field.

"I was dealt a lucky hand, my kids the same, not all kids are dealt that same lucky hand," said Carlisle. "I'm a data person and I can look at the numbers and look at the projections and understand that if we don't do something, it's going to impact not just me my kids future and my kids kids future and the whole state."

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