Poverty 2011

Poverty 2011
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What does it mean to be statistically and famously identified as the city (population 65,000 or more) with the highest poverty rate in the United States? Ask Reading, Pennsylvania.

In October 2011, Odyssey Networks video crews went to Reading to talk to residents as well as to representatives from the Salvation Army, Opportunity House and the United Way about the difficulties of life in their home city.

Links for more information and to make donations:

These original Odyssey Networks videos are scheduled for web broadcast and distribution this month -- also the month of the G20 Summit in Cannes, France, where world leaders are grappling with what is considered the worst global finanical crisis since the 1930s.

Following are some resources about Reading and about related world financial issues from news and faith perspectives.



Reading and the United States

Reading, Pa., Knew It Was Poor. Now It Knows Just How Poor. (New York Times)

City poverty worse, social workers say (Reading, Pa., Eagle)
There is proof every day that Reading's poverty crisis is growing worse, say the city's social workers.
More folks are lining up to get free food. More families are checking into homeless shelters for the first time. And fewer unemployed workers are able to find decent jobs.
The latest Census Bureau statistics have reinforced just how bad things are. Read more.

Food Stamp Challenge: Interfaith Coalition Fights Poverty With Faith (Christian Post)
Congressmen, clergy, and others gathered at the Capitol Hill Safeway Store in Southeast Washington, D.C., to kick off the annual “Fighting Poverty With Faith” program.
The feature initiative was the “Food Stamp Challenge,” in which participants agreed to live for one week on the average stamp food allotment, which is $31.50 a week, or $1.50 a meal. Read more.

G20/Cannes 2011 and the World

What is the G20?
The G20 was created in December 1999 in response to the financial crises affecting the emerging countries in the late 1990s. The initial aim was to have the finance ministers and central bank governors of the industrialised and emerging countries meet once a year to facilitate international economic policy cooperation.
Confronted with the deepest economic and financial crisis since World War II, the G20 went into high gear in late 2008 at the initiative of France, the holder of the rotating EU presidency at the time. What emerged was an economic steering body that brought together the world's major political leaders at the highest level. Read more.

Faith plays a key role in global development (National Catholic Reporter)
A speech given by Ian Linden, the director of policy of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, at the second of four seminars on faith and globalization. Read more.

Database of Multireligious Collaborations for Relief and Development (Center for Interfaith Action)
The Database of Multireligious Collaborations on Relief and Development is an international compendium of examples of faith communities working together or working with private and public sector partners to advance development causes and provide relief in emergencies. Read more.

Among Assisi participants, a sense of deeper crisis in modern society (Catholic News Service)
Environmental damage, the rich-poor divide, erosion of cultural traditions, terrorism and new threats to society's weakest members were cited as increasingly worrisome developments by speakers at the interfaith gathering in the Italian pilgrimage town Oct. 27. Read more.

G7 led by US can't drive the world economy anymore. G20 must step up.(Christian Science Monitor)"
"As economies like China ramp up, the G20 must spearhead coordinated, complementary policies to navigate the choppy waters ahead, especially for Europe. Austerity alone won't do the trick." Read more.

Bob W.
November 09th, 2011 14:29 pm

Just viewed the video and it saddens me to learn that the city of my birth is in such dire straits. I had no idea until my cousin emailed me the link to this website.
So many good people live in and around Reading. Certainly, the economic situation in our country is magnified in Reading. In the past, many of my relatives lived and prospered in Reading. But, when I think of the places they all worked, all those companies are gone -- either closed down or relocated to another part of the country or world.
Americans are resilient and I'm sure the residents of Reading will make their comeback. But, we need our state and national politicians to stop playing politics and start doing the jobs we elected them to.

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