Perspectives Of Low Income People In Northwest New Jersey Community Assessment


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Perspectives Of Low Income People In Northwest New Jersey

  • Community Assessment

  • 2006


Why Are People Living In Poverty?

  • Unfavorable economic conditions and lack of living wage jobs

  • Lack of hope and self esteem

  • Immaturity

  • Poor choices and lack of support

  • Lack of job skills, education & training



Why Are People Living In Poverty?

  • Born into it

  • Natural disasters, accidents, major health issues

  • Policies & decisions we’ve made perpetuate

  • Racism/Discrimination

  • Domestic abuse, divorce, death, separation

  • Mental illness and substance abuse addiction

  • Isolated



Continuum of Economic Security

  • Lack basic necessities (i.e. food)

  • Can’t secure permanent housing

  • Lack long term ties to labor market

  • Minimal/no marketable skills, education

  • Mental/physical disabilities

  • Weak family structures; children at risk

  • No “kin/community” supports

  • Minimal community engagement

  • No assets

  • Only receive services

  • Limited transportation

  • Health issues



Concepts Poverty Teaches

  • Success – unattainable, for those with luck

  • Failure – inevitable, no hope to overcome inherent deficiencies

  • Job – not a living wage, takes me from family

  • Emotions – made to be expressed, privately or publicly

  • Future – painful to envision, live for now

  • Money – use it before it gets away, not enough anyway

  • Police – out to get us, to be avoided

  • Education – don’t have the symbols to belong (clothes, car)

  • Teachers – make me feel unwanted, stupid

  • Health – non-existent care, use emergency room, share medicine

  • Doctors – not seen as advocates, “know it alls”

  • Dentists – hassle to access, great deal of pain

  • Fate – life happens, no power, only react to it



Poverty in the US

  • 1 in 8 Americans live in poverty

  • 1 in 5 children

  • 1 in 10 will experience poverty within 13 years

  • Between ’64-72 poverty fell 42%; ’93-2000 fell 25%, but rose 25% since 2001

  • Richest 1% had 19% of income and one third of wealth,

  • Lowest 20% had 3.4% of income and 1% of wealth



Poverty by County



Families in Poverty





Living With Minimum Wage (One adult, one preschooler, one school age-2005 LSNJ Study)

  • 40 hrs x $7.15 $14,872

  • Housing (2 bdrm-FMR) 13,927

  • Childcare 13,843

  • Transportation 5,280

  • Healthcare (out of pocket) 3,264

  • Food 5,762

  • Misc. 3,981

  • Balance: -$31,185



Affordability

  • Hours to work for average two bedroom fair market apartment ($1100) at minimum wage – 153

  • Hours to work for one child for a week of child care ($125-$275 per week) – 17.5 to 38.5 hours per week.

  • Hours in a week - 168



Family Income

  • Average NORWESCAP family income

    • $15,469.00
  • 2007 HHS Poverty Guidelines*

    • $20,650.00


Self-Sufficiency Wage by County



The Self- Sufficiency Standard (One Adult, Infant and Preschooler/ Per Hour – 2005 LSNJ Report))

  • Annually Hourly

  • Hunterdon $29.12 $61,506

  • Morris $28.17 $59,485

  • Somerset $29.06 $61,377

  • Sussex $24.24 $51,191

  • Warren $23.03 $48,633

  • National Living Wage-

  • $17.20/hour





Job Titles of Respondents

  • 75% In a Service Occupation

    • Food Service, Retail, Childcare, Etc.
  • 18% Professional or Managerial

    • Office, Teacher, Social Worker, Etc.
  • 7% Clerical and Sales

  • 1 in 4 jobs in America doesn’t pay enough to get a family above the poverty level.



Greatest Identified Needs

  • Affordable Housing

  • Job/ Better Job

  • Health Insurance/ Dental Insurance/ Better Health

  • A Car/ Better Public Transportation

  • Education/Training



Findings

  • 53% rent their housing

  • 23% are divorced or separated, 41% single

  • Population consists of 73% White, 15% Latino, 9% Black

  • 30% do not have H.S. diplomas

  • 91% speak English, 8% speak Spanish



Findings Continued

  • 69% have internet access in their homes

  • 9% use public transit; 64% own car

  • 43% use food pantries; 37% every month

  • 30% use childcare

  • 45% have taxes done by for profit companies (152,628 EITC claims not requested - $217,851,000 left out of the community!)



More Interesting Findings

  • 55% of respondents are employed

  • 49% have trouble finding doctor/ dentist due to insurance type

  • 29% have been homeless

  • 38% receive food stamps; 49% didn’t know if eligible or how to access (NJ is 48th in participation – 44th in School Breakfast)



Roadmap Out Of Poverty

  • Social awareness, empathy and advocacy

  • Poverty is purple

  • Appropriate resources (Human and Financial)

  • Investment mentality

  • Making it personal

  • Positive angry conversations

  • Listen to the real experts & design programs

  • Infrastructure needs to respond to innovation

  • The faith-based community

  • Programs in alignment – collaborative framework

  • A will to change

  • Change the terms of community engagement – not just social sector



Who Is NORWESCAP?

  • Community action program incorporated in1965

  • Footprint: Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and Warren Counties

  • Mission:

    • Fighting Poverty.
    • Creating Opportunities.
    • Changing Lives.


Who is NORWESCAP?

  • The Numbers:

    • Touch the lives of 30,000 people
    • Portfolio of over 65 emergency & self-sufficiency programs
    • 15 board members – tripartide
    • 240 staff
    • Revenue of $24 million
    • Over 100 funding sources
    • Administrative costs 4½ %


What Impact Does NORWESCAP Have?

  • Link people with needed services

  • Conserve 1000’s of dollars in energy costs

  • Improve credit scores & financial literacy

  • Loans for first time borrowers

  • Match savings for education, cars, small businesses, and homes

  • Increase tax refunds

  • Remove barriers and create opportunities.



What Impact Does NORWESCAP Have?

  • Increase the # of child care slots

  • Increase the capacity of child care providers

  • Families at work/training through childcare.

  • Increase developmental skills in preschoolers.

  • Enhance parenting & coping skills

  • Potential cancers are detected.



What Impact Does NORWESCAP Have?

  • Created two health care facilities

  • New skills for job enhancement &

  • Job placement

  • Create affordable housing (rental and for sale) & enable first time homebuyers to purchase

  • Provide over 140,000 volunteer hours.

  • Save local food pantries $3 million & increase the supply of nutritious food.

  • Improve health and nutritional status & prevent infant mortality

  • Secure emergency shelter, heat and utility.



Who is NORWESCAP?

  • “We’re not just a safety net, we’re a self-sufficiency trampoline”



2006 Community Investment



Ways You Can Help

  • Volunteer

  • Get “hands on” experience thru our “Circles Campaign.”

  • Make A Donation

  • Collaborate on a Project – Poverty Summit

    • Hunt-11/16; Morris-10/26; Som-10/19; Sx-10/5; Warren-11/9
  • Promote EITC

  • Make Referrals

  • Have Us Speak To Other Groups

  • Link Websites



Contact Info

  • For more information on

  • NORWESCAP or to download the full study, county information and slides

  • Visit Our Website:

  • www.norwescap.org

  • Terry Newhard – 908.454.7000 x110

  • newhardt@norwescap.org




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