Saturday, April 27th, Catholic Charities of Steuben County will hold our Fifth Annual Anti-Poverty Walk, STEPS (Steps To End Poverty in Steuben) to raise awareness and understanding of poverty in Steuben County and to raise money to support the work of Catholic Charities. This one mile walk will take place simultaneously in Bath (Pulteney Park), Corning (Centerway) and Hornell (Center St. parking lot) with registration starting at 9:00 am and the walk at 10:00 am.
To register to walk or to sponsor a walker, please call 776-8085 (Bath), 962-0704 (Corning), 324-3457 (Hornell) or visit our website at www.catholiccharitiessteuben.org.
Long-term unemployment, jobs that do not pay a living wage and the shrinking safety net of government services have resulted in an increase in poverty and homelessness in Steuben County. Unemployment in Steuben County has consistently been among the highest in the State and remains at 10.9%.
Most of the people we serve at Catholic Charities of Steuben County are working or were working prior to the recession. An astonishing number of people in our community are employed at jobs that do not pay a living wage. In Steuben County, approximately 30,000 people live in households with incomes at/or less than two times the federal poverty level. These working poor individuals and families are working hard and are falling short.
Government funds to prevent homelessness, Emergency Heating Programs (HEAP), child care subsidies, and SNAP (food stamps) are examples of programs designed to help the poor and are just a few programs that have seen serious reductions in funding.
Did you know that children are the most vulnerable and make up the highest segment of the population living in poverty in Steuben County.
• One in five children in Steuben County is living in poverty.
• Four in ten live in households that earn less than twice the poverty guidelines.
• One-third of our children are living with a single parent; seventy percent with mom and thirty percent with Dad.
• Fifty percent of families living in poverty in our County are headed by a single parent. This is five times the poverty rate of households headed by a married couple.
• Income of families headed by a single female is one-third of that headed by a married couple and for single males, fifty percent of married couples’ income.
• Nearly fifty percent of our students are eligible for free or reduced fee meals at school.
• Nearly fifty percent of SNAP (Food Stamp) participants are children.
Most children living in poverty have parents that work. However, Federal child care subsidies have been cut to the point where it is impossible for many single moms to work before their children are in school. Affordable child care, low paying jobs, unstable employment, and lack of dependable transportation in rural Steuben County are major causes of poverty and child poverty. The National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that a single parent with two children needs an hourly wage of $22.00 an hour to cover a basic needs budget. These jobs are hard to find in Steuben County.
Page 2 of 2 - Catholic Charities of Steuben County embraces the challenge and the responsibility of serving all people who come to us in need and to treat every individual non-judgmentally with respect, care, and compassion.
We are committed to taking constructive and determined steps to address the issues related to poverty in our community – one person, one family, one child at a time.