While many of us are encouraged by the early signs of an economic recovery, last night’s “60 Minutes” provided a stark reminder that the recession is far from over for too many families, especially a startling number of children. The rate of childhood poverty in America could soon reach 25%, including areas of Central Florida.
That’s why “60 Minutes” traveled to Seminole County to speak with local families. A hungry child anywhere is unacceptable, but it was all the more poignant and heartbreaking to hear the stories of hungry and homeless children in our own backyard. In fact, I felt a personal connection to the story, as portions were filmed at Casselberry Elementary, where I attended school.
If you’re like me, the first thing you think after watching the story is, “What can I do to help?” As the United Way staff member responsible for our Improving Financial Stability investment area, I am happy to say I know of many fine programs working tirelessly to address these issues in our community. Pathways to Home in Seminole County is helping families like those in the story by providing supportive services such as job skills trainings and budgeting classes. And the program continues to offer support until the family is stabilized with a secure job and home. Many, many other programs are doing similar good work.
Brittany Richards, MPP
United Way Community Investment