MONROE, LA (10/10/19)– A recent report posted in a national headline notes that extreme poverty affects 11 out of 44 neighborhoods in Monroe, it’s a statistic local organizations are aiming to reduce.
According to 24/7 Wall Street Report, Monroe has the highest concentrated poverty rate in Louisiana, based on the report at least 40 percent of its residents live below the poverty level.
“I would hope in the next 5 years we’re certainty see a decrease with some of the things we are doing in our city,” said Ellen Hill, Director of Planning and Urban Development.
However, multiple organizations have been working hard to make a difference. The Mayor’s Office started a program that will help impoverished families buy affordable homes.
“We know home ownership is a part of the american dream and we would like to help many residents that are working every day but need a little help to get there,” said Hill.
This could be a step in the right direction as the analysis states “Residents of the high-poverty neighborhoods are 50 percent less likely to be homeowners.”
The help doesn’t stop there, The Community Soup Kitchen says it feeds over 800 people each month
“Give them a chance, a lot of these people will step up and take these jobs,” said Larry Willis, Owner of Community Soup Kitchen.
Those who do find jobs end up paying it forward by giving a donation or tip for their meal. They know the soup kitchen is on the front lines helping people in need.
“Investing in the community is the one of the greatest things in the world a human can do for another human being,” said Willis.
United Way is another helping hand in the Monroe community.
“United Way focuses on fighting for the health, the finical stability and education of everyone in our community,” said Janet Durden, President of Northeast United Way.
United Way has helped:
181 families get back into their own housing
8,610 individuals with fitness and healthy eating
2,218 youth revived job skill training
8,409 individuals get improved stable living situation
2,208 individuals get access to affordable housing and services
Although poverty is a reality, there are people fighting for the poor in our community.