First, let's put poverty in context:
So, how many Ulster County residents live in poverty? (Source: US Census)
- 10.6% of individuals in Ulster County -- 7.5% of those over 65; 12.2% of children meet the Federal definition of living in poverty
- While only 6.8% of Ulster County families live in poverty, almost one in four single moms and their kids -- 25% of families with female head of household -- meet the poverty criteria. Single moms have a tough time making ends meet.
- About 32% of households have less than $35,000 in income
- The mean retirement income is $23,272.
We share these figures with you, not to say how bad things are in Ulster County. We know many communities are much poorer. Rather, we want you to be aware that people all around us contend with poverty every day -- the person waiting on you in the corner store, the retiree who sees their savings shrinking, never to be replaced again, the mother who can't risk or afford time off from her job for parent-teacher meetings.
Today, take a minute to think about what you can do to help. Person to person, community-wide, politically, nationally, internationally. Poverty has many faces and needs many different strategies.