Following the recent release of The Census Bureau’s annual survey of poverty in America, Religion News ran an op-ed by Circle of Protection Coordinator and Pastor David Beckmann. He points to the many ways that a quick bipartisan response by Congress during the pandemic combined strategies to create a decline in unemployment and poverty rates, in spite of economic challenges. Between the expanded child tax credit and other relief measures, child poverty dropped from 10 percent of all children to 5 percent, the lowest level in U.S. history.
However, after pandemic assistance programs expired, the newly released census numbers show that poverty has returned to 2019 levels, reflecting the biggest year-to-year increase in over 50 years. Beckmann suggests that these statistics indicate that we actually have effective ways to reduce poverty in our country, but without the COVID-19 crisis looming over government officials and representatives, we’ve lost focus and resumed political posturing, with disastrous results.
Consider: What repercussions has your ministry experienced since the expiration of pandemic assistance programs? How has your ministry participated in community and state reporting of poverty, mental illness, and addiction statistics?
The 300+ organizations in Citygate Network membership seek to move people in desperate situations and destitute conditions (i.e., hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted) from human suffering to human flourishing through the process of gospel-powered life transformation. If you or someone you love is in need of Christ-centered compassion and care, please visit our member locator page today to find a mission near you.
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