"We need to give people a hand instead of a handout..." Panel discusses local and national poverty issues

A panel discussed local and national poverty and how we can help fight the issue.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 11:29 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- People packed United Campus Ministries Monday night to talk about solutions to a problem that continues to grow.

"We obviously need to be thinking about how to find solutions for problems that have been with us for years and years and years," Debra Israel, Associate professor of economics at Indiana State University said. 

Poverty is something a lot of people might not think is a problem here in the Valley.

"It does! Poverty is real! I can't tell you, I didn't study, I can't tell you the number of children living in poverty in the state of Indiana," Sister Barbara Battista, a sister of Providence said.  

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 21% of kids in Indiana are living below the poverty line.

That's more than the national average.

"It's pretty severe and people who are poor have lower learning outcomes because they face more problems at home," Robert Dodson, one of the attendees said.

To start, the group said we need to think about this every day to try and combat it.

"Think about what our having compassion for people and also and think about how we can make sure everybody has opportunities," Israel said. 

Now, this is just a small step toward fixing a much greater problem.

Everyone agrees the issue of poverty is something that's not going away anytime soon, but conversations like this can help.

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