poverty

Robert Sharpe Productions, Before the Mountain was Moved

In honor of National Service Week and the 50th Anniversary of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), this week we're looking back to the stories of some of the first VISTA volunteers who came to West Virginia.

LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

It’s been more than 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. During the 1960s, the Appalachian region was facing economic hardships, partly because of mechanization in the coal fields. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which created the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

Bettman/Corbis / NPR

In this episode, we'll hear reactions to Obama's proposed tax credits and other funding for Appalachia. And we'll talk with documentary filmmaker John Nakashima, whose new film, "The First 1000 Days," explores the effects of poverty on young children.

 

We'll also take a look back at how the lessons from the War on Poverty could shine light on present day economic development efforts.

UCSF

Stress. We all live with it, but at what point does it become toxic? When do social pressures turn from a healthy challenge to a source of poison? These are some of the ideas turned over in a public health dialogue at West Virginia University last week that explored the "social determinants of health." Guest-speaker Dr. Paula Braveman spoke about how social factors in our lives play a role in our health.

PBS NewsHour/Sam Weber

We often hear about urban cities, like Detroit, that are dealing with abandoned, dilapidated buildings. But some communities in West Virginia are struggling with neighborhood blight too.

The WV Hub is working with partners across West Virginia to plan a three day event in Huntington this October. The summit will help people across West Virginia who are working to fix blighted, abandoned and dilapidated properties. Civic groups in Huntington have been collaborating on this type of work and have made great strides recently.

Roxy Todd

David Sneade works as the director and minister at a homeless shelter in downtown Charleston. He was homeless himself, off and on, for about 19 years.

“I wouldn’t be afraid to say there’s at least 2,500-3,000 homeless people just in Charleston,” said Sneade, who has spoken with many of those people.

A jam band in Sophia, West Virginia, plays for fun, but is also passing down an Appalachian tradition to younger generations to ensure bluegrass music doesn't fade away and one man's story of poverty.

Roxy Todd

The West Side in Charleston is one of the largest urban neighborhoods in the state. Within sight of the Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School are vacant lots and abandoned buildings. This neighborhood is besieged with many problems like childhood poverty and high crime rates. It’s also a neighborhood that suffers from negative stereotyping—a place where good people and good projects are often overlooked.

Facebook.com

A group working to change policy in West Virginia to improve communities and end child poverty in the state is hoping to get input on how to do it, from residents. Organizers at the Our Children Our Future campaign are hosting four workshops this month.

The Our Children Our Future Campaign is conducting day long trainings in four separate towns across West Virginia. The group touches on issues like policy advocacy, healthy lifestyles, voter education, and more.


A special edition of West Virginia Morning in which we have another listen to stories that recently won awards at the Associated Press Broadcasters Association of The Virginias. Jessica Lilly investigates claims made in the film Oxyana. Glynis Board highlights her outstanding efforts as an individual reporter as she explains one West Virginian's plans to end poverty. And Dave Mistich eulogizes Eastern Panhandle rock band The Demon Beat.

Alton / wikimedia Commons

The number of low-income students taking Advanced Placement courses around the nation has more than quadrupled in the last decade, according to the College Board. But a study shows West Virginia is still behind when it comes to making sure low-income students have access to these rigorous classes.

The life expectancy for American females is 81 years.

In West Virginia, Marshall County has the longest life expectancy for women, with 80 years, while those in McDowell deal with about 6 years shorter life span.

The life expectancy for American males is about 76 years.

This is National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week, when the National Coalition for the Homeless and other advocacy organizations hope the country will focus on issues surrounding poverty. The United Way of the Eastern Panhandle is doing just that Thursday evening during a public forum.

During the forum "Poverty in the Panhandle: Children at Risk,"  the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, Family Resource Network and Health and Human Services Collaborative hope to discuss the problem and come up with possible solutions.

An automatic reduction to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, will begin taking effect today, cutting benefits for more than 47 million people across the country. West Virginians rely heavily on this assistance program, with about 20 percent of the population enrolled. A Kanawha County man who is already struggling to provide for his family said this national cut means he will have to make even harder choices in the near future.                                                          

WVSU campus in Institute, W.Va.
Steve Shaluta / W.Va. Department of Commerce

West Virginia State University will host a program aimed at increasing awareness of what it's like to be poor.   The Simulation of Poverty program is set for Saturday in the Wilson University Union. It's designed to raise awareness and encourage solutions to poverty. 

Wheeling-based Crittenton Services began as a residential service for women, especially pregnant women, throughout the state.  Today it’s grown to serve women and families with behavioral challenges in a variety of ways. Recent research has been shedding new light on patterns of poverty and possible methods of breaking those cycles.

Crittenton Foundation

Crittenton Services has been serving women and children in West Virginia for over a century.  Over that time span they’ve collected some powerful insight into challenges the state faces regarding poverty, especially concerning women and children.

A History of Helping Women

It all started when a bout of Scarlet Fever killed a four-year-old little girl named Florence in 1882. Her father, Charles Crittenton, was devastated. A preacher in New York suggested that he deal with his grief by helping women of the streets.