3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

3371 Chattanooga Valley Road Flintstone GA 30725 706.820.2833

Friday, August 27, 2010

Southern Rural Poverty

It is all too easy to imagine that poverty exists only in the inner-city. Television and movies often portray deep poverty as being a thing involving a poorly kept tenement building or over-populated apartment, full of rodents, roaches, and all sorts of shady characters.

But what about the country? It is a little known fact that a majority of those living in poverty actually live outside of the city. In 2002, 7.5 million people living below the poverty line were living in non-metro areas throughout the United States. In the same year, 1 out of every five children living in rural areas was considered to be poor. That is 2.6 million children. These children live at a great disadvantage as the school systems in these areas tend to be less than adequate, as do opportunities outside of the classroom including employment after graduation. For example, a county is considered to have a low employment level if less than 65% of its adult population are employed. 2002 statistics show that the most urban areas had approximately 6% of their population living in low-employment areas. In the most rural areas, 32% of the population was living in low-employment areas.

As a part of the Rural South, the northwest Georgia area must begin to address this problem. 280 rural persistent poverty counties are in the South -compared to 60 in the West and Midwest. There are none in the Northeast. The non-metro South makes up for 40% of the United States' non-metro population -and more than 1 in 4 people in this region live in counties of persistent poverty.

So what can we do? ...and what can YOU do?

  • Take an active part in your local public school. -become a mentor or volunteer time in supporting teachers in whatever they find most helpful!
  • Become a community advocate by showing up to local community meetings.
  • Volunteer for local non-profits who are making an effort to help those in need.
  • Talk with leaders in your church about reaching out to the poor of your community. Your church could start a program ...or simply build relationships with those around you!
  • Support Hope for Northwest Georgia. We are here to connect churches with the poor in their communities.
  • Pray. God is more than capable of redeeming any and every community for His glory!

For more info, check out the following link or contact the Hope office.

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