According to a recent survey, more than 19% of all Bostonians, and 28% of Bostonians under 18 live below the federal poverty line, a substantial increase from 2000. As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow apart and the nation’s economy continues to struggle, places like food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other public assistance community organizations are gaining more visitors.
White families in Boston make, on average, more than twice as much as African American or Hispanic families and one out of every three children in Boston lives in a family that struggles to put food on the table. Ninety percent of youths who live in impoverished areas of Boston witness some form of violence every year and only 35% of Boston Public School graduates earn a degree from a two or four year college. Thankfully, organizations in and around Boston are working hard to solve the problem of poverty. Read about the organizations and their good works below:
- Teen Voices: Founded in 1988 by two young women from Cambridge who wanted to create an organization that would empower teen girls through writing and art. The girls who are involved in this organization are able to see their potential to make a difference. They get a chance to understand how they can personally take a stand against injustices in the world, gain empowerment, believe in gender equality and understand what it means to make an impact in today’s society. Hundreds of low-income Boston area girls are being trained to become strong writers, mentors and leaders. http://bit.ly/ntxL2g
- The Food Project: In 1991, founder Ward Cheney had a vision where young people from Boston would work alongside the young people of suburban areas to grow and produce food for the hungry while learning the importance of nutrition and caring for the land. The community that is developed produces healthy food for impoverished residents in Boston and also provides youth leadership opportunities. The Food Project produces a win-win solution: Families that` struggle to put food on the table receive an abundant amount of healthy foods and the young volunteers receive the benefit of giving as well as develop their understanding of the farming culture. http://bit.ly/p0yMOA
- Artists for Humanity: Artist, teacher and entrepreneur, Susan Rodgerson started this organization in 1990 due to her realization that there was a lack of arts experiences within the Boston Public School system. Her vision was to inspire groups of 13 to 14 year olds to engage in creativity through visual arts. Today, the organization remains a haven for teens from every corner of Boston as a place where they can express their creativity as well as develop friendships with other young teens. http://bit.ly/pTyLmm
- Project Hope: Founded in 1981 by the Little Sisters of the Assumption, this organization provides programs that focus on strengthening families and by building economic empowerment and independence. Project Hope initiated the Transition to Work Collaborative, which assisted homeless families in eight Boston shelters by providing economic literacy training, access to education, as well as job placement with follow-up supportive services. http://bit.ly/nOh99G
- Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD): Committed Boston residents first established this organization in 1962 and it has remained devoted to its mission of promoting self-help for low-income people and neighborhoods. ABCD gives disadvantaged people the chance to feel empowered by offering them with the tools they need to overcome poverty, live with dignity and reach their fullest potential. http://bit.ly/oFBQ6w
- Boston Rising: This organization is an antipoverty fund—their basic mission is to end poverty once and for all in Boston by providing underprivileged individuals who have ambitions with programs and leaders that will direct them to the road of success. http://bit.ly/nGzuSD