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Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force Final Report

PTF-Final-Report-2-17-w

POVERTY THOUGHT FORCE

POVERTY THOUGHT FORCE FINAL REPORT _________________________________________________________________________________________________ This topic was discusssed at a C4C Design Institute, in the context of living-wage jobs. Comments: Year-round work for seasonal employees • Not my top issue but I can see why this would matter. • It’s hard to know where money would come from for schools to do this. Teachers do OK in the summer I think, but maybe this isn’t about teachers. 12. Avoid “Benefits Cliff”; phase out benefits incrementally (11 impact; 38 combined). Even as raising the minimum wage attempts to serve low-wage workers, a slightly higher paycheck can cause workers to lose their federal benefits, including SNAP funds or housing subsidies. Support for phasing out benefits incrementally while slowly increasing the minimum wage would avoid this drastic ‘benefits cliff’ that may disincentivize work. “Benefits cliff” comes up in various community conversations on poverty; no group specifically working on a solution that the Thought Force is aware. General Comments relating to Jobs/Workforce • Should be a team of people that [go] to shelters or downtown to complete survey and understand specific situations for the homeless who have qualifications but no jobs. • Education aspect is key from an early age to train necessary skills to move up in the work force, not just be stuck at minimum wage in poverty. • Apprenticeship programs to give means of progressing. • Childcare costs for facilities are a huge barrier that bar qualified people from pursuing their jobs, so alleviating those costs would free up a huge section of the workforce that currently doesn’t work. • Disabilities are a big issue in getting jobs. • Getting a response is a big issue. People are active in the job search, but the response is absent. You don’t get replies as to why you didn’t get the job. • Need more help in the networking department, as networking is what gets you places. • Give more people second chances. • We need to come together as a community and create connections, like by knocking on doors and asking if people need help. Call community meetings in each neighborhood. • Need a book of resources. • Concentrate efforts on one goal and promote that: put all support into that goal. • Job fairs with local businesses to encourage hiring local through incentive program. • Increase shift numbers in factories from 2 shifts to 3 daily, creating more jobs, especially in jobs where productivity is key. • Child care is a barrier to work for qualified people. Cut out daycare vouchers requiring a job as a prerequisite for day care when it should be reversed. • Efforts must be for the people and BY the people, can’t just be one person’s problem [to solve], it’s our problem. Need to work together. Must see past racial or financial or religious, de-escalate WHOLE situation, step forward together, only way to get anything done. Maybe one person can make a difference but need a whole lot of people behind him. A child’s first learning is parents: good fathering is important, & need to be able to have good jobs to take care of their kids. Need good environment and good neighbors. • I am shut out of jobs I am properly trained to do because I don’t have the experience but how can I get that experience? • At my high school in Rochester they always had a career day—we should do that. • What if you have the skills but just did not get job? What can we do to secure a job? • How can communities rise & find jobs? ACCOUNTABILITY. Comments on: “What advice would you give to people stuck in poverty seeking jobs?” • Develop skills based on their talents. • Go to school and get educated about everything; specifically learn computer skills and about the transportation system. • Go to the library, take free computer classes, make schedules, visit social workers. • We have a strong technical community college. Use the resources available. • Need better communication about services. Make them visible and make opportunities stand out. These opportunities should be everywhere, use social media to promote. 46

POVERTY THOUGHT FORCE FINAL REPORT _________________________________________________________________________________________________ • It is about who you know in Winston-Salem: nearly impossible to get jobs where you are qualified because you don’t know a supervisor in the company/business. Networking events need to be improved/created in order to help with this barrier. • No one will have the opportunity for free housing and food stamps depending on who is elected in this next cycle. I worry that food stamps will be cut; food banks will become scarce because so many people are dependent on food stamps. • Subsidized housing areas are nearly impossible to get out of. • Take into account that there are many different types of people (the way they talk, their hygiene, etc.). 47

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