We see the data, we see the trends, and we see the numbers. Yet, we don’t see the faces, at least not in this report. However, we pass them each day, whether it’s getting into our cars, strolling through the grocery store, or even walking through the hallways on the way to our desk at work. There is no one way poverty looks, as the impacts vary from person to person. But poverty always significantly impacts one’s quality of life.
With 763,527 of Florida’s children living in poverty and more than half of Florida families housing-cost burdened, the Florida 2030 Blueprint goal of ensuring every Florida child in poverty has a pathway out can seem unattainable. However, it is not impossible. Each year, we are making more progress towards ensuring 100% of children in Florida have an equal opportunity at earned success.
With this in mind, there is more work to be done. As we continue to uncover and understand the best practices and programs needed to move the needle in helping Florida’s underserved communities, we at the Florida Chamber Foundation encourage you to look to the individuals in the communities being impacted the most. The answer to addressing the root causes of poverty is in their stories…their voices.
Community voice is not just an integral component of our Foundation’s work to move our communities forward; it is THE key component needed to do so.
Across Florida, community conversations are taking place to learn firsthand about the effects of poverty, as well as the programs and services needed to address community needs. Community conversations bring together business and community leaders to address the most pressing issues affecting underserved communities. Businesses across Florida now have a better understanding of what needs to be addressed thanks to the metrics provided on the Florida Gap Map. Community conversations allow us to put that understanding into action. Our path forward in addressing childhood poverty in our communities is the Florida Gap Map and community conversations. The two connect the how and the why.
Now more than ever, it is essential to hear the needs of underserved communities and continue working to elevate and create tangible programs and opportunities that guarantee every child a path to prosperity.
To get involved with the Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative’s efforts to move the needle on illuminating the path to prosperity in Florida, click HERE> to learn more.