JUST RELEASED: More than 3.1 Million Floridians in Poverty

By 2030, Florida is expected to grow to 26 million residents and will welcome more than 150 million visitors per year. With this, comes opportunities and challenges, as this growth is expected to come during one of the most disruptive periods, where changes in the landscape of work, technology and talent will create a new normal. With this in mind, the Foundation’s Florida 2030 project is committed to focusing on Florida’s long-term future and ensuring global competitiveness, pathways to prosperity and vibrant and sustainable communities.

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Less Poverty, More Prosperity: Florida’s Fiscal Cliffs Report shows Florida has more than 3.1 million people living in poverty, with  944,415 of that total under the age of 18. The large number of Floridians living in poverty in our state impacts not only individual families, but also businesses, Florida’s economy, and our state’s global competitiveness. Florida will find it harder to succeed in 2030 and beyond if more than 1 in 6 Floridians continue living in poverty.

Click here to download the report.

Housing the Homeless Could Save Floridians Millions of Dollars Each Year

Florida’s homeless population ranks third largest in the nation. The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report estimated that nearly 36,000 adults in Florida were homeless and Florida public schools reported an astounding 73,322 children as homeless or having unstable housing last year. Homelessness not only affects the individuals and families living in poverty, but also impacts the local and state economy and future prosperity.

A recent study found that the cost of chronic homelessness in Central Florida is estimated to be $31,000 per person per year in healthcare, law enforcement, education, social services, and substance abuse and mental health program expenses. The same study reported that providing affordable housing and case management for this population has an estimated cost of $10,000 per person per year, representing potential savings of millions of dollars to taxpayers in the future. Several companies and organizations, like Central Florida Partnership, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo, have partnered on initiatives to end homelessness in Florida.

Jobs and education create equal opportunity and hope for all Floridians, including our most vulnerable residents. How will your business and your community lead the effort to break the cycle of generational poverty and reduce chronic homelessness?

1 in 4 Florida Children Are Living in Poverty

Almost half of all children born in poverty remain in poor economic conditions into adulthood, and in Florida, 1 in 4 Florida children are living in poverty. The cost of child poverty is an estimated $500 billion a year in lost productivity and increased spending on health care and the criminal justice system.

At last week’s Future of Florida Forum, business leaders accepted the challenge to focus on prosperity as an economic driver and find solutions to curb generational poverty. Do you know how many families are homeless in your community? If we are going to help solve the poverty problem, leadership must come from the business community, not just the tax base.

Get Involved

Join us in a Cornerstone 2030 conversation by holding a town hall in your community.

The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line Featuring Ted Granger

United Way of Florida President Ted Granger Discusses Poverty, Prosperity and Minimum Wage on the Latest Edition of The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line

Economic prosperity is the topic of discussion on the latest edition of The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.

United Way of Florida President Ted Granger explains that businesses and chambers of commerce are already active in their communities and helping those in need.

And he says that there are opportunities for system changes to help Florida families become more financially secure but raising the minimum wage isn’t one of them.

 “[A raise in minimum wage] is not going to solve the problem at all. If you look at the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, the difference between what folks are making and the actual cost of living would require a minimum wage that is so much, it would drive our businesses out of business,” said Granger. “The real issues are systems issues…How can we, creatively, address some of the transportation issues, which is almost always the No.1 issue for the ALICE group, to help them to continue to succeed and work?”

The Florida Chamber believes in a robust free enterprise system, and Florida is on the path to prosperity with record private-sector job creation and its focus on creating high-wage jobs.

 

Get Involved:

The Florida prosperity project will be featured at the Future of Florida Forum. Join us on September 29 – October 1 in Orlando to discuss this and other topics focused on moving Florida forward…faster. The ALICE Report is expected to be released in November.

 

The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line is a web-based program featuring key figures from Florida’s corridors of power. Hosting the conversation with Ted Granger is Florida Chamber Foundation Executive Vice President Tony Carvajal.