Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Poverty in Albany County

In the City of Albany, 41.6 percent of children are living in poverty. These children are more likely to live in substandard housing and to lack access to health care. Too many of them have at least one parent in prison or are being raised by other relatives because both parents are absent due to addictions, incarceration or death. Many of these children also are dealing with the trauma of witnessing significant street violence and domestic violence. Catholic Charities calls for public policies that will help create brighter futures for the most vulnerable among us.

A glimpse into poverty in Albany County:

· 13 percent of families in Albany are in “extreme poverty,” living on less than half the federal poverty level of $17,170 for a family of three;

· 71 percent of families living in poverty in Albany County have at least one member working;

· More than a third of Albany County households are paying more than 35 percent of their income on rent, , which is considered unaffordable by the federal government; and

· 642 housing units in Albany County lack plumbing.

Catholic Charities encourages parishioners to call on legislators to address the needs of struggling constituents.

This blog is participating in Blog Action Day, an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion: this year the issue is poverty. Between now and October 15, we will be posting about poverty in our diocese, with material provided by Catholic Charities in its report Poverty in the Diocese of Albany: A Threat to the Common Good. The report, and additional information, is available here.