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UCHRA Strengthening Grant Application To Help Poverty In Families

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Strengthening Grant Application To Help Poverty In Families

UCHRA’s Policy Council got its first glance at a region wide grant proposal Wednesday that could change how Upper Cumberland services are administered.

UCHRA applying to $25 million over three years through a state grant program focusing on poverty stricken families. Executive Director Mark Farley said family, workforce and education make up the three aspects of the application.

“That working group is who I think we need to really focus on to begin with,” Farley said. “The ones that are working now. That’s going to be the easiest ones we can move up the chain, up the ladder to get them where they need to be.”

Farley said UCHRA has listed two goals in its application: raise workforce participation and move 250 families out of poverty. Farley said the quickest way to do this is to keep a family together and have both parents working.

“If we can keep mama and daddy to benefit each other in the same home, that’s the quickest way,” Farley said. “What kind of income level does it take to get out of poverty? Two jobs making $11 dollars an hour will get you out of poverty. If you got two people in the house and that is an achievable thing.”

Farley said as a governmental agency, it can be a challenge to enter the home life. Farley said that is when local churches and employers come into play.

“If we’re successful, there’s an aspect where the churches have got to be able to wrap their arms around these families and gave them the support, faith and foundation they need to be a strong family moving forward. The second component obviously work and that’s one of the good things coming out of the meeting yesterday with the employer Cookeville Regional Hospital. Other employers are saying the same thing. They’re realizing that they can’t keep paying $10 or less an hour and people live on it.”

Farley practiced the initial presentation Wednesday which will eventually be heard by four members of the Governor’s Cabinet. After the presentation, council members spent about a thirty minutes strengthening the proposal.

Members discussed options to better connect services to poverty stricken families. Those ideas included mobile services, media partnerships, interpersonal relationships and increasing wages.


The post UCHRA Strengthening Grant Application To Help Poverty In Families appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.