Talk of the Towns 1/24/14

Producer/Host: Ron Beard
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Community concerns and opportunities

Program Topic: Where is Poverty Now?

Key Discussion Points:
a. CAP agencies were established as one of the key strategies in the war on poverty, declared by President Lyndon Johnson in January, 1964… what was their basic role?
b. What do we know about poverty today… are there differences that have emerged over the last 50 years?
c. How have CAP agencies changed… what approaches are you trying now that might not have been part of the original design? Provide an overview of WHCA programs and the role of people with low incomes on your board, involvement in the design and delivery of programs…
d. How is WHCA working with homeless vets? What do we know about the “dimensions” of the problem? How did you get started? What are the ways in which you tackle to problem? What are some of the results?
e. Is there more awareness of poverty as a community issue… talk about the emergence of poverty as a risk factor when Healthy Peninsula began work to help school children succeed? What led to the series of community workshops on Blue Hill peninsula, including a recent one… who is Donna Beegle, and how has she helped frame the issue here in Maine and nationally?
f. What other trends do you see that indicate that poverty and its affects are increasing?
(food pantry use, free community meals, general assistance, private and public efforts around fuel assistance, etc..) Is this a shift from assuming that poverty should be addressed by local efforts vs federal programs… what levels of magnitude are evident, between federal efforts like Community Action Program, HeadStart and others, and grassroots efforts like the Tree of Life Food Pantry and its sister efforts?
g.Part of the discussion about poverty relates to another trend in the US… growing income disparity between the very wealthy and the rest, including the middle class and the poor… do you see this disparity having a bearing on how you work on issues of poverty locally, or is this an issue best solved at the national level?
h. What inspires you to continue working on issues of poverty and its affects on people and the wider community?

a. Mark Green, Washington-Hancock Community Agency
b. Bobbi Harris, Washington-Hancock Community Agency
c. Barbara Peppey, Healthy Peninsula