Community Action News
2nd Annual Put Poverty on Ice

2nd Annual Put Poverty on Ice

For Immediate Release
December 2. 2019

Contact:
Brad Paul
Executive Director, WISCAP
(608) 244-4422

Put Poverty on Ice!

Madison, WI – WISCAP is teaming up with the Madison Capitols Hockey Club for the 2nd Annual “Put Poverty on Ice” night Friday, January 24, 2020 at Bob Suter’s Ice Arena in Middleton.

Throughout the game, educational materials on poverty in Wisconsin will be distributed and featured in video and PA announcements, and fans will have the opportunity to learn about WISCAP, Wisconsin’s Poverty Fighting Network.

“We love the opportunity to, once again, partner with WISCAP to help raise awareness on the issue of poverty,” said Capitols’ President Andrew Joudrey. “Working with community groups is something we are committed to as an organization.”

“We are thrilled to be hosting this event with the Capitols. More than ten percent of Wisconsinites live below the poverty line. Sports, including hockey, can serve as a great way to bring people together and draw attention to these important issues,” said WISCAP’s Executive Director Brad Paul.

WISCAP and the Capitols are actively seeking sponsorship to ensure the event is a success. Opportunities range from $250 to $1,000 and all have built in donations to WISCAP. If you are interested in a sponsorship or hosting a group outing, please contact Brad Paul at [email protected] or Andrew Joudrey at [email protected]

Don’t miss out on any of the action this season as the Capitols embark on their 6th season in the USHL. Ticket packages, suites, and group outing are available now at www.madcapshockey.com or by calling the front office at (608) 257-2277.

The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) is the statewide association for Wisconsin’s sixteen (16) Community Action agencies and two single-purpose agencies with statewide focus. You can learn more about WISCAP at wiscap.org

 
WISCAP URGES PASSAGE of the WISCONSIN OPPORTUNITY ACT 2019

WISCAP URGES PASSAGE of the WISCONSIN OPPORTUNITY ACT

Contact: Kassidy Berens, Communications Manager
Telephone: 608-244-4422
Email: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 8, 2019

The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) applauds the introduction of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act (SB 467AB 508) in the Wisconsin State Legislature. The proposal, authored by Senator LaTonya Johnson and Representative Lisa Subeck, advances comprehensive legislation designed to aid communities in the fight against poverty; calling for a renewed investment in housing, transportation, employment and business development training, and other services. The bill, currently co-sponsored by 24 members, was referred to the Senate Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development and the Committee on Housing and Real Estate, respectively.

WISCAP sees this legislation as a necessary step to combat poverty statewide. The Institute for Research on Poverty reports that more than 1 in 10 Wisconsinites live in poverty, with the elderly representing the fastest growing segment of the population. In 2018, the Department of Public Instruction identified 18,854 homeless children and youth throughout the state. And, while unemployment remains low, housing costs have increased out of proportion to earnings. In fact, more than 306,000 people in 163,900 low-income households pay more than half their income for housing.

Community action agencies and their local partners throughout Wisconsin provide a wide range of programs and services that help individuals and families respond to crisis as well as achieve lasting economic security and self-sufficiency. If passed, this bill would help expand such outcomes. According to WISCAP Executive Director Brad Paul, “Whether we consider the impact of lagging wages, rising housing costs, the opioid crisis, or the downturn in the farm economy, both metro and small-town Wisconsin continue to face significant challenges and stress, even as major economic indicators are largely healthy. Senator Johnson and Representative Subeck are keenly aware of how poverty reveals itself in our communities and have offered an important response.”

If you would like more information on the proposed legislation or to schedule an interview, please contact Gary Goyke, Legislative Consultant, (608) 219-5237

***

 
2019 Poverty Matters! Conference

2019 Poverty Matters! Conference

The 2019 Poverty Matters! Conference was held September 11-12, 2019 at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This year’s theme was “Securing Opportunity in Wisconsin.”

The ‘Poverty Matters!’ conference annually brings together organizations and individuals committed to fighting poverty in local communities throughout Wisconsin. Just over 200 community leaders, managers, front-line workers, board members, human service professionals, educators and advocates alike attended the conference to learn and discuss how low-income individuals, families and communities can work together to promote economic opportunity.

This two-day conference featured 36 workshops, four plenary sessions and an exhibit hall. For a full list of our workshops, you can visit the conference website, linked at the bottom of this article. Our plenary sessions were:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cooperatives & Community: A Wisconsin Tradition
Dan Smith, President & CEO, The Cooperative Network
Wyman Winston, Former Executive Director, WHEDA
Bill Kopka, VP & Community Accountability Officer, Associated Bank

From Poverty Wages to Family-sustaining Jobs
Harry Zell, General Vice President, IUPAT

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Local Voices, Global Vision
Thomas Duncan, Federal Appeals Director, Duncan Disability Law, S.C.
Kelly Ryan, President & CEO, Incourage
Katie Schumer, Outreach Case Manager/Coordinated Entry Specialist, North Central Community Action Program

How the Treasurer’s Office Can Service Wisconsin
Sarah Godlewski, Treasurer, State of Wisconsin

Thank you to our sponsors who helped make the 2019 Poverty Matters! Conference successful!

 
WISCAP Urges Passage of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act (LRB 0891)

WISCAP Urges Passage of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act (LRB 0891)

Contact: Kassidy Berens, Communications Manager, WISCAP
(608) 244-4422
[email protected]

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2019

WISCAP Urges Passage of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act

The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) applauds the introduction of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act (LRB 0891), comprehensive legislation designed to aid communities in the fight against poverty. The proposal, authored by Senator LaTonya Johnson, calls for a renewed investment in housing, transportation, employment training, and other services tailored to the unique needs of local communities, urban, suburban and rural alike.

WISCAP sees this legislation as a necessary step to combat poverty statewide. The Institute for Research on Poverty reports that more than 1 in 10 Wisconsinites live in poverty, with the elderly representing the fastest growing segment of the population. In 2018, the Department of Public Instruction identified more than 19,000 homeless children and youth throughout the state. And, while unemployment remains low, housing costs have increased out of proportion to earnings. In fact, 306,000 low-income Wisconsin renters pay more than half their income for housing.

Community action agencies and their local partners throughout Wisconsin provide a wide range of programs and services that help individuals and families respond to crisis as well as achieve lasting economic security and self-sufficiency. If passed, this bill would help expand such outcomes. According to WISCAP Executive Director Brad Paul, “Whether we consider the impacts of lagging wages, rising housing costs, the opioid crisis, or the downturn in the farm economy, both metro and small-town Wisconsin continue to face significant challenges and stress, even as major economic indicators are largely healthy. This Act would help give local communities additional resources and the flexibility necessary to serve low-income households in a way that is appropriate and responsive to Wisconsin’s diverse needs.”

If you would like more information on the proposed legislation or to schedule an interview, please contact Gary Goyke, Legislative Consultant, (608) 219-5237.

A full toolkit of Wisconsin Opportunity Act related items can be accessed on this site under ‘Take Action’

 
UW-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty Releases 11th Annual Poverty Report

UW-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty Releases 11th Annual Poverty Report

Contact: Tim Smeeding, [email protected], (608) 890-1317
Release: 6/24/19

Wisconsin Poverty Rate Fell Overall and For Children, but Rose for Elderly

MADISON—The latest Wisconsin poverty analysis using a state-specific poverty measure devised by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers found mixed results in our efforts to alleviate poverty and promote self-sufficiency in our state .

The statewide overall poverty rate using the Wisconsin Poverty Measure (WPM) dropped from 10.8 percent in 2016 to 10.2 percent in 2017, a significant drop, but still above the 2015 rate of 9.7 percent. This suggests that progress against poverty in Wisconsin since 2010 has been limited and that we are treading water at this point.

Child poverty fell using the WPM, from 12.0 percent to 10.1 percent during the same time period, but elder poverty rose from 9.0 percent to 9.5 percent.

These findings were released today in the Eleventh Annual Wisconsin Poverty Report by Timothy Smeeding, Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and Affiliate and former Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), in collaboration with IRP Senior Programmer Analyst Katherine Thornton.

Smeeding notes, “These findings suggest that the economy is not benefiting workers and families evenly across our state. I’ve been conducting this study for 11 years now and I have to say, after more than eight years of nationwide recovery from the end of the Great Recession through 2017, we should see better poverty outcomes.”

The WPM results suggest that the drop in child poverty is due to higher earnings by poor parents, despite real wages that are lower now than in 2010. The drop also reflects the broader range of tax credits and benefits for families with children; and the fact that the WPM counts the income of unmarried partners as contributing to family resources. The increase in elder poverty is in large part due to increasing out-of-pocket medical expenses, considered in the WPM but not the official poverty measure. Insurance premiums, copayments for medical services, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and uninsured medical costs are expenses that present a significant financial challenge for the low-income elderly.

As explained in the report and shown in the table below, the comparison between the two measures provides evidence that public programs such as SNAP food assistance significantly reduce economic disadvantage for many Wisconsin families with children.

Contact: Tim Smeeding, [email protected], (608) 890-1317
Release: 6/24/19

Wisconsin Poverty Rate Fell Overall and For Children, but Rose for Elderly

MADISON—The latest Wisconsin poverty analysis using a state-specific poverty measure devised by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers found mixed results in our efforts to alleviate poverty and promote self-sufficiency in our state .

The statewide overall poverty rate using the Wisconsin Poverty Measure (WPM) dropped from 10.8 percent in 2016 to 10.2 percent in 2017, a significant drop, but still above the 2015 rate of 9.7 percent. This suggests that progress against poverty in Wisconsin since 2010 has been limited and that we are treading water at this point.

Child poverty fell using the WPM, from 12.0 percent to 10.1 percent during the same time period, but elder poverty rose from 9.0 percent to 9.5 percent.

These findings were released today in the Eleventh Annual Wisconsin Poverty Report by Timothy Smeeding, Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and Affiliate and former Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), in collaboration with IRP Senior Programmer Analyst Katherine Thornton.

Smeeding notes, “These findings suggest that the economy is not benefiting workers and families evenly across our state. I’ve been conducting this study for 11 years now and I have to say, after more than eight years of nationwide recovery from the end of the Great Recession through 2017, we should see better poverty outcomes.”

The WPM results suggest that the drop in child poverty is due to higher earnings by poor parents, despite real wages that are lower now than in 2010. The drop also reflects the broader range of tax credits and benefits for families with children; and the fact that the WPM counts the income of unmarried partners as contributing to family resources. The increase in elder poverty is in large part due to increasing out-of-pocket medical expenses, considered in the WPM but not the official poverty measure. Insurance premiums, copayments for medical services, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and uninsured medical costs are expenses that present a significant financial challenge for the low-income elderly.

As explained in the report and shown in the table below, the comparison between the two measures provides evidence that public programs such as SNAP food assistance significantly reduce economic disadvantage for many Wisconsin families with children.

The report suggests that if we are to make progress against poverty for the non-elderly, work alone at today’s wages is not enough. Greater work supports and income supports are also needed. We need to maintain and improve the safety net, reduce childcare costs, and raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage to more than $10 per hour if we are to break out of the poverty rut we are in and share the benefits of the recovery more widely with the most disadvantaged among us.

Brad Paul, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP), which supports the Wisconsin Poverty Report, commented, “WISCAP is proud to support the Wisconsin Poverty Project, which shares University of Wisconsin expertise in this important way so we can all have an accurate accounting of poverty among Wisconsinites—and therefore be better equipped to fight it.”

IRP Director Lawrence Berger notes, “I am pleased that the annual Wisconsin Poverty Project has its home at IRP. This year, we learn that the state’s economic expansion has had little effect on the poverty rate as a rising cost of living, especially childcare and medical expenses, and falling real wages are leaving many low-income families treading water and low-income elders losing ground, both of which are concerning.”

 

 
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