HARRISBURG – As part of the House Majority Policy Committee’s continuing initiative to recognize current programs in place to help combat poverty across the state, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) invited Chairman Dave Reed (R-Indiana) to host a roundtable discussion with area stakeholders working in the Pocono region.
The discussion took place in Stroudsburg and was part of the House Majority Policy Committee’s initiative, “Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty,” which started in June, it seeks to identify challenges that families across Pennsylvania are faced with that prevent them from rising out of poverty.
“As a member of the policy committee, when I learned that they chose to focus their initiative on helping people get above the poverty level, I immediately suggested that one of their stops be in the Pocono region”, Brown said after the meeting. “Monroe County is very different than what a lot of people think it to be. The reality is that we have a lot of issues related to poverty in our area. Fortunately, we have several groups, many of which were represented at the meeting today, that work day-in and day-out to ensure they are doing all they can to help those living below the poverty line.
Approximately 1.5 million Pennsylvanians, which is more than 12 percent of the entire population, are living below the poverty level. Nearly 11 percent of those living in Monroe County are living below the poverty level.
“Though our region falls slightly below the state poverty average, we’re still nowhere close to where we would like to be. I don’t need numbers to tell me that this is a serious problem” Brown said. “I constantly hear from constituents who want to get out of poverty, but they’re faced with several obstacles that make it nearly impossible, especially those who are struggling financially and trying to raise a family.
Joining Brown at the meeting were Reps. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) and Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Dave Reed (R-Indiana). For more information on the committee’s poverty initiative, visit www.pagoppolicy.com.