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Catholic Charities USA Acts to Reduce Poverty in America

“On this day, 50 years ago, in his first State of the Union Address, President Lyndon Johnson declared an unconditional war on poverty in America. Now, 50 years later, ample evidence suggests that the war is far from over,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, President of CCUSA.

National Organizations Commit to Working Together to Reduce Poverty in America in 2014

Alexandria, Va. – Top leaders from several of the nation’s largest humanitarian organizations and advocates announced a new collaboration today to fight the War on Poverty. Brought together by Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), leadership from Feeding America, Save the Children, The Salvation Army, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Lutheran Services in America, United Way and The Alliance for Children and Families all agreed to work together in 2014 to educate, innovate and act to reduce poverty in communities across the country.

“On this day, 50 years ago, in his first State of the Union Address, President Lyndon Johnson declared an unconditional war on poverty in America. Now, 50 years later, ample evidence suggests that the war is far from over,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, President of CCUSA. “The partnership announced today will explore tangible opportunities to work together throughout 2014 to support each other’s poverty-
reduction initiatives.”

Each organization agreed to a set of poverty reduction strategy principles put forth by CCUSA as they work together in the coming year. The principles will guide all policies and practices considered to fight poverty in the year ahead and include a commitment to:

• EDUCATE the public about the everyday challenges facing the more than 46 million people living in poverty in America today;
• Highlight INNOVATIVE solutions to poverty by connecting local practitioners with national leaders;
• and ACT to reduce poverty in communities across the country using newfound knowledge and techniques.

“United Way is excited to be a partner in this critically important effort. We believe that committing to work together is the only way to successfully address issues like poverty-reduction and its larger impact on our families and communities,” said Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. president, United Way Worldwide.
“A collaborative approach to reducing our nation’s poverty ensures that the results we achieve are both inclusive and sustainable.”

“As the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, we know that poverty is one of the leading causes
of hunger in America. If we are able to reduce poverty in our country, we will also reduce hunger,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “We look forward to collaborating with our esteemed partners, and we are hopeful that we will make some real progress.”

“The Salvation Army has been committed to tending to the physical and spiritual needs of the poor since its inception, serving more than 30 million people in need each year in the United States,” said Commissioner David Jeffrey, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We are honored to be working alongside other organizations that share our commitment to serving the underserved and solving the root causes of poverty to break the cycle for good.”

“Clearly, with over 600,000 people homeless every night, our nation has urgent work to do to end
poverty,” said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “We
must work harder, but we must also work smarter, and the Alliance is grateful to Catholic Charities for leading this critical initiative.”

“Poverty is taking an incredibly heavy toll on 16 million children in America today.
Their health, wellbeing, education and future prospects are all in jeopardy from the very beginning,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children’s president and CEO.

“Save the Children is committed to getting children the early education and opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. But we cannot do it alone. Breaking the vicious cycle of poverty will take the concerted efforts of committed organizations and individuals willing to raise their voices for our nation’s most vulnerable children.”

“Whether it’s 50 years ago or today, poverty remains the major obstacle to a strong and healthy
America in which all citizens can reach their fullest potential,” said Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families.

“Reducing poverty means more children, adults, and families can live healthy and productive lives, and we all benefit. Together, we can pursue a healthy society and strong communities for all.”

“In communities across America, Lutheran health and human services organizations are on the front lines transforming lives and communities,” said Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America (LSA). “LSA members know firsthand how broadly poverty reaches into our communities, and we are pleased to join CCUSA and our colleagues in fighting poverty – together, we will create a path to a brighter future, self-reliance and hope for millions of Americans.”

The organizations also announced today their intent to convene a roundtable discussion on reform next month. More information about the roundtable discussion will be available in the coming weeks.

About Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is leading a national movement to end poverty in America. In communities across the country, Catholic Charities member agencies are helping individuals and families in poverty achieve their full potential. Together we are dedicated to creating a life of opportunity and self-sufficiency for each of the 46 million of our brothers and sisters who live in poverty. CCUSA was founded in 1910 on the campus of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. as the National Conference of Catholic Charities. For more than 100 years, CCUSA has guided and supported the vast network of Catholic Charities agencies nationwide in a common mission to serve, advocate, and convene. For additional information, please visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org .

About Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Founded in 1879, Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph is a nationally accredited, non-profit agency dedicated to human services across Central and Western Missouri. Inspired by the Gospel mandate, Catholic Charities transforms lives and communities through hope-filled care, services and advocacy.

The impact of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph is felt every day in the communities it serves. Annually, the agency assists more than 150,000 people of all faiths, ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds.

For more information about Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, visit catholiccharities-kcsj.org.

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Contact: Lisa Tulp
Communications Coordinator
Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Inc.
Office: 816.659.8226
email: ltulp@ccharities.com

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