01/16/18 — Study to depict local poverty

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Study to depict local poverty

By From staff reports
Published in News on January 16, 2018 5:50 AM

After months of data gathering and interviews, the Goldsboro Poverty Study will be presented Wednesday.

The Poverty and Building Pathways to Opportunity in Goldsboro event will be held at First African Baptist Church, 803 Harris St., from noon to 1:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Professor Gene Nichols and Heather Hunt, both working at the University of North Carolina's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, in coalition with the N.C. Justice Center, spent months conducting interviews with residents in the city and gathering data on what demographics were hit the hardest by poverty in the city.

In light of the initial findings, Nichols is expected to present the report and discuss the challenges of building a middle class and jump-starting the economy in a city where more than 25 percent of its occupants are living in poverty.

The study is expected to show the disparity between how many of those impoverished are among black, Hispanic, Asian, white and multi-racial demographics, as well as the impact on gender and ages.

The numbers in the initial report, which won't be finalized until the Wednesday presentation, shows an ever-increasing percentage of people living in poverty in Goldsboro and Wayne County since the 1980s.

According to the initial numbers, there is a sharp difference between North Carolina's current poverty percentage of 16.8 compared to the 25.3 percent in the city.

Wayne County's poverty rate is lower than the city's at 21.7 percent, but still much higher than the state's.

The report will show that in the city 69 percent of the black population is living in high poverty as well as 70 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of whites.

The report is also expected to show that slightly more than 39 percent of children in the city are living in poverty, as are nearly 29 percent of women.

Along with Nichols, a panel of local leaders is expected to offer strategies on how to improve the availability of opportunity and grow the middle class in the city and the county.

To RSVP for a boxed lunch, email Allysa Rouse at allysa@ncjustice.org.