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New anti-poverty effort unveiled in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is launching a new effort to maximize help for the poor.

It also calls for groups fighting poverty to go beyond their normal borders.

Even though more than a billion dollars is spent each year helping poor people in the city, it’s not enough, according to Eva Gladstein, who leads Philadealphia’s antipoverty efforts.

“We are not making the necessary difference in the lives of individuals, in the lives of families, and in the quality of life for our neighborhoods,” she said.

“Shared Prosperity Philadelphia” will work to ensure poor residents take advantage of all available programs, especially ones funded by the federal and state governments, said Mayor Michael Nutter.

“You’re talking about millions of dollars that people are eligible for — SNAP benefits, earned income tax credit and a variety of other programs and services that literally people would benefit from just for signing up,” he said. “And would get the benefits, in many instances actual cash, that they would use for themselves, circulate in the community.”

About 28 percent of Philadelphians live in poverty, the highest poverty rate among the nation’s 10 biggest cities.


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