On Oct. 8, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners declared October as Poverty Awareness Month to increase awareness of the issues related to low-income families in the community.
The Palm Beach County Community Services Department (CSD), in partnership with the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Health and Human Services and the Birth-to-22 Alliance, launched the Securing Our Future Initiative (SOFI) with the mission to create a system of care that maximizes opportunity for economic mobility and reduces poverty in Palm Beach County.
Organizations involved with SOFI will seek to reduce child poverty by 10 percent over the next 10 years by building pathways for economic mobility for 188 households annually. Efforts will focus on families who are living below the 200 percent federal poverty threshold, with a special emphasis on those at or below the 100 percent federal poverty threshold and have individuals who are able to work.
“The Securing Our Future Initiative will help families increase their income above the living wage and accelerate the building of an integrated system of care focused on health and human services,” CSD Director James Green said. “Our goal is that upon completion of the program, families will have gained the skills needed to obtain a higher wage job and will have increased their total household income.”
The Securing Our Future Initiative directly aligns with the county’s economic development priority that promotes economic revitalization by driving the creation of employment opportunities while reducing disparities and improving quality of life for everyone.
During the course of the program, families will have direct access to support services such as childcare and healthcare. During their participation, families will have the opportunity to provide feedback on systemic barriers that they face on a daily basis.