Letter from the Executive Director
overty does not discriminate. It can affect people of all ages, all nationalities, all races and all religions. Poverty can strike when you least expect it, and it can quickly become something you struggle to overcome for years or even a lifetime. Even for those who have made â€œall the right decisionsâ€?, an unexpected loss of employment, sudden illness, or other circumstances can take the nearly half of Ohio households who lack the liquid assets needed to stay out of poverty for three months, to a situation they never anticipated. Community Action Agencies in Ohio work in all 88 counties to alleviate poverty and strengthen communities. Whether a household is facing a temporary emergency situation or one that will take a little longer to create a sustainable and self-sufficient household, there are over 6,000 Community Action employees throughout the state available to help. Together with our communities, we are committed to breaking down barriers and building solid foundations for the success of low-income families and individuals across Ohio.
Throughout this report, you will read about just a few of the situations that could cause a household to slip into poverty. Whether it be a child aging out of foster care with little or no support to maintain safe shelter or continue their education, grandparents unexpectedly raising their grandchildren, or even a shift in employment industries, this State of Poverty report aims to shed a light on some of the issues affecting millions of our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. We encourage you to get involved in the conversation, ask questions and learn more about what we do as a network and what we can do together as Ohioans.
Philip E. Cole Executive Director Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies