Today on Capitol Hill, Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) took part in an antipoverty summit with grassroots leaders and lawmakers. More than a dozen organizations reaching out to help educate youth, rehabilitate drugs users, find permanent homes for foster children and encourage economic development shared their strategies for success. Each of these organizations receives the bulk of its funds from private, not government, sources.
Congressman Pitts' statement follows:
"Yesterday, the Census Bureau issued updated figures on poverty in America. Despite an explosion of government spending in the past three and a half years, the poverty rate has remained nearly unchanged. We need a safety net, but we can't expect these programs to lift people out of poverty. Sadly, some government programs are actually counterproductive, breaking down social bonds critical to building strong communities.
"Today, I met with grassroots activists who are helping Americans around the country rise out of poverty. They are doing it mostly through private funds, and many are doing good work despite government barriers to serving the underprivileged. Our government needs to support programs that work. Support doesn't always have to come in the form of money, it can be as simple as giving a program with proven results access to children in our schools or individuals serving time in prison.
"Today's antipoverty summit was a great time to think deeply about how to best help individuals from all backgrounds live the American dream."