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Erie County Poverty Summit brings partners together for communitywide discussion, action


Tue, Aug 22nd 2017 05:15 pm
Thursday event at Convention Center is open to public; features presentations, panel discussions on actions to effect change
The 2017 Erie County Poverty Summit will take place this Thursday, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. It will feature a day of presentations and panel discussions focusing on poverty and its effects on a wide range of Erie County residents, as well as ways to promote change across the community. Poverty's challenges and effects on children and families, seniors, people with disabilities and new Americans will be examined, along with supports and services necessary to help these individuals escape poverty and enjoy a better quality of life.
"Despite gains in our economy and an unemployment rate that remains low, poverty remains a persistent drain on our community that still hinders individuals from achieving their true potential, especially our children and our seniors," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "The Poverty Summit will bring together a wide cross-section of community leaders to discuss ongoing challenges and explore ways to help residents overcome those challenges and lead healthy, productive lives in Erie County."
Following an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, the Poverty Summit will begin at 9 a.m. with opening remarks from Poloncarz, Erie County Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger and Chair of the Erie County Poverty Committee the Rev. Kinzer Pointer. The summit's morning sessions will include an update on Medicaid usage in Erie County to provide insights into how many county residents are in or near poverty, and an update on the Buffalo Empire State poverty reduction initiative, a collaboration between Erie County, the City of Buffalo, New York state and the United Way that is working to expand economic opportunity for Buffalo residents. The morning will also include a panel discussion focusing on the challenges experts see in helping women and children experiencing poverty; a separate panel discussion examining poverty-related challenges affecting Erie County's new Americans; and a discussion focused on the unique challenges facing the county's impoverished seniors and people with disabilities.
Sessions after lunch will center on narratives for change and will include breakout discussions on helping seniors live healthy, independent lives; helping immigrants and refugees thrive in their new community; and helping children and families escape poverty, among other topics.
RSVP to attend the Poverty Summit by calling 716-858-8679 or emailing [email protected].

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