Apr 16, 2017|
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
United Way’s Terri Westerfield discusses the many services offered by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Everyone and welcome to united way lives united I'm Terry Westerfield. Even today I am so proud to welcome to the program. Former colleagues and friends char main Cassie Obi who is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the data we have southeast Louisiana welcome Charlemagne. Welcome oh it's always a pleasure to be here rookie Karrie thanks so much and it's always nice to have you on I'm so glad marries come on Mary your rose. Mary is that chief impact officer or community impact for united way of southeast Louisiana. And welcome to you hi Gerri good morning good morning. He's joining us today I want you know that you are not a way of southeast Louisiana has a blueprint for prosperity. We want to eradicate poverty in our region where strategically investing in programs initiatives collaborations. And advocacy efforts to meet our community's greatest needs. We have a bold vision of equitable communities were all the individuals are healthy educated and economically stable. In Jefferson Orleans Plotkin and Saint Bernard. Saint Tammany tend to. And Washington there's it is. Well ladies we're here today because we have a new report out. United way of southeast Louisiana in conjunction with the Louisiana association united ways. Is updating its groundbreaking study of financial. Stability and hardship in our state we now we originally released that last year and January. But it shows that 42%. Of low Louisiana residents are struggling. Financially. We call everybody who's listen we call this the Alice report and we asked do you know Alice. Now we see that because Alice is everywhere and there are more than ever before. Alice is settled limited income constrained. And employed now that's a term we used to describe taxpaying residents across Louisiana. We're working hard yet still struggling to make ends meet. Alice is low paying jobs little or no savings and is just offered one emergency. From falling into poverty. Ladies this report I know Mary I am extra would you because this is. We'll see what if your babies you've you've been nursing this along for some time this and it's an important study because. What we given day we say house we know that stands for arts and acronym but also helps you visualize the people that we may know. Every day in our life they could be folks we see at the via the corner drugstore somebody's warrior coffee in the morning. Perhaps the person to fix your car someone takes care of your child or parent but there everywhere. That's correct theory and when we say 42%. Of households struggle to afford basic needs Allah is. Sometimes you look at the percentage at 42% when you put that in real numbers and then Eddie crisis 700 in twenty. 3077. Households. That are struggling to make ends meet. A lot of people in our community that are struggling to make ends meet and then we look at our lean spears. About 52%. Of households that are Alex and looks at it too because folks Alice's including. Those who are below poverty level correct it and if you'll get those numbers to some people have a better understanding. All the hardships somebody face corrects so. Across the state. The poverty rate has pretty much state this aim at 19%. But we're looking at people who. Are just above that part but he level they teeter aren't just following back into poverty there weren't Christ as a way. From being impart ready. You know the car breaks down or are you know the child gets sick you lose your job. They can't they can't apply and get help any. You know like food stamps or any other kind of benefits because they may just a little bit too much. Above the poverty level. But. They don't make enough to get by. And so ignore please appears. There's 52% of people that live below ballas threshold so. In New Orleans the poverty level is 27%. In but Alice is another 25%. So these are people who have low wage jobs. They don't have assets are liquid assets that can carry them through our crisis they can't. Get the benefits they need to carry them federal so fresh start adding day by day they're doing the right things they're gonna work there some of them are working two jobs. But they just can't make the ends meet and I was like to remind people again taxpaying individuals and families these are just not. On the dole as some guy in Texas are working are working hard. But they're limited sometimes by Houston on a little below it perhaps low paying job. But because of education or other circumstances. And what makes even more difficult. Is a sustainability or households were able budget and mayor please give aways from me too because. This puts it a little bit more I icy air and a better light. Easy for people understand. Because somebody might say well in world wiser causes to why are we seeing it there and poverty your marriage. Well it's different for each bearish and that we live in your region. But in Orleans again. Households were viable budget this is what it costs on an average. To just make it through the month right so we're not even talking about a livable. Budget or you can talk about some viable budget and so. Basically that housing. It's child care if you have a child. Transportation. Food health care. And in Texas got to pay taxes and so yeah. That's in your survival budget and so when we look at Orleans. For a single adult to live in New Orleans they should have an annual total salary of 18100924. For our our family two adults one in that one pre schooler. They should be earning 53848. Dollars and net so realistic that is Burton now because of and you look act. Doubt that poverty rate. That we use. That hasn't changed. Since I think 1970. So so we're using 1970. Guidelines based torn nation from the sixties that was amazed inform him that he's. Right debate is John yet. Right but we're using that is determined. Where people are economically in our state insists other house also Bible budget gives you a better look at what people really need to be able to survive. On a date today but we want people to just be at their survival budget we want people to be above that and moving out of Alice because as I said before. I was just teeters on falling into poverty they may be great this month. But that car breaks down or there's a crisis or if there's a god forbid a hurricane yet to evacuate that evacuate they can't even evacuate because they don't have the money they may not have transportation. To evacuate so. And then when they look at the assets they have. The research shows that only 60%. Of households have income producing liquid assets so. Can you explain to stop right because people see the day you may know it liquid assets but others are big question right now. Right so you look at things that you could quickly turn into cash. And so your full. While many of of Alice in those impart pretty a work in low wage jobs they can't say they don't have a savings account they don't have a 401K. You know and then if they don't use it if a person owns their home they're paying a mortgage or medals though. You can't liquidate. You know not maybe old home are outright to be able to sell it but then they summit where they. So in other net. Also dull that even though where they can't climb out. Because they make a little too much to get benefits in in in a government assistance but they don't make enough. To pull himself out. And this used to be a growing concern because we know from the data. As we said we released this report initially it January 2016. It's gone up 2% statewide. In the number of people that we are calling house again that's those living below the threshold including poverty. And those just teetering on the precipice. And it's not much better unfortunately Al Jefferson. It's 39%. They are just gonna run the numbers real quick. Orleans as you mentioned 52%. To plot damaged 34% some people are surprised by that but we shouldn't be because the population is so much lower. Those who could come back after Katrina all those many years ago. Or only those again who could afford to most of them neat and others housing boom of sorts but it's again those with higher wage paying jobs. Many of them prestige jobs so they're white collar not just all blue collar. In Saint Bernard it's 47%. Which again higher industrywide average saint Tammany 32%. Tangible hall 48%. And Washington 55. And both of those. Again. A lot of rural areas really big cities. And the floods of last year or even not in satanic or was a little bit. There was just so much of that great flood of 2016 in August and beyond that impacted those repairs is that they are trying to. Reinvent themselves and and rebuild their lives and communities. Terry when we look at households survival budget. What's driving the increase. Is there's an increase costs and housing reefs we're feeling that an army spears and into transportation across. This state there's an increase and then increase cost of health care. So while people may have coverage through without Affordable Care Act there's penalties if they can't pay. That so then. That becomes more of a burden for the faintly so we we're seeing that the there's increased costs everywhere but it goes back again if you're poverty level is so low. How can we impact you know soul might be some that we should look at is like we should raise at. Up. And you are both looking at shots are. Our CEO CEO of the wrist is Louisiana. Do you Wear many hats you're also. Our vice president executive vice president and use spend a lot of time in Baton Rouge because concede. Is where your heart your passion is you do in an easy job at work and what we're not nearly good for the show some amazing group of elected officials. Who also acknowledged that poverty is a huge. Huge issue in our state in our region and in impacts everything else that we do. With Terry appreciate actors are compliment him confidence on that. That that you have are placed in me and I can tell you that we're fortunate to be blast. Throughout our seven perish region and sprawling that fits and purposes throughout the state. We have a governor that's committed not only did he run on any anti poverty agenda. As you all well know we hosted on gubernatorial forum. And we had all candidates coming in I have to tell you that on him the extremely excited by the fact that. Our governor on John Edwards and his wife and his administration has really dedicated itself. To not only helping us makes me and in educating the community about our Alice report. They too were using that information as a basis to got a lot of what we're seeing. As on some of the initiatives we're backing on the policy front. You know when we sit down and say that we understand the facts that Mary has so eloquently laid now. That are actual facts. State wide. When you would evaluate that you cannot. Move the needle in poverty if you were not engaged in public policy because so much. Of what we need. To pay attention to you is what can elevate those or working families. To get them out of being either on the green or under the you know living in poverty. And for us it's been celebrating initiatives like the earned income tax credit I cannot tell you how grateful we or for the leadership. That we have general legislative delegation. I mean the likes of Walter. JP and here in court beaters and others throughout our region. That understand it poured working. This is a proven. Anti poverty agenda. We are advocating in continuing to maintain that. And I think this governor recognizes it but I think people in general understand. That it's so many of those families. When they file those taxes and they get that money. It is. Money that Avian reinvest in high quality early child care they may invest in the first time being able to purchase. A mode of transportation for themselves it may mean that they fix that refrigerator where their air conditioner that's broken it may mean. That I can afford prescription. Or a something to assist my trial we can use school supplies that I couldn't otherwise. So when you look at that when you look at how we are expanding access to high quality early childhood education. We know that. The greatest hope and opportunity for future generations is to ensure. That our children are given when their beautiful little brains or flourishing and there was connections are being made. That they have access to the highest quality most affordable early child care. So that when they enter school they're not only ready to learn they're ready to the rife. And that is the hope and opportunity we have for all of whom we he has children because if they can draw life. And be prepared to learn when they enter school to high used human potential. The likelihood of them going on to high paying jobs because they can insert the college of their choice or junior college they can learn a crap. That can allow them to live a quality of life. That we know will establish for them the way they get out of poverty in you in the intergenerational. Poverty. That so often has plagued our families. So we are not only committed to that we are committed to making sure that are affordable health care. Is realized and while I know. That their enormous challenges on that front I am proud to say that our united way supported that action taken by this governor in this administration. And so many of our champions in the legislature because we understand. That we had to do what we know. Is our moral obligation and that is to give access to affordable health care. And I can tell you literally to Medicaid expansion sinking lines each and every day in our community. I was at though on opening of the legislative session yesterday. And I was just stunned by the fact that this governor spoke candidly. About individuals he wanted to have in the audience. Who literally we're going to give their own testimonials to the fact that as a result of his action. They have literally their lives have been saved I can tell you the work that we're doing. In armed cancer. We do that. Legislative policy that that allows will be unit to be one of the strongest. In relationship to breast cancer researcher reconstruction. I can tell you the work that we have done mayor Affordable Care Act were here and testimonials from women said. Because they are now able to be screened early. They never Wear for work dear Little League being diagnosed and those diagnosis is or saving their lives early medical intervention. For for health care issues whether it's high blood pressure cancer you know name. You know if you don't like saving needs in every one of our Louisiana citizens should be entitled to. And you work hand in glove he would marry together because with a great team that you have with it can be impact. Affecting your talking earned income tax credits are thinking about our wonderful Odessa. Adam's pain and I I think about Chiquita and others who are working so closely. The programs that we support also it goes back to those that we help fund and those are through the annual campaign. I know that it's scrutiny folks if you understand the process. Just briefly merely lets tell folks about what you have to go through can be able to. Defund it because we know that you're going to stand and deliver on the programs are going to help us help others out. Yes so it's it's really a scrutiny. That we scrutinize every program. We have a blueprint for prosperity. That is focused on part woody we've developed strategies and identified the outcomes we're trying to chief. Around this issue of party and so agencies submit. Letter of intent to last they have to tell us how they're going to impact this issue of poverty. Once Beagle proved that we have we have a huge group of volunteers. Who actually read our grants for us so we take we raise our front in the community. So our our readers are from the communities of anyone's interest it does contact you know anyway we can always use more readers. But you come and we train you on what to look for and that application they read and read it. We didn't take that and then the volunteers decide on who will be funded based on those reading score on the scores. We also do site visits we go out. Make sure that you know what to voting your proposal a switcher actually do we end and really get the feel for the program. And there's report after report. To us twice a year. We're getting reports on what they're doing we're doing site visits were constantly in contact but we're in lockstep with those agencies and to really impact this issue of poverty for the first time ever. Our united way it's funded collaborations. Those are groups that are working on systemic issue was how can we really impact. An issue in the community. And part of that is some advocacy work and so we you know we we partner with charming. In the public policy committee headed by Kim sport. So we're working in handing loud because we know we can not just impact this issue of poverty by funding programs. It helps to quiz her wrist com yes we do. So it's collaborations with programs in this have a conceit that were working together and you weaken. Even the lines olds together. That that's what we've been and how to we are right in there we're looking at peers by peers as it looks different in each payers and as we look at this issue of poverty. We're seeing where. There's a suburban as nation apart pretty apart but he is is is. Here in this city is in trades at fifty. 2%. But it's moving out of other pair shoes because people can't afford to he has been warned that we're seeing it in Metairie where cities in the count on appearances as people. Our community and I always. Tell a story there is a lovely lovely gal. Who lives almost every morning because I drive through it off in wood and islanders beat she's wonderful. She won Honda. Buying a home. Across the late in another Paris. Just speak and she's keeping your job which. She's born poppy folks it means you're disease or break now but because she need a better place she can afford. And her job could go to school and other things. And this is what the people or do they moved farther and farther out right and ended jobs in there when you look at Alice they at least they have low wage jobs been so that low wage jobs usually in our tourism industry you know service and service as well. Right in Seoul if they can't afford to live in the city and they move out in who's gonna take those jobs. Those low wage jobs. The for the person in the city becomes harder and harder to. Holmes and I'm sorry that person was moved out to the suburbs. It's harder and harder for them to come back and there's transportation is an issue you know in in how do I get to my job so. Then they you know they are there and other payers as to who don't every sources. How players the sources are scarce. In in the other payers is right in Washington Beers and humor to well just because there were talking about a lot of resource but also. Transportation in particular particular you can and you may be getting over folks I mean it's the right out right so as we look at Alice report they talk about low wage jobs dominating our economy. Fear families have an act that since evenings. And gaps that remain in public assistance that we alluded to earlier in this issue of transportation. In being able to get to that job. Are all real barriers for fame at least. And again education instrument talked about what do start at the beginning. It is early quality high quality early education and in cancer having to make decisions on early. Child care because you watcher chow in equality sooner it costs more. So if you look at. Even in Jefferson's lawyers for check out here for they only with an infant in a preschooler. You pay 949. Dollars. So these are having to make decisions you know and if you aren't too appeared family you're gonna make a decision you know. Should one ever stay home and take care of the Q is is that more cost effective. They're both of was going to work when I'm paying 949. Dollars for top here and if you're seeing at O'Hare lyrics. It's even harder how do you get there's childcare assistance but if you're Alice you probably don't fight for child care assistance and so. Horry is set itself smiled at. You know so what do you do you're always in his. Is dark hole I guess you could call it or where you just can't pull yourself out. We know that's a great segue into another issue that we're advocating format pay equity. Because Louisiana continues to rank last in the United States when it comes to pay equity for women. With the widest gap in the country. And the most recent statistics show that Louisiana women earn on average 65 cents to every dollar earned by men. United way of southeast Louisiana is continuing to abdicate in favor of pay equity policies. Armed passer recommended on not only by this administration. But I have to say has recommended by. On many women who are serving on our board of trustees many women who were part of our women's leadership council. I can tell you in unanimous consent was given our public policy committee because when you look at the statistical information. And let's be honest here you know I need where he wants to beat each to green lean sensitive to the fact that. We want equity for women without unintentional consequence is because. As a not for profit. We DPM and on these spectacular. Businesses who support our programs and services what's been heartwarming to me. We just recently hosted in partnership with the governor the first ever statewide. Pay equity summit. That was held a mart's attempt in Baton Rouge and I have to tell you it was record attendance and what was so exciting were the panel's. Where our very own John Foley with pan American life with the panelists and Mahoney from Tulane. The research and then the information from businesses. About the economic implications. Associated with pay equity not only would it mean to many of these. In particular single women trying to raise families on their their incumbents and their salaries. But to distance it's about implementing a philosophy of equity. And really. Pulling back that curtain that allows them. To really be able to say we want there to be equitable fair pay for equal pay for equal work and so that's what we're talking about. And I have to say that we have a remarkable champion and on in Helene Marino and JP Doral. And I'm legislate tours from across our region I region. Who have come to us and or prepared to work important shipped to say how do we find the best solution to the yes. So on represented if Alina had to introduce sloppy legislation in this session. That will call allow us to lift pasty Christine it's my hope that our listeners out there. What contact their legislate two wars that they will learn more about what she's championing and that they will help beyond voice of that in this. You hear in this legislative session we can be successful. And I know that no doubt if you're leading the charge Sherman I do believe you will be and I know that you're working so. Hard with somebody others. And in ninety. In the big event that's coming up and it is something that I know that yet the governors is the governor's mansion. And talk just briefly about it because it is definitely unfortunate that Angel would the public cannot be at it for size. But again in our efforts to help house help those in poverty and others understand. Why it's so important. That we do something to help lift our state op. Well as a result of. Michael Williamson we ship as our president and CEO he felt that we had a really strong compelling reason for getting together with the governor and the First Lady along with our cabinet officials and legislate doors. To not only personally thanked them. But to really intersect the work at united way it's not for profit leading in communities. Because we have many public private partnerships with state government that we are so proud off. But to talk about the new statistical data it's just been released by Alice. And then to actually talk about how you connect in intersect. That good information in research with policy to move an agent of ball would that we hope we're not only help us. Lift families out of poverty but will demonstrate. That this blueprint for prosperity is in fact a powerful way to impact the lives of hard working movies you know citizens and their families. Charlayne thank you so much Mary we're just about out of time for people who want more information about Alison it from me just mention the blueprint where should people go. Go to the united way of southeast Louisiana's web site is www. U nine it wait yes ELA. Dot org and you confine our list. And you can find the blueprint and it fit anymore questions especially about the wonderful programs that we're supporting and charming he's worked. Also right there on the web site. Everything is on the web site you can find everything and I think our. Pictures on the well and don't go to the big just gave up I. Well wouldn't you vote. We're joining you work hard you so much for the comedians are proud to call you friends and eggs remain as the of the executive vice president and C 00. We have southeast Louisiana Mary Ambrose our chief impact officer community impact or united way of southeast Louisiana. United way of southeast Louisiana as a blueprint for prosperity we want to eradicate poverty in our region. If you'd like more information les please visit our website once again that's united reached Sheila dot org. Or you may call area code 50482255. Forged Euro you can also find on FaceBook it united ways do you. Or follow us on Twitter at united ways. Join united way please give advocate volunteer I'm Terry Westerfield thank you for joining us and live unite.