If numbers from a series of new reports on poverty are anything to go by the Great Recession is still roiling away around Philadelphia.
Over 22K children in Philly’s suburbs are experiencing deep poverty. Two reports of a series of five from Public Citizens For Children and Youth show more children in Delaware, Montgomery, Chester and Bucks counties are experiencing economic hardship now than they were during the Great Recession
See also: (212) Philadelphia, PA
image: Bob via Flickr/CC
Pittsburgh suburbs aren’t immune to poverty
We enjoyed learning about the solidarity economy this afternoon via a piece in Dissent. Such an economy involves working to give rather than take. The inspiration for the localized, cooperative spirit in this approach to commerce comes from diverse sources, including Quebec, and resonates with a down-to-earth good sense. Seems to be working for Reading, Pennsylvania.
The entire editorial staff at suburban-poverty.com would like to go away from Mississauga and live somewhere that has both solidarity and goats. But then, we would, wouldn’t we? The point is to search for and enact alternatives.
See also: (578) Star Trekonomics
A short item from Al-Jazeera America proves something can still be done in a deindustrialized food desert where social services are thin, crime and schools bad. Imagine being in need in Chester, PA this thanksgiving or Christmas without access to Fare & Square a non-profit outlet with a particular interest in helping low income people keep access to fresher, healthier foods.
image: Chester, PA as seen from a passing commuter train by Cazort via Wikimedia Commons
Home to the city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County is experiencing suburban poverty. We came across some material the other day indicating that the authorities there have begun to respond. Part of the battle seems to be getting people to accept there is such a problem.
Food, transportation and the public libraries have been identified as areas in need of support. We’ve already seen transportation as an aggravator of suburban poverty. Where social services are thinner on the ground and such things as drop in centres or food banks spread further afield in lower density suburbs than in built-up urban areas people can fall into social difficulty faster and can find their responses made less effective. Libraries have been suggested as locations for social services outreach, communiation, intake and assssment tasks in suburban areas. Bolstering transportation assistance, help with car repairs and the donation of cars to social agencies, is also seen as a practical response in a place where automobility is almost mandated by physical environment.
Assessing community need in suburban Allegheny County
14 page .pdf file via forbesfunds.org
Suburban needs task force
Allegheny County presentation – 20 page .pdf file
South Hills Interfaith Ministry
Charitable agency in Allegheny County which began life in a mall – in 1968!
image: Pittsburgh in 1920 via Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this year the Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic went on a mission.
Out on the perimeter of Pennsylvania’s largest city she found what appears to be the beginning of contraction. Forty-five miles from downtown the housing bust of 2007-2008 is still evident. Serviced lots set out with flamboyant intentions for real estate development remain empty and the value of exurban fringe residential properties is in the basement. Transit-served inner suburbs appear to be surviving much better. The author, Inga Saffron, connects Philadelphia’s situation to the wider American picture in which the future of the suburbs remains very unclear in terms of popular preference and economic wherewithal.
photo: Massimo Catarinella via Wikimedia Commons
Pittsburgh, PA seems to have taken its share of hits over the last five or so years. Too bad really. As a city of culture, with terrific old architecture, it had begun to recover and find itself in the post-industrial era, even doing better than many large cities in the northeastern United States. Still, the real estate flippers, the “we buy houses: cash fast” crews are finding plenty of opportunity in amongst the foreclosures. This piece from the Atlantic tells a tale of tragedy and opportunity intertwining.
photo: Jim Orsini via Wikimedia Commons