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Lynchburg updates residents on Poverty to Progress program

City hopes to have 50 families out of poverty each year

LYNCHBURG, Va. – According to Lynchburg city officials, the city's poverty rate is 24.6 percent. Ultimately they want to lower that number which they say is above the national and state rate. 

There's been a call to action to find a solution to the problem. Some residents in Lynchburg are desperate to help others live better lives. But they say it takes the basic necessities to do it.
     
The conversation to find ways to decrease poverty started three years ago. This meeting is updating city residents on the process so far. Job Corps says they're helping low-income youth in the area find permanent jobs. 

"When students graduate we help them find a job and we make sure they have the experience and training that they need. And helping them to take the next step in independent living," said Alyson Foster, admission counselor with Job Corps. 

Starting next year and into 2022, the City of Lynchburg wants to move 50 families out of poverty each year as part of the Poverty to Progress program. 

"We're trying to raise awareness of different workforce development programs. My program specifically is in careers and technology and we help train people to get their A+ certification such as a help desk technician," said Latron Brown, program coordinator for Goodwill Industries of the Valley. 

People from nine different action groups, from education to housing and workforce development, met this summer to identify available resources for those who are living under the poverty line.

The action groups say expanding summer feeding programs, providing more daycare facilities and support for city schools are just some of the things that could lower the poverty rate.

Another goal of Poverty to Progress is to raise the median salary of residents in the city.