When families are able to meet basic needs, children do better in school, communities flourish and the economy grows. This is the philosophy behind a newly formed interagency group established by Gov. Jay Inslee to reduce poverty in Washington.
“In Washington state, more than a half million children live in families that struggle to make ends meet,” Inslee said. “This is unacceptable anywhere, but especially in a state with so much prosperity. We must do whatever we can to reduce poverty in Washington.”
Currently 37 percent of children in the state live in homes where their families struggle financially. The uncertainty of not knowing if there is enough money to pay the rent, buy groceries or put money into savings causes great stress on families and negatively impacts children.
Inslee has tasked the work group with developing a strategic plan to reduce poverty, improve communities and make needed progress related to housing, health integration, employment and education.
The work group will consist of 10 local and state agencies as well as members of the Legislature, and it will be co-lead by the departments of Social and Health Services, Commerce and Employment Security. The group will rely on the expertise of those most impacted by poverty and other stakeholders, including non-profit, philanthropic and community-based organizations.
The efforts of the work group will lay a strong foundation for achieving better results for children, families and communities.
“We are in the business of transforming lives,” said Cheryl Strange, secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services. “I applaud the governor’s leadership on reducing poverty and believe that the workgroup will help us come together with a plan to get better results for those we serve.”
Directive 17–13: workgroup on poverty reduction