Poverty Fight

One area organization says those living in poverty in Florida have been short changed.

In January of this year, we brought you the story of an elderly Jefferson County man whose home is falling apart. He's one of more than two million Floridians who could use a helping hand.

Christine Dreps of the Capital Coalition Healthy Start says, "There are so many people who can't even afford basic needs such as diapers."

Christine Dreps, who works with Capital Area Healthy Start, says as the rate of poverty increases the resources from area service agencies are drained.

Christine adds, "Florida is such a terrific state and we need to be able to take care of our citizens and our moms, our babies and the elderly. We can't just go around and not be able to take care of our people."

Wednesday afternoon advocates for those living in poverty called attention to the State of Florida's allocation of federal grant money, money that could help area poor get back on their feet.

Karen Woodwall of People's Advocacy Center for Training says, "Florida has historically and chronically been at the bottom of the barrel of getting our fair share in federal dollars.

Dorothy Johnson with the Capital Area Community Action Agency says the community service block grant is a federal grant which is supposed to do away with poverty in each state, a grant in which Florida receives only $1.09 per person placing Florida last when it comes to funding.

Dorothy Johnson says, "There's no excuse for not asking that we get the fair share that the formula says we are supposed to get for the people in our state to live quality lives."

Johnson says a national "no room for poverty" rally is scheduled in Washington, DC on September 4. The plan is to bring attention to poverty and call for a White House conference on poverty in America.