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NC Citizens in Poverty Offer Advice on How to Tackle Problem

PHOTO: Homeless and hungry child.
PHOTO: Homeless and hungry child.
July 19, 2012

FLAT ROCK, N.C. - Donny Buckner, Hendersonville, is one of thousands who have experienced poverty in North Carolina. Today, the single father of two will join leaders from around North Carolina in Flat Rock to give them his firsthand experience of poverty in the state.

Buckner found himself homeless in December 2011, when his rental home was destroyed by a fallen tree and he lost his job just days before Christmas. He is glad to be able to offer advice on how programs can better serve people like him.

"They want to hear from me, and maybe I help them in some small way by explaining how it works, what doesn't work, what can be improved and what other options can be beneficial."

The meeting will take place in Flat Rock. It is part of Face to Face with Poverty, a year-long push to create more effective resources for people in need. According to the 2010 Census, North Carolina's poverty rate rose to 17.5 percent, surpassing the national average. The state has the 12th-highest poverty rate in the nation.

Sharon Goodson is the executive director of the North Carolina Community Action Association. She says in times like these, when resources are reduced because of the economy, the Face to Face with Poverty campaign aims to use the resources that are available more wisely.

"It's a totally different conversation. We're talking to low-income people who will help come up with solutions that we will be able to use as we do this work."

She says poverty in North Carolina presents a significant problem to children, the elderly, people with disabilities, African Americans and Latinos.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC