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Local Leaders Focus On Poverty

Image: Heart of Florida United Way Logo

Image: Heart of Florida United Way Logo

Local leaders, experts and educators are meeting in Orlando Friday morning to talk solutions to poverty.

Bob Brown, CEO of Heart of Florida United Way, is one of the speakers at the inaugural Central Florida Poverty Conference.

He said Orlando has a problem with poverty, with over 620,ooo people working but earning under $30,000 a year.

“Folks that are working in some cases a couple of different jobs and barely getting by,” said Brown.

“You add that to the poverty level and you’re talking almost 50 % of the population of Central Florida, and that is a cause for concern,” he said.

Brown said poverty is connected to other issues like homelessness and access to mental health care and education. He said the conference is the start of a conversation that he hopes will lead to solutions to help the working poor.

And, he said, lawmakers need to start paying more attention to the poorest Floridians

“It seems to me that after years of saying we don’t have the money, we certainly would like our elected officials to say well now we have some additional money and maybe we need to take care of our constituents.”


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »