The Community Needs Assessment is a three-year examination of the inequities that plague our region. But it’s not just a compilation of information from national, statewide, and local researchers, it’s the story of the limited options, hard decisions and uncertain futures facing the children, working-age adults and senior citizens who need our help and the over-arching crisis that affects every person and every situation is poverty.

Profile of Poverty

Poverty refers to not having sufficient income or material possessions to meet an individual's or family's basic needs and can be generational or situational.

Generational Poverty occurs in families where at least two generations have been born into poverty. Families living in generational poverty are not equipped with the tools needed to move out of their situations. [see details]

Situational Poverty occurs for a period when an individual falls below the poverty line because of a sudden event such as job loss or illness. [see details]

Our Community's Tipping Point

Chronic poverty has led us to a sobering tipping point. Cleveland’s poverty rate is the worst for children the second worst for working-age adults and the third worst among senior citizens. This isn’t just unacceptable. It’s unsustainable.

When nonprofits, corporations, foundations and government agencies come together to attack poverty at its roots, we can accomplish these goals:

  • Increase access to affordable healthcare
  • Enact public policy changes
  • Improve the quality of education
  • Raise wages
  • Protect children from abuse
  • Expose racism
  • Expand the availability of affordable housing