Poverty committee begins trek for solutions

Published: Monday, June 17 2013 7:05 p.m. MDT

Many committee members expressed the need to get others besides themselves involved in their efforts to end intergenerational poverty.

William Duncan, director of the Sutherland Institute Center for Family and Society, said getting more people involved, "not just agencies but individuals," will help the committee's efforts.

"We could go our whole life without knowing people in different social circumstances," Duncan said. "We want to see families who are strong step in and show them a different way."

Crim also said the world is naturally isolated, making it harder to get systems to work together. But collaboration would mean success in the long run.

"No single institution, no single organization can solve these problems by themselves," Crim said. "It really does require an effort that brings together resources and organization. In less than five years, and certainly within five years, we ought to be able to see big systems aligning resources in some way."

D. Ray Reutzel, Utah State University professor and director of Early Childhood Center, said education is key to changing the current pattern and he wants to see childhood development as well as adult education.

"What are we going to do to try to help these mothers get the skills and have the opportunities to get those skills in the future?" he asked.

Reutzel said parents are their children's first teachers and remain their teachers throughout life.

"They look to them as a guide for how they'll live their lives," he said. "We have to teach both of these populations and give them the opportunities to lift themselves out of the situations they find themselves."

Reutzel also suggested adding an urban planner to the committee and said they should move informational resources into places where they normally wouldn't be found.

He said on State Street near the Department of Workforce Services where the meeting was held, you can easily find tattoo parlors or bars.

"You won't find a bookstore on this street," he said.

Email: eeagar@deseretnews.com

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